Methylcellulose is a common ingredient found in alternative meat products, which acts as an emulsifier and alternative to gelatin. However, it is also commonly used as a laxative, which may cause dehydration and other health issues, spurring the need to look for a replacement for this in newer items.
To respond to this call, Fiberstar Inc. has created a product portfolio of methylcellulose-free solutions for meat substitutes, all containing equal amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber. These are sustainably derived from citrus fruit, with no chemical modifications introduced.
“This launch comes at a time when food manufacturers are scrambling for ways to improve meat substitute texture in addition to food labelling,” says President and CEO John Haen. “Many clean label options on the market have their drawbacks ranging from manufacturing complexity to consumer acceptance.”
The Citri-Fi® TX20 texturizing citrus fiber can be utilised with specific-plant based proteins like canola and/or potato. It provides meat-like texture, firmness and thickening power. On the other hand, the Citri-Fi® 100 citrus fiber line is an emulsifier and water-binding agent that gives the alternative meat product a juicy texture. Besides giving consumers a meat-like experience, these allow product stability in hot temperatures, as well as when freezing/thawing.
“We cater to a variety of customers ranging from those who need allergen-free options to those who are trying to create healthier products without coconut or palm fat,” explains Mr. Haen. “These plant proteins work synergistically with Citri-Fi to create the meat-like texture, succulence and hot bite that customers expect.”
These citrus fibers enable manufacturers to produce clean label variants with no E-number, something that is gaining traction in the industry today. “R&D will continue to pioneer new clean label solutions using our citrus fiber technology,” states Dr. Brock Lundberg, Ph.D., President of R&D and Food Applications. “Our long-standing expertise and nimble technical team shorten our customer’s time to market which sets us apart from others in the industry.”