Natural plant-based fibre to improve vegetarian meats

29 October 2018

Natural plant-based fibre to improve vegetarian meats

Citri-Fi is an excellent clean label binder for plant based meat products ensuring a juicy and tender bite

By Jennifer Stephens, VP of Marketing, Fiberstar


Regardless the reason – reducing saturated fats and cholesterol, celebrating meatless Mondays, trying a new experience or starting a diet for life – the alternative meat market sales is growing. Today, there is an abundance of plant-based proteins to choose from which has kicked the creativity up a few notches. Besides the health and wellness push, there are also the sustainable and environmental drivers helping to shape this new market of alternative meats.


Common issues

However, formulating with new plant-based ingredients such as ancient grains, beans, peas and lentils can introduce new challenges. Some of these health halo ingredients manage water holding differently especially when exposed to certain food processes and shelf life over time. Binding is key to prevent products from crumbling apart. Since consumers are not the most delicate chefs in the kitchen, the patty versions tend to dry out when exposed to high temperatures over cook time resulting in a disappointed consumer with a plate of “hockey pucks”. Another issue is that if these alternative meats are intended to simulate their animal-containing counterparts, then the texture and bite should be similar.


Natural Solution

One option is to use Citri-Fi®, a natural citrus fibre which is produced by a clean process that opens up the fibre to expose a high surface area. This high surface area holds and binds large amounts of water and oil tightly. In products using alternative meat proteins, this natural fibre is fast swelling without the need of heat activation which provides stable moisture control during processing. Citri-Fi binds the moisture to buffer the loss during harsh final cook conditions. As a result, the patty or sausage link produces a juicy and tender bite. Citri-Fi also binds the oil tightly to reduce purge and maintain that full-fat mouthfeel.


The vegetarian meat market speaks to the natural, plant-based, allergen-free and non-GMO movement. With consumers shying away from chemically-based ingredients, utilising the nutritional and functional components of whole plant-based foods is the new frontier. Citri-Fi’s natural composition provides functionalities and contributes fibre as nature intended. Also, this natural fibre is made from real citrus fruit which is non-GMO and allergen-free. As a result, this natural ingredient can be labelled citrus fibre, dried citrus pulp or citrus flour resonating well in the natural markets.



Vegan "chicken" nuggest with Citri-Fi 100FG

Make delicious vegetarian "chicken" nuggest with Citri-Fi 100FG. This heat stable, clean label water binder keeps the nuggest tender, firm and meaty - like a chicken nugget should be - and with the moisture kept in the interior instead of making the breading soft and tough. Contact us for the recipe and more information about Citri-Fi.



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