Plant-based proteins proteins have been conquering the grocery store shelves in recent years at an astonishing pace. Whilst some customers have been slow to adopt healthier alternatives such as vegan burger patties, nuggets or mince, the concept appears to be carving out a sizeable share of the food industry.
The recent addition to the JBT family, alco, has been helping to develop this fast-growing industry by spreading valuable know-how and insight over the years. alco has found that only small changes are necessary to convert a traditional convenience meat product line to an alternative protein and vegan food line. In fact, a number of food companies are already using alco machinery to manufacture plant-based protein products to stock the shelves of national and international grocers.
From mixing to cooling, vegan chicken, burger patties or gyros go through the exactly same processing steps as conventional meat products. The secret behind getting the right taste and texture of your product is in the preparation, standardisation and/or seasoning steps at the beginning of the process.
JBT alco’s Mixer AMP is a solution developed in response to these ongoing changes in the marketplace. Featuring fast mixing times, consistent production, reliable processing and tailor-made adaptation to individual customer needs, alco mixing technology delivers “stirring” competitive advantages.
Thanks to sophisticated mixing technology, the Mixer AMP is also suitable for standardising and preparing vegetarian and vegan food products. Sensitive, difficult-to-mix products as well as numerous trend or convenience products can be mixed with consistent, superior results.
The alco Mixer AMP ticks all the boxes, delivering homogeneous mixing of herbs and spices and improved fluid absorption better and more reliably than other mixers. The direct steam injection from the mixing tray nozzles provide optimal steam distribution to ensure rapid, gentle heating or thawing of products.
For more refined processing of plant-based products, the redesigned alco Forming machine AFM is ideal for forming meat alternatives such as vegan burger patties into exactly the right shapes and portions.
Not only does the AFM deliver precise, individualised shaping of burgers, it can also ensure that the patties taste just like the meat-based originals. In fact, thanks to a 30% increase in forming process speed, the product mass can now be shaped and portioned faster than ever.
The Mixer AMP and Forming machine AFM are smartly complemented by alco’s coating line, which has recently been optimised to deliver higher sustainability and cost efficiency. After the forming process, vegan products undergo a flouring, battering and breading process, similar to that of meat-based products. This provides added flavor, a crisp exterior and an appealing appearance. The smart, space-saving Spiral oven ASH, which puts the finishing touch on the plant-based product by cooking it to perfection, is the “finisher” in alco’s vegan food, alternative protein and plant-based product line.
alco’s gentle, sophisticated technology allows vegan alternatives to offer comparable taste to conventional products with minimal environmental impact.
Read more about alco´s alternative proteins product line here.
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