Fat and protein structuring for plant-based dairy

Despite improvements in recent years, many plant-based dairy products still fail to meet consumers' expectations in sensory and nutritional quality. Our recent work has shown how protein-fat interactions can be used to deliver products with better flavour and functional performance such as melting behaviour.

Next-generation plant-based dairy

Plant-based dairy alternatives still have significant room for improvement. Margarines have a high saturated fat content, plant-based beverages have low calcium levels, and vegan cheeses show poor melting behaviour in application. All of these formulation issues result from the inherent properties of the plant ingredients. Additionally, flavour delivery in reformulated plant-based dairy remains a challenge across the application areas and product life cycle.

Interactions of fat and plant protein phases

This project combines fundamental knowledge development with translation to application to deliver strategies for engineering the physical-chemical properties of the fat and protein phases in plant-based dairy.

The knowledge development workflow takes a soft-matter approach to studying the protein and fat phases separately and in the two-phase system. This workflow will deliver fundamental insights into the interactions of (modified) phases on the functional and sensorial properties of the food matrix.

Translation to application with be done using model systems of interest, defined in cooperation with partners to address their specific needs and co-develop practical solutions.

Partners wanted

This project is open to manufacturers of plant-based dairy, ingredient suppliers, and technology providers with keen interest to co-create the content and research directions. Public-private partnership partners provide in-cash and in-kind support to the project in return for access to developed knowledge and license rights to foreground.