Plant-based food is right now one of the most fast-growing segments in the food industry. According to a study carried out by Euromonitor1, 23% of the consumers claim that they are trying to limit their meat intake. As the segment increases, more food manufacturers adapt to the trend, meeting customer demands and strengthening their brands. So, if you have been thinking about adding plant-based products to your portfolio, this could be an excellent time to get started. But to be ahead of your competitors, you need to develop a product that tastes and looks good, has a fair price, and makes a negligible impact on the planet.
Controlling product behavior is key
While making a competitive plant-based product, there are a lot of factors to consider. For example, it behaves differently from a meat product and sets additional and higher demands on your processing equipment when processed. Plant-based products are also more challenging to handle, primarily because of their texture, which is softer than regular meat, creating a higher risk of deformation when it is processed. The presence and amounts of fluids, like water or oil, brine or sugar, also influence plant-based products’ appearance, texture, flavor, and stability. Because of this, it is often vital to control the ability to retain its fluids during food preparation and test how the fluids behave, for example, when frozen. It simply needs more practice and knowledge to produce a plant-based product optimally.
At JBT’s Food Technology Centers, our food experts can help you find a suitable production line for your plant-based product. We have conducted tens of thousands of application tests on a wide variety of food products throughout the years. Here we can help you improve your recipe or investigate how your plant-based meat product behaves in a specific setting.
Develop a successful production line
When you have developed a competitive product, it’s time to start setting up your production line. JBTs experts can help you optimize your existing line and examine what parts need to be changed to succeed with your new plant-based product. And if you want to start a whole new production line, we have an extensive portfolio with solutions, including everything from fryers and cookers to freezers and chillers, regardless of your capacity or production type. And when it’s time to scale up, our food processing equipment solutions have a capacity that starts at 200 kg per hour and can extend far beyond to meet your requirements.
Optimize your process
Once you have implanted your new process, JBT can help you optimize it, ensuring that your production line works as smoothly and cost-efficient as possible, with minimal waste and maximal yield. With the increasing need to maintain high food standards and avoid unplanned downtime, integrating our new cloud-based performance optimization platform iOPS can be a smart move. This innovative technology helps you reduce waste, increase efficiency, and minimize risks at all stages of the production process. More interested? Read more about the iOPS here.
Don’t forget about food safety
Another critical feature of producing food is always safety. Like poultry, beef and pork need to be separate in production. The same goes for meat substitutes because of ethical and allergy reasons. The cleanability of your food processing equipment is therefore crucial when it comes to producing plant-based food. To avoid recalls and bacterial outbreaks, you need to secure that your production line always remains sanitary. It is of utmost importance to ensure that your food processing equipment is clean and works properly. For us, food safety starts at the drawing board. We call it Hygiene by Design, and it aims to mitigate the risks so you can increase your food safety, secure high maintenance, and limit the risk of contamination during production. In addition, we offer high-performing CIP-cleaning systems, our machine-proofed Formula clean detergents, and continuous cleaning training for your staff. Regular inspections and preventive maintenance are also important factors for safe operations. By continuously monitoring the machine’s performance, you can make sure that every application is treated correctly. More curious? Read our Food Safety blog post on the topic.
Need help transitioning into plant-based?
Developing a competitive product takes a lot of effort, and just knowing where to start might seem like a big challenge. Therefore, you need a partner who can help with the whole process, from idea to production and service. JBT is a leading global full-solution provider within food processing, offering a broad portfolio of products and solutions. We have a long experience within the food industry, plant-based protein production being no exception. We were one of the first suppliers to help a now market-leading plant-based protein manufacturer find the best way to process and freeze its product. By reaching out to us early in the process, we can be a supportive partner in helping you make the right decisions when constructing your line for plant-based protein.
Our team is standing by to help you with your transition and guide you on your journey towards more sustainable food. Book a technical meeting today!
5-step-guide: How to succeed with your plant-based product
- Insights into critical factors for succeeding
- Vital questions that you need to address
- A suggested roadmap from start to finish
- Euromonitor International (2021), Plant-based Eating and Alternative Proteins, Passport.
Need help to transition into plant-based?
JBT is a leading global full-solution provider within food processing, offering a broad portfolio of products and solutions. We have a long experience in plant-based protein processing and production, and our food experts are standing by to help you with your transition and guide you on your journey towards successfully growing your business.