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Tree Top
Ingredients

Clean label fruit ingredients solutions in the plant based meat space

8/12/2021  By Kjersten Braaten

Clean label fruit ingredients solutions in the plant based meat space

Meeting consumer sensory expectations of meat with regards to appearance, texture, and flavor is crucial to the success of plant-based meat analogs. Tree Top fruit ingredients offer a clean label solution that can help improve taste, provide texture, and deliver color in plant-based meat applications.

Taste

Tree Top’s FrutectantTM is a blended fruit flake powder made from apples, pears, and plums. The three fruits are pureed, finished to remove seeds and stems, drum-dried, and milled to a 35-mesh powder. FrutectantTM can be used to replace fat and provide humectancy, bulking, and moisture control. 

Fat is essential in meat analogs to carry the savory flavor and juicy mouthfeel throughout the eating experience. The fat level in many plant-based burgers on the market is around 20 grams per patty.

In a consumer test where panelists were asked about the fat levels in popular plant-based burgers, 54% of panelists indicated they would prefer a fat reduction with a majority of the group preferring a 10-20% reduction, about 16-18 grams of total fat per patty.

While liquid and solid fat is a necessary ingredient in plant-based meat formulations, we found that using

FrutectantTM at 3.5% in a typical patty formulation can successfully replace up to 50% of the fat.

In our consumer test, panelists tasted a standard plant-based burger and a plant-based burger with 3.5% FrutectantTM added. The JAR (Just About Right) score results indicated that the burger with FrutectantTM was significantly juicier and had significantly less aftertaste compared to the standard burger.

FrutectantTM is a fruit ingredient that is carefully blended for neutral flavor profile to enhance flavors with a hint of sweet/tart fruit. FrutectantTM allows you to offer great tasting, healthy products with fewer fat and calories.

Texture

Tree Top’s air-dried Apple Dices and Apple Grind are ingredient offerings that stand out for excellent texture. Our air-dried apple dices are made from apples that have been washed, sorted, peeled, cored, diced, then dried down to the specified moisture.

Apple grind is made from air dried apple dices that are processed through an industrial grinder. During the process, dried apple dices are fed by a screw auger to a die plate. The apple pieces are extruded through the die plate holes (1/8 – 5/64” are available). On the other side of the plate, a blade continually sweeps across the surface to chop the pieces into a fine or coarse grind.

We recommend small evaporated moisture dices, such as ¼ x ¼ x ¼ dices, as inclusions in plant-based sausage applications. At 16-18%, evaporated moisture dices are chewy and bouncy in texture that pair well with the meat-like texture of sausage analogs.

Grind is a unique ingredient for plant-based meat analogs because of the non-homogenous texture it provides similar to ground meat. We recommended using grind to add texture in applications like meatballs or roasts.

Color

Tree Top’s Apple Juice Concentrate is a natural way to enhance sweetness and can also make an impact on color in plant-based analog applications. Browning and char marks are critical to the appearance of plant-based meat analogs to deliver a similar eating experience as browned ground meat or barbequed meat.

Apple Juice Concentrate is caramel in color and will add color to applications. Additionally, in the presence of heat, the reducing sugars in Apple Juice Concentrate will undergo the Maillard reaction and enhance browning of plant-based burgers, sausages, or marinated chicken.

Did you know Tree Top’s R&D team works with customers to help formulate creative and unique solutions for our customer’s specific needs. We are ready to get started on your next new product.

Contact us today or request a sample here.