Plant Based Nutrition
YEAST, A CLEAN LABEL INGREDIENT WITH FUNCTIONAL PROPERTIES
Besides the flavor impact, yeast-based ingredients can be applied in plant-based food preparation as clean label, natural ingredients to differentiate and contribute to the texture and mouthfeel characteristics of the food matrix.
Texture is one of the defining attributes of food and drink. We know that texture has a strong role in the entire eating experience: Its impact is not limited to mouthfeel, as texture can influence the taste perception through a delayed or enhanced flavor release, and it can modify the appearance and even the “bite” of a product.
Rheology is important in determining the eating quality of foods and can have a strong influence on food intake and nutrition. When it comes to innovation, texture can be a relevant key player in driving consumers’ preference for one product over another.
According to Innova Market Insights, texture innovation ranks at No. 5 in the top trends for 2020. In this report by Innova, Millennials (26-35) are enthusiastically welcoming the approach of playing around with texture, showing a clear preference for new combinations, or a twist on textures that transform traditional comfort food into something new: examples are Japanese fluffy or soufflé pancakes and Middle Eastern stretchy ice cream.
When playing with texture modifications, the food industry should carefully consider the ingredients to use to achieve the desired new characteristics. For years, clean label has been a relevant driver in the selection of meals. Consumers are mindful of their food and beverage choices. Although it has no legal or commonly accepted definition, clean label is pushing the industry to re-evaluate ingredients, formulations, and processes. It can be interpreted as “all natural”, “minimally processed,” and “non-GMO”. It can be seen as a demand for reducing the number of ingredients, avoiding those perceived to be artificial or synthetic, or substituting food additives (identified in Europe as E-numbers) with natural looking, “grandmother’s pantry” ingredients.
Inactive yeast and yeast autolysates are key ingredients for formulators: thanks to the cell wall composition, which is rich in mannoproteins, glucans, and chitin, they are both hydro- and lipophilic.
Did you know that inactive yeast is a natural emulsifier?
Its ability to bind water makes it an excellent “juiciness” retainer for meat-free and dairy-free alternatives. Playing with flakes instead of powder would also provide different textures, in breading and batters, as well as in rehydrated food matrixes.
To better understand the many different ways yeast ingredients fit into plant-based meals, visit our application area!