Improved taste helps boost consumer impression of plant-based protein foods

Consumers around the world want more protein in their food — especially in convenience products like bars and snacks. They also want those items to taste good. In the past, those two goals often weren’t compatible, and that was before the issue of added sugar vs. artificial sweeteners entered the mix.

Another issue? The type of protein used as an ingredient also pays a role. Products made with animal proteins have long held a significant market share. In recent years, however, the rise of plant-based protein has allowed manufacturers to tout vegan options, which play into the consumer mindset of healthier living. Their use, however, has increased challenges when it comes to modulating taste and texture.

To help bridge those gaps, and allow manufacturers to get closer to what consumers want, Sensient offers a wide range of protein-masking solutions, says Keera Perumbala, marketing manager, in a recent issue of the Natural Products INSIDER digital magazine.

“Not all proteins are created equally,” Perumbala told the magazine, pointing out the importance of masking solutions also being label-friendly, completely natural and tailored to suit consumers’ needs. “Throw in the newer plant-based protein sources, and that mix becomes even more complicated. Our toolbox of solutions provides a range of products that work in tandem with each other to mask high proteins and help brands achieve the best taste that consumers crave.”

This also holds true for protein drinks, where the first step to making a great-tasting protein-based product can be as simple as choosing a flavor that is complementary to the off-note producers. For example, orange flavors marry well with compounds that carry salty or astringent notes, whereas vanilla and chocolate flavors can work with sour-type off-notes from dairy proteins.

Whatever the product, continued innovation will be vital to ensuring that producers of protein-heavy foods and beverages have all the masking options they need to maintain and grow market share.

Read more at Natural Products Insider.

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