Kemin Industries, a global ingredient manufacturer that strives to sustainably transform the quality of life every day for 80 percent of the world with its products and services, recently highlighted label-friendly antioxidant solutions that help brands maintain taste and texture of refrigerated, plant-based meat alternatives.

Consumer demand for ready-to-cook plant-based meat alternatives is pushing brands to go beyond traditional freezer offerings into convenient, refrigerated products. Retail sales of plant-based meat alternatives reflect a shift happening in a dynamic category, as consumers bypass frozen products in favor of refrigerated ones.

“Many consumers want to reduce meat intake while maintaining protein consumption, so they are substituting with plant-based meat alternatives that offer a taste and texture similar to meat,” said Courtney Schwartz, Marketing Director, Kemin Food Technologies – Americas. “While shoppers are looking for these ‘better-for-you’ products to promote health and wellbeing, they are also mindful of choosing products that are convenient and easy to prepare. As manufacturers move from solely frozen, plant-based meat alternatives to new refrigerated options, protecting product integrity is critical to ensuring taste and meat-like texture remain intact.”

The Good Food Institute shared recent SPINSscan data reflecting rapid growth, as sales of refrigerated plant-based burgers grew 123 percent over the past year and a massive 555 percent over the past two years. By comparison, frozen plant-based burger growth declined by four percent over the past year and grew at only one percent over the past two years.

“This shift towards fresh vs. frozen leaves brands facing product quality challenges, as oxidation becomes an issue,” said Schwartz. “Now, you have a refrigerated product that is exposed to light oxidation, decreasing shelf life and quality much quicker. Fat systems are a key component of great-tasting, plant-based meat alternatives, yet the oxidation of fat and oil components in these products is a common challenge for brands. It can be very difficult to deliver the texture and flavor consumers desire, if your product isn’t properly protected from oxidation.”

Kemin offers a portfolio of clean-label solutions to help brands control oxidation and maintain the freshness and quality of these products. FORTIUM R rosemary extract offers many benefits for oxidation control of plant-based meat alternative products, including:

  • Label-friendly oxidation control
  • Shelf-life extension
  • Delay of flavor degradation to maintain taste and texture
  • Color retention so products maintain visual appeal
  • Domestically grown, organic options available
  • Oil- or water-dispersible and dry or liquid forms in a variety of concentrations

Kemin is one of the largest growers of vertically integrated rosemary in the world and the only supplier that is Sustainably Grown Certified by SCS Global Services. With a proprietary rosemary extraction process that delivers a highly refined, homogeneous solution, Kemin offers a more consistent extract that contains standardized levels of carnosic acid. Their vertical integration, combined with plant selection competencies and manufacturing process, differentiates Kemin from other rosemary extract suppliers in the world.

Kemin also offers in-house Customer Laboratory Services (CLS) to help customer-partners get to market faster.

“Our CLS team provides dedicated support throughout all phases of testing to understand the influences of all food ingredients on the stability of your final product,” said Schwartz. “Whether you are formulating a new product or reformulating an existing one, our CLS team can reduce testing time and meet your go-to-market goals.”

To find out more about the Kemin portfolio of antioxidant solutions for plant-based meat alternatives, click here.