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12th October 2022  Editorial by: newprotein staff writer

Serving up Plant-based Sausage – Citrus Fiber

Animal-based sausages tend to be firm, meaty and slightly chewy due to the ratio of animal meat and fat chopped and formed together. This is difficult to simulate using typical plant-based ingredients such as vegetable proteins, hydrocolloids and gluten. Sausage alternatives often produce a soft and non-chewy bite. Depending on the formulation, some plant-based sausages purge oil which dries out the inner texture and in return reduces the flavor. 

Meaty Plant-based Sausage using Texturized Citrus Fiber

There are many plant-based sausages on the market. And some come close to their meat-based counterparts. However, they still need that pinch of magic to improve their meat-like texture and firmness. This is where citrus fiber can make a big difference. Yet, not every citrus fiber is the same. Citrus fibers differ by pectin content, insoluble/soluble fiber composition, and particle size. Most citrus fibers on the market are offered in small particle sizes. Those types may be great at holding water and emulsifying if they have high pectin content, like the Citri-Fi 100 citrus fiber series. Though this may improve the juiciness, these small particle sizes rarely create a meat-like texture.

On the other hand, a larger-sized granular citrus fiber, like Citri-Fi TX, enhances plant-based sausage’s meat-like texture and firmness. This natural ingredient complements other hydrocolloids. At the same time, Citri-Fi TX is not used to replace texturized plant protein which typically serves as the base of the food product. This texturizing citrus fiber is typically added with other ingredients like flavor, salt, or sugar and then hydrated. Additional steps include shear and mixing with other ingredients to form an emulsion.

Ultimately, Citri-Fi TX at 2% produces a firmer and more meat-like texture. According to the Texture Analyzer results, using Citri-Fi TX increases the compression by 38% versus using no Citri-Fi TX. As a result, this demonstrates how Citri-Fi TX increases the firmness of the product. And sensory comparisons also indicate that Citri-Fi TX improves the meaty chew.

Additional Plant-based Benefits

Besides the meat-like texture and firmness, Citri-Fi TX provides additional benefits. This upcycled citrus fiber is produced from the citrus juicing process. Producing this food ingredient uses no chemical modifications, which sets this citrus fiber apart from others on the market. Citri-Fi TX is non-allergenic, gluten-free, and has no e-number, which is desired by regions like Europe. Labeling options include citrus fiber, dried citrus pulp, or citrus flour which all resonate well in the clean label markets.

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Date Published: 12th October 2022

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