Shiru launches protein-based alt. fat ingredient
By Food in Canada StaffProducts Ingredients & Additives Plant-based foods Editor pick Nourish Ventures Shiru Upside Foods
The ingredient will be showcased for the first time at San Francisco’s Future Food-Tech conference as part of a plant-based crispy chik’n karaage developed by Nourish Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Griffith Foods.
OleoPro is a novel, plant protein-based fat ingredient for use in a range of alternative protein food products. Combining plant proteins and unsaturated plant-based oil, OleoPro is claimed to be a high-performance, sustainable, and nutritious alternative fat ingredient. It is said to enable a 90-per cent reduction in saturated fat while enhancing technical performance in alternative meats when compared to commonly used, environmentally taxing structured fats. The developers say OleoPro is self-standing, holding its shape at room temperature; browns when cooked; and delivers a juicy, fatty mouthfeel in plant-based meat applications.
“At Shiru, we think consumers shouldn’t have to compromise on taste or texture to make sustainable, nutritious food choices, and we know novel ingredients are crucial to unlocking the next generation of plant-based foods,” said Dr. Jasmin Hume. Shiru’s founder and CEO. “Oils commonly used in plant-based meats today like palm and coconut are disastrous for the environment and aren’t great from a health perspective either. OleoPro is a categorical upgrade, bringing all the juiciness and fattiness we expect from conventional meats to plant-based, but with a much improved nutritional profile and without tearing down the rainforest.”
Industry feedback, including from alternative protein company Upside Foods, has been strong.
“Our testing revealed OleoPro to be a promising fat solution for alt meats, demonstrating superior performance in approximating beef fat compared to a range of plant-based fat systems in the market,” said Daniel Davila, senior food scientist at Upside.
OleoPro is patent-pending, and comes from Shiru’s proprietary technology platform, Flourish, which leverages AI to generate unique plant protein insights.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Shiru on the launch of their first ingredient, OleoPro. At Nourish Ventures, we understand food formulation, and recognize the historical challenges associated with delivering a true, fat-like experience for alternative proteins. OleoPro is a real game-changer, and we’re excited by its potential to impact the alternative protein industry,” said Simon Burton, managing director of Nourish Ventures.
While initial development has focused on plant-based meat applications across multiple formats, Shiru is exploring additional applications, including plant-based dairy and personal care products. Shiru is currently sampling OleoPro to prioritize initial launch partners, with commercial production beginning later this year.
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