Redefining Quality: The Key to Up Leveling Plant-Based Products

Friday, March 25 | 9:15 AM - 10:15 AM CT

Culinary Professional

Christopher Koetke, Corporate Executive Chef at Ajinomoto Health & Nutrition North America, Inc.
Tia Rains, VP, Customer Engagement & Strategic Development at Ajinomoto Health & Nutrition North America, Inc

Domains: Culinary/Baking Skills and Applications, Nutrition, Product Development / Marketing Strategies / BusinessCulinary Professional

Consumers are redefining the quality of food. As lifestyles and budgets shift with the recovering markets, consumers have re-prioritized what is most important to them, and food is no exception. Food is defined by more than just its physical components. It evokes a journey characterized by a number of qualities – nutrition, taste, texture, experience, etc. And along this redefining moment, is the unsurprising and continual rise of alternative proteins… but to a different degree, an unparalleled standard. Alternative proteins have inherent flavors that are quite different than meat protein, and these flavors need robust masking technologies to create taste parity to their animal counterparts. In addition, mimicking the texture and mouthfeel of meat is challenging. To create the best crave-worthy products, umami and kokumi ingredients in combination with texture applications must be at the formulation table. Join Ajinomoto Health and Nutrition’s Executive Chef, Chris Koetke, and VP of Customer Engagement, Dr. Tia M. Rains, for an interactive demonstration that will take your taste buds on a journey to discover how umami and kokumi ingredients as well as enzymes are well positioned to up-level your plant-based products. Umami ingredients are essential for savory taste and overall flavor enhancement, and kokumi ingredients deliver the richness, complexity, and mouthfeel of a real meat product. Additionally, Ajinomoto Health and Nutrition’s enzyme line effectively binds a wide range of plant proteins and create meat-like texture in plant-based products. 

Learning Takeaways:

  • Describe consumers’ attitude shifts and motivational drivers when purchasing meat alternatives.   
  • Understand how to use umami and kokumi ingredients and enzymes to optimize plant-based meat alternatives.