The founders of Pennsylvanian-based startup Renmatix have developed a clean-label friendly processing technology that allows manufacturers to once again use cellulose as a plant-based alternative to eggs, fats and other emulsifiers and texturizing ingredients that have fallen out of favor.
The company’s Simple Cellulose, which is labeled on products under its branded name and launched at IFT’s annual summit in Chicago last year, “is not your father’s cellulose, which was chemically manipulated,” the company’s CEO Mike Hamilton told FoodNavigtor-USA.
Rather, he explained, Renmatix has developed a new technology that uses water, high pressure and temperature to “extract and pull out the valuable constituents of a plant, which can then be isolated and used in food ingredient applications to replace other materials” that are either unpopular among consumers or more expensive.
For example, he said, Simple Cellulose is a more cost-effective, plant-based and allergy-friendly alternative to eggs in baked goods.
“We can save users significantly – up to 50% of their egg purchases in baked goods, such as muffins, brownies and chocolate chip cookies” without impacting the taste or texture, he said, adding this will become even more important as consumers increasingly look for vegan and plant-based options and as the deadline nears for many large corporations’ commitments to use only cage-free eggs, which likely will cause a significant shortage.
Similarly, by swapping Simple Cellulose for eggs, manufacturers will be able to expand their consumer base to include the nearly 15 million Americans living with a food allergy, one of the most common of which is to eggs, he added.
Partnering with The Ingredient House
To help bring its ingredient to as many manufacturers as possible, the young company recently teamed with The Ingredient House to distribute Simple Cellulose.
“I have always been a fan of The Ingredient House in terms of their focus on products that offer advantages to the marketplace,” but “which may require an extra level of education to fully understand the innovation and benefit to the marketplace,” Hamilton said.
He added, “We anticipate seeing a lot of success and adoption from their customers over the course of the year for Simple Cellulose as a valuable ingredient.”
Even though Renmatix is focused for now on expanding access and distribution of Simple Cellulose in baking applications, for now, Hamilton said the company is exploring other ways to make the ingredient available across categories, such as in meats, soups and sauces. It also is looking to expand distribution beyond just the US to other countries and markets, he said.
In addition, Hamilton said, Renmatix is looking for other ways it can use its water-based technology, which it calls the Plantrose Process, to launch other products in the coming years.
“We see ourselves as an innovator and want to be helpful, and this is hopefully just the first of many ingredients we can offer as help for the industry,” he said.