DENMARK – Two leading ingredient solutions companies, CP Kelco and Chr. Hansen, have combined their expertise and technology to develop shelf-stable plant-based yogurt alternatives called vegurts.

The companies said they have developed industrially validated prototypes of “next level” drinkable and spoonable shelf-stable vegurts that will allow manufacturers to respond to the growing demand for great-tasting plant-based dairy.

Within the plant-based yogurt categories, Chr. Hansen noted that manufacturers and retailers have recognized the advantages of shelf-stable products, which can reduce food waste and increase geographical reach.

This has enabled the market to witness a rise in consumer demand for healthier and more sustainable food choices, which has driven a plethora of plant-based options compared to traditional dairy products.

Vantage Market Research projects the global plant-based yogurt market valued at US$1,329.5 Million in the year 2021, to reach a value of US$3,871.6 Million by 2028, exhibiting a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 19.5% over the forecast period.

For consumers, the companies argued that the market boom means convenience, and a preferred choice if products deliver great taste, texture, and nutrition, similar to animal dairy, which vegurts do.

Chr. Hansen came up with the term vegurt upon the launch of its fermentation solutions for plant-based products in 2020. The Danish ingredient expert recently launched a range of cultures to keep alt meat fresh for longer.

CP Kelco, which works with food, beverage, consumer, and industrial products manufacturers worldwide, earlier this year launched a range of nature-based ingredients solutions for alternative meats.

By working together, Christian Gilleladen, principal application scientist at Chr. Hansen, believes the companies have been able to unlock the synergies between ingredients and processes to produce a variety of desired thicknesses and mouthfeel.

She added: “The technological challenge to produce both spoonable and drinkable ambient vegurts with great nutrition, taste, and texture is significant.”

“Selecting the right culture to provide fermentation performance, texture, and flavor for each recipe, and having these complement the stabilization and flavor systems, is critical to making great products.”

According to Anne Sinha, marketing director at CP Kelco, this collaboration represents a new way of helping our respective customers accelerate their product development and access technical application support globally.

To date, a range of vegurt prototypes are available to food producers for tasting, and the partners said the prototype recipes can be tweaked to meet specific requirements for sugar, protein, fat, texture, and flavor.

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