Edlong - Growing Your Plant-Based Business - 5

Challenges of Plant-Based Cheese
The benchmark for plant-based cheese is
the real thing. Consumers are looking for a
product that looks the same, has the same
properties as the real deal, and tastes good
and familiar.
From Concept to
Taking flavors from concept to application
in plant-based cheese to create a similar
taste experience to its dairy predecessor
is an intricate process, Enriquez says.
" Once I have a neutral base, I start
building the desired profile (what we call
layering). I can use a flavor with specific
yeasty/savory notes, and then add a
Cheddar flavor that will help me with
the sour/sharp characteristic, " she says.
" A butter or cream flavor will round out
the profile from beginning to end while
adding some mouthfeel perception. This
process could take several iterations, as
we need to ensure we have balance and
ensure that the flavor delivers in the way
consumers expect. Once I have a product
that is liked at the bench, I pass it to the
sensory department, where they test how
close the product is to the original target
we declared at the beginning of the
project. "
The ideal is to a create cheese that
is indistinguishable from its dairy
counterpart, Enriquez shares. But
as more ingredients are added to
fortify the product, the profile gets
more complicated, and it becomes a
challenge to get closer to the real thing.
For food manufacturers and their food
scientists, the key to success in this
competitive market hinges on solving
these challenges, so they can deliver on
consumer taste expectations.
Animal-based cheese is a challenge to
replicate because of its complexity,
explains Edlong's Sensory Manager, Julie
Drainville. " You have different matrices
that make up the base for a plant-based
cheese, and they play a big role in the
texture. You're trying to balance getting
the texture right while minimizing offnotes. "
cheese, as mentioned above, is
made from milk. The culturing and ripening
process of natural Cheddar cheese breaks
down protein and fat over time, imparting
a rich, complex product. A plant-based
cheese will not have the calcium or protein
levels of traditional or dairy-based cheese,
so when proteins such as pea, rice, or soy
are added, they will alter the product's taste
or functionality.
Drainville says that's why manufacturers
must go back to make sure the end
formula meets their quality expectations,
as well as any label claims they are trying
to meet.
" As formulations are created, it is crucial to
get the correct ratio of essential ingredients
to optimize your product based on the
manufacturer's targets, " she adds.
A typical manufacturer may develop a
formula for a product, test it, and just before
it's ready for production, add the flavor. But
this sequence, Drainville says, often hinders
optimal outcome. " Instead, working with the
flavor company from the beginning helps
optimize the formulation, " she says. " If we do
some of the research upfront, it accelerates
the R&D time and the commercialization
process for our customers. "

Edlong - Growing Your Plant-Based Business

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Edlong - Growing Your Plant-Based Business

Edlong - Growing Your Plant-Based Business - 1
Edlong - Growing Your Plant-Based Business - 2
Edlong - Growing Your Plant-Based Business - 3
Edlong - Growing Your Plant-Based Business - 4
Edlong - Growing Your Plant-Based Business - 5
Edlong - Growing Your Plant-Based Business - 6