Natural and vegan-friendly: ingredient solutions for future-proof product development

Omya meets the plant-based consumer trend in Europe with modular distribution portfolio  

Swiss mineral expert Omya presents its 2021 European distribution portfolio of added value ingredients for the creation of products that meet emerging consumer demand. It focuses on colorants, flavors and vitamins suitable for natural and vegan clean label applications, such as meat replacers and milk alternatives. Thanks to global sourcing and a reliable network of suppliers the company is able to offer carefully selected specialities in small or large batches for specific individual processing challenges. A combination with the company’s own high-quality calcium minerals opens up endless options for easy to process all-round solutions.      

Market research institutes such as Mintel(1) are forecasting a long-term trend reversal in the food market after the corona crisis: As expectations in terms of quality continue to rise, so too will awareness of added health benefits and environmental compatibility. Stefan Lander, Vice President Consumer Goods, Group Sales & Marketing at Omya, explains: “The corona crisis has made people realise, once again, that the world is a holistic system that has to be treated with care. Finished products must therefore mirror this: They not only have to demonstrate a ’good for me’ factor but also communicate environmental credentials.” Consequently, consumer demand for natural, plant-based and vegan clean label applications is further emerging.

Omya is responding to these needs with ingredients such as Purple Sweet Potato Concentrate: this colorant is obtained by aqueous extraction of the tuber, providing more stability than fruit-based anthocyanins. The coloring shades from red to purple depend on the pH of the application. This ingredient perfectly replicates meat-like colors for plant-based burger patties or vegan sausages. Additionally, it provides a natural appearance for drinkable and spoonable dairy alternatives.

Another natural colorant is Safflower Extract: It’s obtained from the flower’s petals by aqueous extraction, resulting in a yellow to bright orange colour. Available in different concentrations, the liquid or powdered extract adds a lively tint to fruit preparations across a range of drinkable and spoonable dairy alternatives, resulting in the expected authentic appearance.

Responding to the need for genuine savory flavours, Yeast Extracts provide the typical umami and kokumi taste. Thanks to naturally occurring amino acids, glutamic acid being one of them, the anticipated taste of food is enhanced and defined. The ingredients are suitable for vegan and vegetarian diets, and can be labelled either as „yeast extracts“ or „natural flavors“. For meat alternatives, yeast extracts provide natural taste-masking, color and meat-like flavor. Moreover, they  contribute to salt reduction in a range of applications.

To support a vegan diet, fortification with Vitamin D3 and Vitamin B12 is desirable. Vitamin D3 increases the intestinal absorption of calcium, and plays an important role in calcium metabolism. Fatty fish is one of the few foods that naturally contain significant amounts, so it is understandable that vegans will seek out fortified alternatives. Vitamin B12, meanwhile, supports the nervous system and the development of red blood cells. As there are few non-animal sources of Vitamin B12, vegetarians and vegans, in particular, are advised to consume fortified foods or supplements.

Stefan Lander concludes: “Since our foundation in 1884, Omya has been committed to implementing the principles of sustainability at all company levels. So we are delighted to support contemporary consumer demands with added value products, and services, from responsibly sourced materials that meet the essential needs of current and future generations.”

1Mintel: Global Food and Drink Trends 2030
For further information, please visit: www.omya.com