Balchem expands plant-based dairy capabilities with cold-water soluble oat creamer

By Ryan Daily

- Last updated on GMT

Source: Getty Images/ agrobacter
Source: Getty Images/ agrobacter

Related tags plant-based milk

Ingredient provider Balchem revealed VitalBlend Oat 2540, a cold-water-soluble creamer, designed to capitalize on demands for plant-based milks, Josephine Nakhla, the company’s powders and cereals strategic marketing and business development director, told FoodNavigator-USA.

VitalBlend Oat 2540 is a spray-dried lipid powder that provides a smooth texture to creamer applications and functional beverages. Additionally, Balchem is researching other applications, and “preliminary studies show that it will work really well in ice cream,” Nakhla said.

Unlike other oat-based creamers, VitalBlend Oat 2540 is cold-water soluble, meaning it does not require heat to dissolve in an application, Nakhla explained.

"Oat milk creamers, typically because they contain oat flour, are not super soluble in cold water. Hot water is different. Any chemist could tell you that solubilizing something in hot coffee or hot water is not a difficult thing, but when you switch to a cold manifold it is challenging. [There is] nothing grosser than drinking a coffee and oat creamer or whatever creamer you are using [that does not mix properly]," Nakhla said.

Balchem will demo VitalBlend Oat 2540 in a functional frappuccino, formulated with brown-sugar flavor, oat milk sunflower-oil based creamer, inulin and choline for brain-boosting benefits, at the upcoming IFT First event in Chicago next month.

The company will showcase its extruded collagen crisps Z-Crisps and encapsulated salts and acids MeatShure that it says can preserve and improve the taste of meat applications, which can also be used to create sugar-free products and improve production throughput. 

‘Growth of the vegan milk market shows that people continue to purchase alternatives’

VitalBlend Oat 2540’s release comes at a time when consumers are seeking alternatives to dairy milks, Nakhla explained.

The global dairy milk substitutes market, which includes almond, oat, hazelnut, cashew, pea, flax seed and other plant-based milks, is expected to reach $37.86 billion by 2029, according to Statista data​.

Despite recent headwinds to the plant-based milk category​, oat milk is growing at a time when other plant-based milks like almond, soy and others are struggling.

“The overall growth of the vegan milk market shows that people continue to purchase alternatives to dairy,” Nakhla said. “Almond milk has been really popular over the years, but the prominence of almond milk has diminished in the last couple of years in favor of other alternative plant proteins such as oat and pea.”

Ozempic shines a spotlight on changing consumer demands on nutrition

Beyond the plant-based milk category, ingredient companies like Balchem are developing ingredients for better-for-you products that can meet consumer nutrition demands, Nakhla noted.

Consumers are becoming more familiar with the benefits of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) drugs like Ozempic and WeGovy​, which is bringing more attention to diets and healthy eating, she added.

"How to regulate blood glucose has become a really important factor in how we eat,” Nakhla said. “How do we replicate the effects of those types of anti-obesity medications? ... Our body makes GLPs, so we have a natural way of doing it. So, what are the foods that we need to support our bodies?”

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