The Ingredient House and Renmatix primed to scale maple fiber egg replacement

By Mary Ellen Shoup contact

- Last updated on GMT

Photo: Renmatix
Photo: Renmatix

Related tags: IFT show, Allergen, egg replacement, Ingredients, Bakery ingredients

The Ingredient House (TIH) and Renmatix are scaling up the production of a plant-based egg replacement ingredient made from maple fiber and water using a patented water-based extraction process.

Previously called Simply Cellulose​, TIH and Renmatix relaunched the ingredient as 'Nouravant​' (a combination of 'nourishing' and 'avant', meaning new or innovative). 

"This is a first to the world ingredient,"​ TIH CEO, Graham Hall, told FoodNavigator-USA at the IFT show in New Orleans this week, adding that Nouravant can serve as a complete replacement for eggs in bakery formulations offering a 25% to 50% cost savings for manufacturers as maple fiber isn't subject to the same volatility as the egg market, which has been hit by Avian flu and salmonella outbreaks in recent years.

Hall came across Renmatix at last year's IFT show in Chicago in July 2018, and by December 2018 had brought the Pennsylvania-based company under its portfolio of brands. According to Hall, he saw massive market opportunity in Renmatix's super critical water process called Plantrose, which converts a variety of plant-based materials into multifunctional and cost-effective materials using heat, pressure, and water to gently release the essential polymers, cellulose and lignin from the plant to produce a clean label emulsifier.

Senior vice president of Renmatix, Mark S. Schweiker, explained that it all comes down to the particle size at the end of water-based extraction process. The company's Plantrose system, creates micro-crystal particles that enable better emulsification properties.

Clean label baking applications

While the Plantose Process works with a variety of plant-based materials, Renmatix is using the fiber extracted from maple chips [maple bark, which grows back each year so maple trees are not cut down to produce the ingredient] as the main ingredient of Nouravant. 

"Using maple chips allows a very predictable cost structure and diminished risk for food manufacturers,"​ Schweiker said. It also gives formulators a clean label edge as Nouravant would appear on an ingredient deck as just "water and maple fiber"​, according to the company.

Applications for Nouravant range from soups and sauces to meat and dairy products, but the company's first core focus will be on the bakery market, particularly the vegan and allergen-friendly segment, a market that's expected to double in size by 2025, according to ResearchandMarkets. 

'It's going to be a game changer'

To make sure its plant-based egg replacement worked well in formulations, Renmatix approached bakery shops and had bakers "play around"​ with Nouravant as an egg replacement. The response from bakeries was overwhelmingly positive, according to Schweiker, giving the brand some strong wind in its sails to target the CPG industry next and expand marketing efforts.

Thomas Yager, executive chef at Taste Unlimited LLC, commented, “It only took us a minute to convert the recipe and it turned out as good as, if not better than, the original. It’s an easy supplement as far as food costs and being able to make the switch from eggs to an egg replacement. It’s going to be a game-changer.”

Nouravant can add texture to food and boost the moisture content (a formulaton struggle for vegan and allergen-free food) while extending the shelf life of packaged foods, according to the company. To meet the high level of interest TIH and Renmatix has received during IFT, production of Nouravant is set to ramp up at Renmatix’s food grade-certified facility in Kennesaw, Georgia, which recently received its SQF certification. 

"Our proof of concept is established, now our strategic priority is to scale the business,"​ Hall said. 

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