Chr Hansen launches VEGA Culture Kit for fermented plant bases

Enables plant-based innovators to create customized features for their products
Chr Hansen launches VEGA Culture Kit for fermented plant bases
The VEGA Culture Kit comprises customizable starter cultures, probiotics, and bioprotective strains for dairy-free alternatives to yogurt.Photo - Chr Hansen

As dairy-free alternatives to yogurt, "vegurts", gain traction worldwide, competition continues to grow among producers striving to offer consumers tasty, healthy, and sustainable products. With this launch of the VEGA Culture Kit designed for optimal results across the full scope of plant bases, Chr Hansen aims to enhance its support of plant-based innovation.

The VEGA Culture Kit is comprised of customizable starter cultures, probiotics, and bioprotective strains. With its comprehensive kit of solutions, VEGA delivers simplicity with robust performance while offering producers the flexibility to create customized and differentiated features for their products in terms of taste, texture, health, and sustainability.

Elevating the art of fermented plant-based craftsmanship

"We are particularly excited about this launch because it allows us to apply our 145-year legacy of work within the dairy industry to this highly innovative and rapidly growing segment of the market. We aim to leverage our deep expertise in food fermentation and history of close collaboration with producers to help the industry elevate the art of fermented plant-based craftsmanship," says Dr Ross Crittenden, Chr Hansen's senior director for Commercial Development.

"Our track record of innovating, collaborating, and troubleshooting within the yogurt and fermented milk space has been instrumental in informing our design of the VEGA Culture Kit to fit the specific needs of the vegurt category," says Crittenden. "Because the composition of plant bases is more varied than traditional dairy products, it is essential to utilize cultures expertly selected to meet the performance demands of dairy-free applications. We designed the VEGA Culture Kit to be simple to use while still offering the flexibility to create differentiated products that satisfy the primary consumer drivers that power this growing category."

The VEGA Culture Kit offers producers the following benefits:

Enhanced taste and texture: VEGA offers an exciting innovation, a choice of starter cultures that can differentially drive flavor and texture in plant-based yogurts. This allows producers to optimize for specific product characteristics by selecting the cultures that yield their results.

Probiotic support: VEGA nu-trish blends of cultures enable consumers to enjoy the benefits of the world's most-researched probiotics, including Chr. Hansen's Bifidobacterium, BB-12, and Lactobacillus rhamnosus, LGG. These cultures have been designed specifically for use in plant bases to ensure convenient delivery of probiotics' correct serving and stability, all while delivering robust performance and clean flavor.

Boosted sustainability credentials: VEGA FreshQ culture solution supports a longer shelf life with superior freshness and fewer quality issues through the action of fermentation.

Customer support from ideation through to post-launch troubleshooting

"We hope our customers will appreciate our new VEGA cultures and come to see them as essential for crafting superior vegurts. We look forward to continuing our heritage of close collaboration and expert support of customers," concludes Crittenden.

VEGA customers enjoy ongoing, hands-on support from Chr Hansen's dedicated global team of plant-based fermentation experts and application laboratories, from ideation to post-launch troubleshooting. Chr Hansen also invests in consumer and market research within the industry to ensure alignment between consumer needs and VEGA cultures' features to plant-based products.

This allows Chr Hansen to offer additional support through tailored innovation sessions, concept samples, collaborative research and application assistance. By partnering with customers at every stage of product development, Chr Hansen aspires to set a new standard for quality and customer service, co-creating delicious vegurts with tastes and textures that can rival those of more traditional dairy offerings.

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