Fermentation cultures bubble to the top of plant-based dairy

Recently, the Good Food Institute dubbed fermentation as the third pillar of the alternative protein industry, alongside plant-based and culture-based alternatives, and its prediction has proved prophetic. As the plant-based space continues to burgeon worldwide, companies are releasing fermented cultures at a rapid clip in order to create new products with improved taste and texture profiles.

Recently, Chr. Hansen revamped its FreshQ range “to help their customers trim food waste and produce the best possible products under challenging production and distribution circumstances. The newest generation of FRESHQ® and the strains that comprise it have been specially selected for their ability to help protect dairy products against spoilage caused by yeast and mold, even within challenging cold chain or production conditions. In combination with a proper hygiene and cold chain program, FreshQ can help to ensure optimal freshness in every product they make.

As part of the overhaul, the company introduced a new line for plant-based yogurt, or vegurt. But the Danish ingredients producer is not alone in this space. New Culture Foods is employing fermentation to develop dairy proteins for use in cheese making. Perfect Day, which is considering an IPO, focuses on fermented dairy proteins and has partnered with Archer Daniels Midland Co (ADM) as it works to commercialize its vegan proteins at scale.

With so many companies focused on developing fermented protein alternatives for use in dairy, it’s no surprise, that many experts consider this sub-category within plant-based alternatives to be poised for the next boom. In 2020, sales of plant-based items grew 27% to total $7 billion, according to data from SPINS, the Good Food Institute and the Plant Based Foods Association. Within this explosive growth, plant-based dairy specifically saw enormous increases.

Plant-based egg products saw the largest sales increases, jumping 168%, which is nearly 10 times the growth rate of conventional eggs during the same time period. Plant-based yogurt sales soared 20%, topping the growth rate of traditional yogurt by sevenfold. Plant-based cheese grew at twice the rate of conventional dairy, registering 42% in sales increases over the year.

While not all of these gains were due to products using fermentation in the development of their proteins, this technique is one that is increasing in popularity. During the first nine months of 2020, a report from the Good Food Institute revealed that of the $1.5 billion invested in alternative proteins, $435 million of that was sent directly to companies focused on fermentation. Of the 44 companies that are pursuing fermentation ingredients for plant-based product development, 21 of them appeared between 2019 and 2021.

For all the novelty surrounding the entrance of fermentation into the plant-based space, it is not a new technique. For centuries, fermentation has allowed for the development and preservation of food, but its appearance as a foundation for modern ingredient development has expanded the opportunity for potential applications for fermentation. Dairy, is only one area in which this technique is applicable. However, it is one that is growing in popularity and has attracted the attention of both shoppers and CPG titans, prompting manufactures to look closely at this space and consider fermentation as an option to offer consumers a tasty alternative to animal-derived products.

Website Link (Article by Ingredients Network)

Published by RenSun Lee

Kia ora! Sustainability is at the core of my soul ever since I was a kid. I always strive to finish the food on my plate and live as a minimalist. I love to cut down on waste in order to live sustainably and harmoniously with our planet. This brings me to my passion as a Food Scientist to integrate new technologies into innovative and creative solutions to meet customer demands and market trends and to optimize products and processes for quality, savings and sustainability. To these goals, I have published a Journal on my work on sustainable packaging and patented a new Antimicrobial wash. Nothing is more satisfying than working hard and smart at the workplace and playing hard outside of working hours. I enjoy rejuvenating myself through spending quality time with my two adorable kids and my awesome soul mate and getting close to nature when possible, be it gardening, tramping or going to the beach. I also love to learn about our magnificent universe and how sustainability is working in the grand scheme of things. I strongly believe that Work, Life & Balance is the key to a healthy state of mind, both physically and mentally. I look forward to making a positive difference wherever and whenever I can. Through this Blog, I hope to catalog recent Food Trends and Food Technologies that I come across so that anyone who is interested can have access to it (articles and resources). Please use these resources at your discretion. On top of that, I would also like to share related news and technologies of the future that would help mankind advance towards a Type 1 Civilization. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to share and contribute to the “Resources“. I would like to thank you in advance for dropping by. I sincerely hope that you can benefit from the recent Food Trends and Food Technologies I catalogued. Kind regards | Ngā mihi RenSun Lee

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