IFF to improve alternative meat capabilities, invests in Coperion’s HME technology

By Deniz Ataman

- Last updated on GMT

Image: Getty/Vladimir Mironov
Image: Getty/Vladimir Mironov

Related tags Extrusion plant-based meat IFF Nourish

By investing in Coperion’s high-moisture extrusion (HME) technology, which improves sensory attributes like texture and appearance of plant-based meat alternatives, IFF will incorporate its flavor and ingredient expertise from its Re-Imagine Protein Innovation program with the goal of offering seamless product design for its customers, according to a recent press release.

The integration between Coperion’s HME technology and IFF’s Re-imagine Protein Innovation program is intended to address key challenges in plant-based meat alternatives, by creating new, cutting-edge meat alternatives for IFF’s customers to replicate sensorial qualities of conventional whole-muscle meat.

With IFF’s recent installation of HME systems across its hubs in Europe, US and Singapore, its facilities will “feature highly precise powder and liquid feeds, ensuring both high-quality production and remarkable flexibility,” the company stated.

Expected to reach $35.1bn by 2032, the plant-based meat alternative market​ is poised for growth; however, the industry has faced barriers in meeting consumers’ shifting preferences for sustainable, clean and near-identical taste experiences to traditional meat, including mimicking the complex textures, mouthfeel and flavor profiles of conventional meat.

Despite these hurdles, technology is shaping the industry’s progress. The use of HME is growing across the industry, accounting for 20% of plant-based meat products worldwide​, according to Good Food Institute data. In contrast, low moisture extrusion (LME), which accounts for 80% of global plant-based meat volume, is still the dominant method due to higher production outputs, cost efficiency, shelf-stability and broader availability worldwide.

However, GFI data suggest that HME use will grow modestly as more companies explore its benefits for plant-based meat and seafood products with advantages like increased juiciness and muscle-like texture.

Coperion’s global key account manager, John Sheehy, remarked that its HME testing will help “develop the next-generation of fibrous plant-based proteins,” adding that the technology “offers a huge range of possibilities for the future. Especially as concerns about feeding a fast-growing global population in a healthy and sustainable way mount.”

The integration between Coperion’s HME technology and IFF’s Re-imagine Protein Innovation program is intended to create new, cutting-edge meat alternatives for IFF’s customers that improve both sensory attributes and cost effectiveness, “supporting them all the way from ideation to commercialization, ultimately allowing our customers to develop successful products faster,” Alexander Lamm, principal food designer, Nourish, IFF, expressed.

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