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17th August 2023  Content supplied by: Loryma GmbH

Innovative Ingredient Solutions for Convincing Plant-based Products


Loryma has more than 40 years experience in developing and manufacturing future-proof solutions to meet the changing needs of new food innovators.

Their range of wheat proteins, native and modified wheat starches, extrudates, and functional blends ingredients help optimise the stability, texture, and flavour of meat and fish, vegetarian and plant-based applications, baked goods, convenience products, and confectionery.

Loryma's high-quality raw materials, which are mainly sourced in Europe, combined with their in-depth processing knowledge, make them a reliable partner for service, product development, and supply of tailor-made solutions to fast-track new product development projects.

In this newprotein exclusive interview, we ask Norbert Klein, Head of Research & Development at Loryma, about the company’s unique approach to helping alt protein New Product Development (NPD) teams achieve product launches on time, on budget with the perfect formulation to meet consumer demands.

Q: Food product developers working on the formulation of new plant-based meat alternatives are faced with a whole range of challenges, from taste and texture to clean label. How can Loryma’s team of food technologists help manufacturers address these problems?
Norbert:
Manufacturers' NPD (New Product Development) teams often come from the meat processing industry, which means that existing procedures, recipes, and manufacturing equipment are familiar to them. Nevertheless, the processes may need to be individually adapted. Particular challenges when creating authentic plant-based alternatives include the replication of the characteristic bite, mouthfeel, and texture of the meat original using existing production equipment.

At Loryma, we provide solutions to these problems and support NPD teams with solving technological issues. In our technical centre, we are constantly creating new formulations and testing new possibilities which can be adapted for conventional processes. This is where our experience and expertise comes into its own, as we’ve created Lory® Tex, a wide range of textured vegetable proteins (TVP) which mimic the structure of the desired meat-alternative product. Used in conjunction with our specially adapted binding components, our ingredients positively impact both processing and the structure of end products.

Q: How can a product developer be sure that they are choosing the perfect Loryma ingredient for their particular application?
Norbert:
When looking for the right ingredients for a new meat alternative or the improvement of an existing formulation, the chosen inclusions are essential for market success. The functionality of the ingredients determines whether a product is exactly as it should be, firstly in terms of the texture of the product and secondly in terms of processing, declaration, and shelf life.

Loryma is not only an ingredient supplier, but our expertise extends to application development, too, including the use of our raw materials and their interaction with other ingredients during the production process. We've already developed more than 100 sample recipes and are continually creating new ones. Our customers can therefore see firsthand what a plant-based product might look like using a particular production method without having to conduct large-scale tests in advance. Along with the full recipe, we also provide label declarations and nutritional values. Furthermore, application samples come with relevant production and seasoning information.

Q: What ingredient in the Loryma portfolio can help deliver a juicy texture in a plant-based burger?
Norbert: There are several ways to achieve a juicy texture and characteristic bite in a plant-based burger. For example, structure and bite can be controlled by using a combination of Lory® Tex granules (specially developed TVP based on wheat protein). The different textures allow for tailored strength and elasticity with comparable water absorption. This is particularly important, as moisture in a patty migrates during storage (e.g., in packaging).

Juiciness can be controlled by the degree of hydration (TVP/water ratio). And fat plays an important role, too, as does the interaction between plasticity and elasticity. That's why we recommend a special wheat-based fat/starch emulsion (Lory® Stab) that regulates the melting point, which means the fat doesn't completely liquefy and lose its consistency during frying. If the burger is to be particularly juicy, pure vegetable fat or vegetable oil can also be added.

Q: When it comes to wheat-based salami, is there a Loryma ingredient that can be included in the formulation to help bind the ingredients and ensure heat stability?
Norbert: As plant-based versions of salami and raw sausages are very popular at the moment, they are a priority for us. Here, wheat as a raw material plays a key role. Our Lory® Tex products, in particular Lory® Tex Fibres and Lory® Tex Strips, can be roughened to perfectly replicate the characteristic bite of these sausages.

Wheat gluten is also essential for binding and forms a thermostable, irreversible gel when heated, making it suitable for use in pizza toppings, for example. We combine wheat gluten with other functional ingredients to create tailor-made binders that are easy for manufacturers to use.

Plant-based sausages and salami are also characterised by a relatively high-fat content. To achieve the typical appearance of salami with visible fat inclusions, a creamy fat alternative can also be added. This is based on Lory® Stab, a blend of different wheat starches, vegetable fat, and water, which can be controlled to ensure good fillability of the alternative sausage meat and withstand high temperatures.

We've also developed recipes and processes to perfectly replicate fermentation with starter cultures – a classic meat processing method – that promise sensory and technological advantages.

Q: How might methylcellulose be successfully replaced in a plant-based burger?
Norbert:
Methylcellulose has a role to play in plant-based alternatives thanks to its reversible texture. But we are, of course, striving to meet the growing demand for clean-label alternatives. The real challenge is not necessarily the technological feasibility but rather the limitation of practical implementation. However, the targeted use of biotechnological processes and a coordinated selection of functional raw materials already enable hydrocolloid-free binding systems.

Our Lory® Bind range allows for the creation of authentic textures without additives, but production processes for the development of clean-label products can be more time-consuming. Therefore, we always advise customers to be flexible in their approach.

Q: Do you have solutions for water-binding and emulsification?
Norbert: In addition to texturised proteins, water binding, and emulsification also form part of our core competencies. In recent years, we have developed an extensive portfolio for specific applications and offer a range of specialty binders and stabiliser blends.

Once we understand the process and the final nature of the product to be bound, we can offer tailored binding systems, for example, for protein emulsions needed in plant-based sausage/salami recipes or stabilisers in mayonnaise alternatives.

Q: Can customers work alongside the Loryma team to collaborate on recipe development and production trials?
Norbert: We see ourselves as a partner to the food industry, supporting customers throughout the development process. We guide and advise on everything from initial product concept through to raw material recommendations, recipe development and optimisation, and final production trial. The process usually starts with an initial discussion and presentation of a standard application sample to demonstrate what is possible. After feedback, development then begins in earnest. If required, we can hold one-to-one workshops with potential customers to discuss desired solutions and how best to implement their projects.

Visit the Loryma website for more information and demonstration videos, for example, on how to make tasty plant-based hamburgers, or contact Loryma today using the green button below.

About the Interviewee

Norbert Klein
Norbert Klein, Head of Research & Development at Loryma: Together with his team, the food technologist is developing practical concepts to show how wheat ingredients can optimise the texture and nutritional value of a wide range of food products.

    

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Date Published: 17th August 2023

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