The popularity of plant-based meat substitutes is growing fast across the globe as health and environmentally conscious consumers are on the lookout for alternatives for meat. Even though there are more plant-based options than ever before, the food industry is struggling to deliver meat analogues that match consumer expectations for sustainable, nutritious, and clean label ingredients. BlackGrain offers a simple solution to this challenge. 

Plant-based meat analogues replace meat as a healthier alternative which is why they mimic the texture, taste, and look of meat. However, many products on the market are packed with food additives and offer little nutritional value.

In this blog, Juha-Pekka Järvinen, Research and Product Development Manager at Apetit, reveals how adding BlackGrain to your meat analogue recipe results in nutritious products that cater to the needs of your customers who value clean eating.

BlackGrain is a natural, good source of nutrients

BlackGrain from Yellow Fields™ is made of rapeseed that naturally contains fibre as well as proteins and healthy fatty acids. Therefore, BlackGrain can give the final product better nutritional value, considering the fat profile and fibre content, than meat can.

– With BlackGrain we can increase the fibre content without significantly lowering the protein content. Also, BlackGrain is combined with other plant proteins, such as grains and legumes, to achieve an even better nutritional value for the end product.

Read more about enhancing the fibre content of your product with BlackGrain.

It is common knowledge that it is harmful to consume high amounts of saturated fats. Even so, surprisingly many meat substitutes are made with coconut oil which contains 80% saturated fat.

– Coconut oil has the same disadvantages as animal-based saturated fats. BlackGrain contains almost 18% unsaturated fatty acids – the best kind of plant-based fat, Järvinen clarifies.

Add TVP with BlackGrain for a cleaner label

In addition to good nutritional value, BlackGrain has natural properties that allow leaving certain additives out of your original meat analogue recipe. BlackGrain binds water well which means including it in textured vegetable protein (TVP) as a part of the mix will result in a juicy outcome with less stabilisers. According to Järvinen, burger patties from Apetit’s test kitchen are an excellent example of this effect:

– These burger patties were prepared with TVP that contains 20% BlackGrain. We were able to reduce the amount of food binders and leave coconut oil out of the recipe completely.

Also, since meat substitutes imitate meat, they are coloured to look more like meat. BlackGrain, on the other hand, gives a natural dark colour to the end product.

No compromises on taste or texture

As BlackGrain is an authorised novel food, the maximum amount per product has been determined and finally set in the Commission Implementing Regulation. As far as meat substitutes are concerned, it can be 10% of the final weight of the product.

– BlackGrain itself tastes very mild. Combined with pea protein isolate it masks the taste of peas. It also adds good food texture, especially chewiness when used as a part of TVP. Structure and good mouth feel are retained even after heating food, Järvinen says.

BlackGrain makes your meat analogue product stand out

The rapeseed used in BlackGrain is harvested in the yellow fields of Northern Europe. In the past, rapeseed used to undergo a double pressing process with all the resulting residual cake utilised in the animal feed industry. However, this focus has now changed and BlackGrain is processed for human consumption right from the first pressing. This way 100% of the rapeseed is utilised and nothing goes to waste. This makes BlackGrain an outstandingly sustainable choice.

Choose a responsibly manufactured product with high nutritional value such as BlackGrain to upscale your meat analogue product and take a leading position as a forerunner in the food industry.

Follow the consumer-driven clean label food trend and create highly nutritious products with us!