These days, more and more consumers are turning to alternative proteins for their diets, focusing on ideals of health, ethics and sustainability.
Though popular in the ground meat format, with the advance of technology, we are beginning to see alternative proteins crop up in all forms of consumption.
Beyond the basic burger and nuggets, we’re seeing items like seafood and filet mignon. The past few years have focused on beef and chicken flavors, but pork seems to be on the rise with plant-based bacon taking priority.
But how can we create tasty and satisfying meat alternatives? Kalsec has developed a wave of innovative solutions centered on crafting an authentic experience. Of course, the appearance and texture are important factors when considering consumer acceptance, but the most important component of any food is the flavor. With our garden and pantry of flavors, Kalsec has been able to build classic combinations that mimic all our favorite foods.
But how do we start?
- Understanding how the flavor is developed in the meat with the flavor precursors and cooking conditions is the first step. How do we take a raw beef patty and create a perfect American burger? How do we put this perfect American burger flavor in an alternative protein base? We start by building a flavor base of middle notes that are developed using reaction flavors. Reaction flavors contribute to the “meatiness” of a profile because the reaction mimics the cooking process that creates the meat flavors and aromas. These can include notes like grilled and roasted as well as the identifiers of chicken, beef and pork.
- Now that we have created our base, we can turn to our cabinet of herbs and seasonings. These are used to elevate the meaty flavor base, like adding coriander and ginger with a dash of pepper to create a Middle Eastern-inspired chicken shawarma flavor. Caramelized onion and fried shallot can add a culinary inspired depth of flavor to an otherwise flat meat base. While a complex blend of black pepper, fennel, garlic, anise and paprika can create a classic pepperoni flavor. There are endless combinations of meatiness and flavor that can evoke classic cuisines from across the globe. It’s not just about the Great American Hamburger anymore, there are so many more options available!
- The finishing touch is Kalsec’s garden of colors to create a visually appealing product by adding shades of pink and brown that can mimic the cooking process. We select natural ingredients like beet and annatto to achieve those just-barely-there pink colors of a fresh grilled medium-rare hamburger.
In the end, with meatiness, flavor and color, Kalsec has been able to build an alternative protein option from the ground up, all while maintaining the best-in-taste and experience, from first sight to first bite.