Debic Vegantop is a new topping created by product developers with extensive experience and knowledge of dairy products. This has resulted in a 100% plant-based alternative to cream for whipping and decorating pastries. “However, the taste is very different from the unprocessed product — people often compare it to cream," says Debic’s Bettina...
Sourdough has its advantages. "With the right choice of flour and water, bakers can control the taste and texture of the sourdough bread themselves," says Caroline Vanderbauwede of Dossche Mills. "Dossche Mills supports artisanal bakers by offering personal demos and getting them started with sourdough themselves."
"We have the technology and knowledge to develop and produce a mince-like hybrid meat product with 50% meat and 50% vegetables," says Kristof Peeters of Equinox. He worked on this product along with oyster mushroom growers. "The mushroom stalks are a residual product that gives us the right quality."
Quinten Masijn, a doctoral student at KU Leuven, is researching how globular plant proteins can be applied in emulsified meat analogues, such as cooked sausage. His research focuses on drip loss and texture.
"The biggest challenge for food companies offering healthy products is ensuring that the label is understandable and transparent to Generation Z," says trend watcher Tom Palmaerts of Trendwolves. "They pay close attention to price."
“As well as bioactive food ingredients, we should focus on other products from residual streams and agricultural produce”, says Yang Zou of Ghent University’s VEG-i-TEC research centre. He gives three very different examples.
There is a trend in which highly active sports people are very serious about the taste of their sports health nutrition and its ease-of-use. “There is a shift taking place.”
The food and ingredients industry cannot escape a circular economy. A fact highlighted by the raw materials crisis. Jasper Bloemen of GLIMPS.bio shares his vision. “Corporate economic and societal costs are being addressed.”
“We have noticed a growing demand for personalised food, fuelled in part by an ageing population. Delicious and customised food is essential at every stage in life”, says Jean de Bethune of the West Flanders Development Agency, co-initiator of a new science centre, the Food Innovation Park.
The Draf in Galop project, which began in November 2022, oversees the draff (spent grain) valorisation chain from start to finish. Sustainability is a top priority for the De Leite and Westmalle breweries.
Consumer perception of food products is a prerequisite that food companies should certainly be aware of and consider in the product-development process. It often faces them with a dilemma. “One of that perception’s main influencers is the communication put out by the consumer health and food authorities.
“The challenges facing potato growers are also facing us”, says Leon Boer, Agro & Supply Chain Director for Farm Frites. The potato-product producer has 5 production sites, including one in Lommel, Belgium. “Just as important as energy costs, is product efficiency in the supply chain.”