The trend for plant-based meat replacements has increased significantly over the last few years. The rise of the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this trend as more consumers are choosing food substitutes that are better for their personal health and the planet.
This shift to more of a flexitarian diet has resulted in a growing demand for new plant-based foods and vegan alternatives – especially ones that deliver an eating experience similar to that of conventional meat products. Manufacturers are looking for meatless options that will offer sustainable functional and nutritional value in the meat alternative category. All market and consumer data indicate that this segment will continue to grow with new protein sources and improvement in product offerings and application areas.
ICL's technical experts developed new protein solutions that enable the industry to create healthy, appetizing and environmentally sustainable meat alternatives. ROVITARIS® Alternative Protein Solutions are innovative technologies that provide meat-like texture from plant protein, such as pea and faba bean. The system delivers exceptional product quality and taste, allowing manufacturers to bring plant-based meat replacers and hybrid products to the market that are virtually indistinguishable from their traditional meat counterparts.
ROVITARIS solutions consist of three distinct technologies that are all vegan, allergen-free, kosher and halal certified, and non-GMO. They can also be utilized on their own or combined for even greater textural range and diversity. Each technology possesses its own strengths:
The natural color and fibrous meat-like texture of our ROVITARIS PX 1016 wet fibers perfectly suits white meat or seafood alternative applications, such as vegan chicken nuggets or fish sticks. The wet fibers come in fresh or frozen form and are ready to use as they do not require any additional hydration or preparation steps. This allows them to replace raw meat material and feed directly into the manufacturers' regular process.
The dry texturates enable particulation and mouthfeel that mimics ground meat products like hamburgers, meatballs or taco meat. When hydrated, the proteins form a fibrous, meat-like texture with a high water and oil binding capacity.
The ROVITARIS HS 1020 plant-based emulsion systems provide the clean flavor and snappy bite you expect from traditional meat-based hot dogs, sausages and deli meat. The excellent binding capabilities allow for perfect moisture retention, even during cooking, grilling and microwaving.
The flexibility of the ROVITARIS system allows for customized applications with limitless flavor, color, and texture options. The manufacturing process easily accommodates production equipment currently found in most meat processing operations, and ICL's technical application experts are available to assist customers with adapting the technology. This includes application recipe support as well as recommendations on how to deliver the desired end-product properties using the ROVITARIS binding system.
ICL's Food Specialties team won numerous innovation awards for this technology, including the 2019 FI Innovation Award: Protein Category and for their textured vegetable proteins using pea protein (ROVITARIS PX 365) and faba bean protein (ROVITARIS FBX 360). The technology also won the Most Innovative Ingredient Award at the 2018 Food Ingredients South America show.