Transforming the taste of plant-based meat alternatives

Our unique approach combines post-texturizing flavor marinating with strategies to maximize performance. The end result? A more impactful, authentic meat flavor.

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Late last year, we launched an entirely new approach to transform the taste experience of meat substitutes that are created from wet extruded textured vegetable protein.

Traditionally, flavor has been added after the texturizing process. This leads to significant loss of volatiles during consumer preparation and produces an intense, but short-lived experience during mastication. Adding flavor before extrusion is not commonly done because it adversely affects product texture and the flavor is degraded and quenched by the texturizing process.

These are the technical challenges solved by our new approach. Givaudan has extensively researched how to optimally flavor high moisture extruded soy protein, resulting in strategies that maximize performance and produce a much longer lasting authentic meat flavor. When you combine this with post-texturizing marination, you get a plant-based taste and texture experience that accurately replicates real meat.

“Textured vegetable protein, typically soya, has long been a staple of meat substitutes with the texture created by transforming the globular vegetable protein into long fibers that are typical in meat,” explains Flavio Garofalo, Global Category Director, Savoury Flavours and Natural Ingredients. “Vegetable protein’s globular format is transformed into longer fibres to produce a meat-like texture by extrusion, essentially a kneading process similar to that of bread making. This has been successful in terms of texture, but not so much in terms of taste.”

“It is almost as much of an art as a science. In addition to great flavor, there is also texture and mouthfeel to consider, and we have developed the whole package,” adds Garofalo.

This new flavor technique is supported by skilled and knowledgeable food scientists who can create the optimum texture and appearance for applications such as meat-free chicken pieces, nuggets, burgers and other applications for high moisture TVP.

Follow up with Matt McGuffey,, with any questions or inquiries on our state-of-the-art alternative savory product technologies.

Stephen Collins

Head of Communications, NOAM Flavors, Givaudan

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