Potato potential: Avebe taps into plant-based trends with potato-based ingredient solutions at HiE 2018

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03 Dec 2018 --- At this year’s HiE in Frankfurt, Avebe presented its newest concepts that tap into the trends towards plant-based food solutions. The company's potato-based ingredient solutions for meat and dairy substitutes seek to answer the lifestyle needs of many of today’s consumers such as allergen-free, vegan, low-fat, GMO-free and clean or clear labeling.

The Dutch-based farmers’ co-operative aims to provide healthy, nutritious and eco-friendly ingredients for sustainable food systems. Together with its farmer members and customers, Avebe develops these ingredient solutions based on potatoes.

“We are the world’s largest and most innovative player in potato starch and potato protein. It’s our ambition to help consumers worldwide to eat healthier, more nutritious and eco-friendly food,” Bart Pennings, Ph.D., Global Sales Manager at AvebClick to EnlargeBart Pennings, Ph.D., Global Sales Manager e, tells FoodIngredientsFirst during HiE.

“At Avebe, we call this ‘Good Food,’ and we support this by providing our customers (food manufacturers) with ‘Good Food’ ingredients, from potatoes, which are naturally healthy, nutritious and eco-friendly.”

“Our clean label starch ingredient Etenia can help food manufacturers to reduce fat levels while maintaining product quality and the creamy, full-fat texture” Pennings comments. “This makes processed foods more healthy but still indulgent.”

The company also presented Solanic 100 potato protein, which Pennings believes fits with plant protein trends and the fortification of foods. “More than ten years ago, we were the first company in the world to offer food-grade potato protein and we have been progressing successfully with our potato protein ingredients in texture solutions.”

Avebe launched Solanic 100 two years ago, aiming for a high-quality, clean label, plant protein for nutrition. “The benefit of potato ingredients is that they allow food manufacturers to have free from allergen labels, unlike with the use of soy or gluten,” notes Pennings.

According to Avebe, Solanic 100 is the “number 1 plant protein for nutrition.”

“To us, the potato is a source of possibilities. We extract high-value food ingredients from potatoes including our Solanic 100 potato protein,” adds Pennings.

Solanic 100 has a complete and balanced amino acid composition with the highest level of essential amino acids among other plant proteins, resulting in a protein quality score of PDCAAS = 1 and DIAAS>1.

“Last but not least is Perfectasol, a potato ingredient that supports eco-friendly food and that is all about climate and sustainability,” he explains. “It’s all about the dietary choices consumers make and most notably, the shift from animal-based to a plant-based diet.”Click to Enlarge

“We have solutions for food manufacturers, and thereby consumers, in order to make this shift possible,” adds Pennings. 

Avebe’s plant-based dairy applications are based on a combination of the company’s starch and protein knowledge to create plant-based dairy and cheeses. “We have an award-winning ingredient called Perfectasol, a range of texture solutions ideally suited to meet today’s leading consumer demands for plant-based and allergen-free products. We have combined potato protein and potato starch to make plant-based pizza cheese. What makes it great is that it resembles the melt and stretch of a mozzarella-style cheese. Consumers often don't want to compromise on taste or texture, but if you have a product that tastes and looks like the real thing, it makes the shift much easier and applicable,” Pennings explains.

In late October, Perfectasol D520 won the 2018 Protein Award for Most Novel Protein Ingredient at the Bridge2Food Protein Summit. According to the jury, Perfectasol D520 makes a “perfect plant-based pizza cheese.”

For Pennings, the range and concepts presented at HiE target low-fat, high-protein and plant-based eating trends. “Etenia is low-fat, Solanic 100 is high-protein and Perfectasol is ideal for making plant-based products,” he notes. 

“We see a lot of consumers rClick to Enlargeeduce the amount of dairy and meat that they eat. They want to move to plant-based and having options like this really helps them do that. I see a lot of start-ups in the US especially tapping into these megatrends, investors see the potential of plant-based eating, these companies grow very rapidly and often get acquired by big meat or dairy companies, this helps to make plant-based foods become mainstream,” Pennings states. 

This summer, after Europe was hit with some of the worst droughts recorded, Avebe also experienced some difficulties, but overall their potato ingredients weren’t too badly affected. 

“Our farmers also had losses, some had normal good harvests, but some had problems,” Pennings says. “On average, our crop loss was similar to that of other European potato starch companies due to the extreme weather conditions we saw this summer. In the nearly 100 years that the company has been in business, we have never seen such extreme weather,” he claims.

“Avebe is in good shape though, we are very well organized, and we were able to pay our farmers a good price and keep our customers satisfied. It’s great to see how our nearly 100-year old potato farmers’ co-operative is able to adapt to the new market. We made the shift and we see great potential in our ingredients portfolio, which suits the needs of plant-based consumers.”

By Elizabeth Green

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