In the spring of 2021, Planteneers created a new category with its plant-based alternatives to fish and seafood. It was a highlight, as Dr. Dorotea Pein, Director Product Management at Planteneers, explains: “The category didn’t exist before that. The enormous technological leap we made in the development of fish alternatives was a real breakthrough. The current demand confirms the importance of these plant-based products.” According to Dr. Pein, at Plant Based World, which was held in New York in December, industry attendees showed particular interest in plant-based alternatives to fish and seafood. With its expanded range, Planteneers is delivering answers for the rising demand.
Among its new products are plant-based calamari and shrimp. What makes these special is that both foods can be produced using the same system, with individual product variants made by adjusting the form and colour. For example, a colour mixture based on paprika extract gives the plant-based shrimps their typical light red shade.
Production is also very straightforward. The mass is first made in a standard cutter as used in the meat industry. Ideally it should have a vacuum function, in order to get a compact, homogeneous mass. This can then be given the desired shape with a standard moulding machine. Thus, without much expense and without investment in new equipment, it is possible to produce plant-based seafood alternatives that can be used in many ways.
Just like regular calamari and shrimp, they can be used for cold foods like salads and antipasti or for hot dishes, deep-fried, pan-fried or grilled. They can be prepared breaded or unbreaded. Since they are freeze-thaw-stable, they are also great for deep frozen foods.
These new product concepts expand the existing portfolio, which includes plant-based alternatives to fried fish and sushi-quality fillet, canned tuna and smoked variants such as smoked salmon. Like the existing range, the new products are intended for manufacturers in the meat industry, fish producers in the convenience category, and companies specialising in making plant-based alternatives.