New carrot-based EXBERRY color enables red meat alternatives to change shade during cooking

Plant-based breakthrough
New carrot-based EXBERRY color enables red meat alternatives to change shade during cooking
Photo - GNT

A breakthrough development from EXBERRY Coloring Foods supplier GNT means manufacturers can now create clean-label red meat alternatives that change color during the cooking process.

Made from carrots and emulsifier-free, the EXBERRY Compound Red range allows plant-based products to imitate the color of raw meat before appearing to become rare, medium, or well-done when heated.

The range can be used in combination with different EXBERRY Coloring Foods to create tailormade shades for meat substitute products including burgers, sausages, minced meat, and meatballs.

The innovation is the result of GNT’s investment in and collaboration with ETH Zurich spin-off company microPow, which developed a patented technology to encapsulate ingredients. The natural encapsulation solution melts when the temperature increases to release the color concentrate.

Developing meat substitutes that match up to modern consumer expectations has previously proved a significant challenge for manufacturers. Research shows that replicating the appearance and behavior of animal protein is essential to maximize plant-based products’ appeal, particularly among those who also eat meat. However, 69% of consumers worldwide also say it is important that meat substitutes are naturally formulated.

With the launch of EXBERRY Compound Autumn Red and EXBERRY Compound Fall Forest Red, it is now possible to create highly realistic red meat alternatives while supporting the clean and clear ingredient lists that shoppers demand.

Frederik Hoeck, managing director, GNT Group, said, “Today’s consumers want clean-label meat substitutes that look and behave just like animal products – and the EXBERRY Compound Red range can provide the perfect solution. It allows products to mimic the appearance of animal protein both before and after cooking, opening up exciting new possibilities for the next generation of plant-based meat.”

Based on the principle of coloring food with food, EXBERRY products are made from edible fruit, vegetables, and plants using gentle, physical processes such as chopping and boiling.

To ensure the highest level of quality and year-round availability, GNT controls the entire EXBERRY supply chain, with cultivation and harvesting monitored by the company’s agricultural engineers.

A review of research on plant‐based meat alternatives: Driving forces, history, manufacturing, and consumer attitudes’ Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety (2020)

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