NETHERLANDS – Royal DSM, a global science-based company in Nutrition, Health, and Bioscience, has developed Delvo Plant Go, a novel enzyme that can improve production efficiency by reducing hydrolysis time by 30% during the manufacturing of oat milk as a dairy-free alternative.

The company said while consumer demand for oat-based products is growing leading to manufacturers ramping up production, the category isn’t immune to the current difficulties around volatile energy prices and the constant pressure to deliver delicious, nutritious, and sustainably produced products.

The popularity of plant-based milk alternatives has pushed the global oat-based milk market into rapid expansion.

According to Grand View Research, the oat milk market was valued at US$155m in 2018, climbed to a value of US$2.23bn in 2020, and will grow at a CAGR of 14.2% to 2028, growing at a faster rate than soy, the market-share leader among plant-based beverages.

Part of the appeal of oat-based milk lies in its fuller, creamier texture compared to other alt milk; a flavor profile not entirely dissimilar to dairy milk, and environmental credentials that are hard to beat even by several other plant-based alternatives.

The Dutch company showed concerns about the long processing time of oat milk that is currently employed, highlighting that production of 1L of oat milk still requires around 48L of water compared to 28L for soy, taking around three hours in total, not counting recovery time.

The process of hydrolysis through which the beverage is developed requires two distinct stages requiring different temperatures, that is liquefaction, which involves breaking down oat starches into dextrins, and saccharification, where the dextrins are then broken down further into glucose.

DSM explained that its new enzyme can complete the two processes in a single step, reducing hydrolysis time by 30%.

 Delvo Plant Go, part of the company’s enzyme portfolio, has been specifically designed for oat-based drinks manufacture and cannot be used for developing other dairy milk alternatives, not to impact the taste or texture of the final product, while also supporting organic and GMO-free formulations.

This enzyme is particularly important to manufacturers who have to carefully choose the right enzyme or enzyme combinations to not adversely affect beverage traits such as viscosity, mouthfeel, and flavor in oat beverages.

Ben Rutten, Global Business Manager, Milk & Plant-based Dairy Alternatives at DSM, stated: “The enzyme solution can be incorporated into existing manufacturing processes and removes the need for the oat solution to be heated and maintained at 70°C for liquefication, then cooled and maintained at 50°C for saccharification.”

 With Delvo Plant Go, manufacturers can carry out the whole hydrolysis process in a single step, at a temperature of 60°C – reducing the total time from three to two hours.”

He added that the improvements result in increased capacity or reduced costs – something that is particularly important given the current volatility in the energy market.

Delvo Plant Go is available now worldwide and forms part of DSM’s combined portfolio for plant-based dairy alternatives, which also includes stabilizers, taste modulators, flavors, sweeteners, nutritional premixes, proteins, and color solutions.

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