An increase in the demand for plant-based diets has led to a European food producer expanding its range of vegan ingredients and products.
In response to the surge in demand, European Freeze Dry, which provides freeze dried ingredients to the food and beverage sector, has developed a range of meat alternatives.
The freeze dried ingredient specialist has been working on vegan mince, made from vegetable protein, and vegan chicken, made from wheat and soya protein, as it grows its offering. This follows the launch of its freeze dried jackfruit with its versatile uses, its texture and the opportunities for use in pot meals as a replacement for pulled pork or chicken.
A study conducted by Berlin-based vegan supermarket chain Veganz revealed that the number of vegans in Europe has doubled in just four years from 1.3million to 2.6million, with the vegan trend strongest in Germany and more than 30 per cent of Europeans saying they are consciously consuming less meat.
Sarah Lacey, sales development manager for European Freeze Dry, said: “We’re seeing a rising demand for vegan products in the last 12 months. People are seeking a greater variety of meat alternatives – whether that’s as a result of lifestyle choices or requirements due to allergies.
“When developing these products, it’s important to consider that often people want to feel as though they are consuming something which is very similar to meat – that’s why the texture and consistency of an ingredient such as jackfruit has made it so popular, because it can replicate the same experience of eating pulled pork.
“Vegan chicken and mince will provide a lot of versatility, resulting in the development of a broader range of vegan meals and making existing favourites such as bolognaise or chilli available for a vegan diet.
“Trials have been very successful and we look forward to launching new products in due course. In the meantime, our most popular vegan products continue to be diced sweet potato, black-eyed beans, turtle beans, diced beetroot and caramelised onion – as well as jackfruit which is quickly becoming sought-after.”
At European Freeze Dry, all products for freeze drying start as frozen raw materials, and undergo a process known as sublimation under specifically designed programmes.
The reduction in water in the final freeze dried product means there is a much reduced potential for microorganisms existing in such low amounts of water, leading to a shelf life of up to two years at room temperature.
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