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Plant-based alternatives: DSM launches portfolio of enzymes for booming dairy-free space

June 18, 2020
Food & Drink

Royal DSM has launched its DelvoPlant range of enzymes for optimizing the taste, texture and sweetness of plant-based beverages.

These enzymes increase the solubility of protein, reduce viscosity and improve mouthfeel while unlocking the natural sweetness of raw materials such as rice, soy and oats. The range expands DSM’s reach in the dairy alternatives space.

While the traditional dairy segment remains strong, the launch of the DelvoPlant range of enzymes comes as demand for plant-based dairy alternative solutions continues to grow worldwide, driven by a major shift in eating habits with increasing numbers of consumers adopting flexitarian, vegetarian and vegan diets.

Plant-based beverages are particularly popular in the dairy-free space, with rice and oat-based drinks expected to outpace the rest of the market over the next few years.

Crafting a winning recipe of plant-based drinks and yogurt is complex when it comes to taste, texture, mouthfeel, sweetness, and matching regional consumer preference, according to DSM. One of the major hurdles in creating dairy alternative drinks is to overcome taste challenges including sweetness. The DelvoPlant enzymes allow brands to develop and market premium dairy alternatives such as cereal- and non-cereal-based drinks.

Alongside the new DelvoPlant enzymes, it features Gellaneertm hydrocolloids, ModuMax taste modulation solutions, Quali vitamins, and DSM premix solutions for plant-based beverages and yogurts. This is complemented by DSM’s expert services, including local formulation, application, technical and sales support.

To differentiate their offering in this evolving commercial landscape, brands must create dairy alternatives that not only support these lifestyles but are also tasty and meet the needs of today’s increasingly discerning consumers. Developing wholesome products with great taste and texture as well as high nutritional value can, however, be challenging, and accounting for regional variations in preferences for the sweetness of plant-based drinks can make the product development process even more complex.

Enhancing mouthfeel and sweetness
The DelvoPlant enzyme portfolio can help brands overcome these challenges by making the elements naturally present in raw materials such as rice and oats more soluble and easier to process, enhancing the mouthfeel and sweetness of plant-based drinks.

Depending on the application, the enzymes can unlock glucose and/or maltose to help manufacturers create healthier dairy alternative beverages without added sugar, to offer sweetness that can be tailored to align with local market preferences.

The new DelvoPlant enzyme range also improves the availability of minerals and in oat-based drinks, these solutions can reduce the gluten content to create strong appeal for an even broader range of consumers, notes the company.

“The market for plant-based dairy alternatives continues to go from strength to strength, but delivering a consumer-friendly sensory profile without compromising on health appeal has long been a complex challenge,” says Ben Rutten, the Global Business Manager for Milk at DSM.

“This is why we’ve made it our mission to bring high-quality, future-proof solutions for plant-based drink varieties to the market. With DSM’s DelvoPlant enzymes and wider portfolio of solutions for dairy alternatives, our customers can create winning plant-based beverages with the taste, texture and sweetness that consumers desire, as well as an enriched nutritional profile, allowing them to stand out in the booming dairy-free space.”

DSM aims to support the agri-food sector by delivering high-quality, sustainable and nutritionally valuable protein products, from animal and plant-based sources, that are accessible, affordable and appealing.

Alternative dairy market dynamics and NPD
DSM’s latest enzyme launch taps into a multitude of Innova Market Insights’ Top Ten Trends 2020 which pegs the “The Plant-Based Revolution” as the second most significant trend influencing NPD this year, fueled by growing consumer awareness of the impact of meat consumption on both personal and planetary health.

The rise of the “The Plant-Based Revolution” trend is motivating traditional dairy producers to branch out and the dairy industry is responding with innovations focusing on other Innova Market Insights Top Ten Trends 2020, including “The Right Bite,” “Macronutrient Makeover,” “Tapping into Texture” and “Hello Hybrids,” further developing its emphasis on health and pleasure.

“The Right Bite” trend describes the quest of busy consumers to maintain healthy lifestyles, both physically and mentally, raising the demand for nutritious foods that are easy to prepare, convenient and portable.

Meanwhile, the “Macronutrient Makeover” trend highlights attention being paid to changing perceptions of macronutrient content and balance, not only in dairy but in food and drinks as a whole. Low-/no-sugar currently leads as the claim with the strongest influence on purchasing decisions in a 2019 Innova Consumer Survey (UK, the US, Spain, France, Brazil, Germany, Mexico and China).

According to this report, consumers prioritize sugar reduction above low fat and low-calorie claims. As a result, natural sugar-reducing solutions are in high demand in dairy, with the use of cultures and enzymes, that also have clean label benefits, being an area of particular interest.

The “Tapping into Texture” trend focuses on consumers’ increasing recognition of the influence of texture on dairy, allowing a heightened sensory experience and often a greater feeling of indulgence. According to Innova Market Insights research, 45 percent of US and UK consumers are influenced by texture when buying food and beverages, while 68 percent share the opinion that textures contribute to a more interesting eating experience.

By: Gaynor Selby

Source: Food Ingredients First

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