Using Nature-Powered Ingredients to Formulate Plant-Based Meat Alternatives

The global market for burger and sausage alternatives has been experiencing tremendous growth – and is still expected to climb as more flexitarians embrace plant-based protein. However, CP Kelco has identified two trends that could impact success:

  1. No Compromise. Consumers have high expectations. While consumers are willing to try new things, they expect the products they purchase to meet their taste and texture standards as well as have high quality ingredients at a reasonable price. In a 2021 Innova Market Insights survey, consumers were asked “what reasons would keep you from buying plant-based alternatives?” 32% answered, “Poor taste and texture.” Also of note, 19% cited concerns that it was “too processed/artificial ingredients.”
  2. Good for You, Good for the Planet Too. According to Innova Market Insights, consumers buy plant-based alternatives because they believe the products are “healthier.”

Source: Innova Market Insights

With these trends in mind, CP Kelco developed a nature-based portfolio of ingredient solutions to help formulators

  • Support clean label-friendly formulations
  • Provide a more recognizable ingredient list (that may help brands gain market share)
  • Deliver an optimal, meat-like eating experience for consumers
  • Provide flexibility for easier processing

Meeting a Range of Formulation Needs

GENU® Texturizer MA-1 is a dual-function solution comprised of methylcellulose and carrageenan. It is a highly effective and well-known gel at hot temperature. It provides cohesiveness and the addition of cold bite for easier cutting ability under cool conditions. For example, this would give manufacturers the opportunity to expand into sausage alternatives that can be enjoyed on a charcuterie board under cool conditions. It can be used with current equipment for ease and is less sticky than methylcellulose alone.

For those looking for an alternative to methylcellulose, CP Kelco offers KELCOGEL® MA-60 Gellan Gum. A soluble fiber produced by fermentation, this multifunctional ingredient provides hot bite and a meat-like texture. It is extremely easy to use with improved dough rheology. Of course, gellan gum is already known as a go-to ingredient for solving plant-based protein challenges.

For extra juiciness during the eating experience, GENU® Pectin MA-50 can be used in combination with KELCOGEL® MA-60 Gellan Gum. This clean label-friendly ingredient is sourced from citrus peels, a byproduct of the juice industry. When used with gellan gum, it delivers an optimal hot bite for a complete methylcellulose alternative solution.

NUTRAVA® Citrus Fiber boost is a clean label-friendly and easily recognizable food ingredient that can enable starch substitution and stabilize emulsions. A fiber ingredient, it is made from sustainably sourced citrus peels, an abundant byproduct of the juice industry. NUTRAVA® Citrus Fiber boost supports dietary fiber intake and provides unique water holding capacity to increase cooking yield and juiciness. It supports meat-like texture for plant-based meat alternatives that appeal to the senses. Labeled as ‘citrus fiber,’ it also does not require an E number in Europe.

For tips and recipe cards to inspire your plant-based formulations, contact us.


Innovative Concepts in Ambient Yogurt

Ambient yogurts are fermented dairy or plant protein-based products which undergo an extra heat treatment that provides them with the benefit of a long shelf life. When ambient drinking yogurts (ADY) were first introduced to China more than 10 years ago, their shelf-stable format was a big hit with consumers and manufacturers alike. Over the years, ambient yogurts have become a way for dairy producers and plant-based brands to expand their line and marketing potential.

The category now includes a variety of new formats, such as spoonable or squeezable pouches in addition to beverages. Ambient yogurts can also be tailored to meet regional needs, like this salted buttermilk in India or this low-sugar mango and passionfruit yogurt drink in Latin America, and incorporate plant protein instead of dairy, like this long shelf life oat yogurt alternative.

In every region, ambient yogurts have proven themselves to be a convenient way to enjoy a protein snack on the go. Consumers love that they can just pop an ambient yogurt in a backpack or gym bag and enjoy anytime. Plus, without cold chain distribution challenges, ambient yogurts are well suited for e-commerce as well as brick and mortar retail. The long shelf life means less spoilage and less food waste.

CP Kelco can help formulators innovate using a portfolio of nature-based ingredient solutions for dairy yogurt or plant-based yogurt alternatives, such as…

  • GENU® Pectin for protein protection during heat treatment, stability, suspension, texture enhancement, syneresis control and a pleasant mouthfeel.
  • KELCOGEL® Gellan Gum for suspension of particles and insoluble minerals, syneresis control and added texture.
  • NUTRAVA® Citrus Fiber, a sustainably produced ingredient from citrus peels that supports fiber intake as well as starch replacement, syneresis control, body and mouthfeel.

Watch our quick video below to catch up on all the global happenings in ambient yogurt production.

Want more ideas or help stabilizing your ambient yogurt concept? Click here to contact us. 


Label-Friendly Alternatives to Locust Bean Gum

Locust bean gum (LBG) is a popular, clean label-friendly ingredient that thickens, adds mouthfeel and helps with stabilization in a wide range of products. One of its strengths is its versatility. Application possibilities are as diverse as fruit preparations and water gel desserts; dairy products such as ice cream, yogurt and cream cheese; and plant-based dairy alternatives.

The problem is that LBG pricing has steadily and dramatically increased over the last 3 years. LBG market pricing is not always predictable for several reasons, including regional conditions, speculation, and traders who use their inventory of seeds as a fiber source for a secondary value stream. Supply and cost uncertainty has become a stress on food and beverage manufacturers.

Product developers are partial to LBG because it is a nature-based ingredient.  But if you think you need to compromise on clean label or functionality in order to find a suitable replacement for your formulation, you don’t. CP Kelco has developed several clean label-friendly solutions that can deliver a similar texture and mouthfeel experience, as well as potential cost savings and supply stability.

Applications & Locust Bean Gum Alternatives at a Glance

NUTRAVA® Citrus Fiber is considered a food ingredient and can be listed as citrus fiber on label.
*The standard of identity may vary in different countries

Solutions for a Variety of Applications

CP Kelco has also developed solutions for a variety of applications beyond those listed here. In addition, our team of technical experts is happy to work with you to minimize the amount of LBG needed in your formulation or find other ingredients to help with texture, stabilization, gelling, water-binding and syneresis control.  For more ideas regarding LBG alternatives, contact us here.


The Formulator’s Secret to More Biodegradable Home Care Formulations

Learn how to make ingredient choices that align with your product development goals yet are easy to use and better for the environment, too.

Solve 4 Dairy Alternative Beverage Challenges with 1 Ingredient

Introducing KELCOGEL® DFA Gellan Gum 

The demand for dairy alternatives has skyrocketed in recent years. New product development has also taken off with more brands launching plant-based options. However, for a plant-based, dairy alternative beverage to succeed, it must have…

Great taste and texture.

Consumers love the creamy taste and silky mouthfeel that dairy beverages have, and they want it in dairy alternatives as well.

A simple, easy-to-read label.

Consumers believe plant-based alternatives are better for the planet – so a long list of ingredients on the label may raise eyebrows.

As a leading, nature-based stabilizer ingredient for dairy alternative beverages, KELCOGEL® Gellan Gum was first discovered by CP Kelco more than 40 years ago as bacteria in a lily pond. Today, gellan gum is produced via fermentation and it continues to advance in technological innovation.

While gellan gum is typically paired with locust bean gum in dairy alternative beverages to deliver both suspension and mouthfeel, our new KELCOGEL® DFA Gellan Gum serves as a single ingredient solution that can help you solve your top dairy alternative beverage formulation challenges:

1. Suspension.

Product developers often supplement plant protein with micronutrients and particulates such as extra protein, minerals, vitamins and cocoa powder. KELCOGEL® DFA Gellan Gum uniformly suspends ingredients in a pseudoplastic, weak gel structure of molecules.

2. Viscosity and mouthfeel.

Formulators often use a combination of gellan gum and locust bean gum to achieve a desirable low viscosity when pouring and a pleasant, silky sensation while consuming. New KELCOGEL® DFA Gellan Gum offers the same viscosity and mouthfeel profile all in one ingredient. Our graph shows how KELCOGEL® DFA Gellan Gum compares to locust bean gum and standard gellan gum in almond milk.

3. Sedimentation.

Protein and other micronutrients are all prone to settle on the bottom of the container. Yet with multifunctional KELCOGEL® DFA Gellan Gum, there is no shaking needed. All the ingredients stay suspended over the course of the product’s shelf life.

4. A simpler label and formulation.

KELCOGEL® DFA Gellan Gum can help simplify your product label and formulation in two ways:

  • It can replace LBG in your formulation
  • It can enable reducing use levels of both LBG and gellan gum.

Have questions about a specific dairy alternative formulation you are working on now? Contact us. 


CELLULON® Cellulose Liquid Is The More Sustainable Suspension Aid

CPK-website_Innovation_HPC Preview3_11-2021


The power of plants is everywhere these days – from what’s on your plate for dinner to how you clean it afterwards. According to Innova Market Insights (April 2021), there is a rising demand for more plant-based cleaning options. Newness is taking shape in plant-powered dishwashing liquid formulations that clean yet are skin-friendly and biodegradable. Consumers have an increasing awareness of synthetic ingredients and their effects, especially on the environment.

Formulators often wonder how using plant-based ingredients might alter functionality in a dishwashing liquid. Will they deliver the same cleaning power to remove tough, baked-on grease? Also, how will the ingredients hold together? Homemade dishwashing liquids are usually quite thin and need to be shaken.

CELLULON® Cellulose Liquid is the more sustainable suspension aid. It’s a biodegradable, nature-based alternative to thickeners such as carbomers. It suspends decorative beads, pearlescents, fragrance encapsulates and scrubbers independently of surfactant level. And it stabilizes in a wide range of conditions with minimal impact on the viscosity of the final product. Made by microbial fermentation, CELLULON® Cellulose Liquid is bio-identical to cellulose commonly found in nature. Yet our patented process creates a continuous, reticulated network with a very high surface area-to-weight ratio. This 3D net adds reliable structuring and a true yield value at low concentrations in a formulation. 

Ease of Use

Comes pre-activated and ready to use. No pH adjustment required. Easy to disperse under low-to-moderate mixing conditions.

Excellent Performance

Low use level of 0.5-5% w/w. Provides suspension and stabilization without significantly altering the pour viscosity of the formulation. Freeze-thaw stable to -20° C for at least 5 cycles.

Cost Efficient

Suitable for economic formulations as well as highly concentrated formulations, including unidose laundry systems. Cellulose is not water-soluble. Formulating into low/no-water formulations is possible! 


Have questions about a specific formulation? Contact us. 


Introducing GENU® Pectin YM-SAL 200, A New Offering for Long Shelf-Life Salted Buttermilk

Salted buttermilk is a simple formulation made with yogurt, salt and spices. Challenges occurs during the heat treatment when proteins tend to aggregate and form sedimentation as well as a gritty mouthfeel. GENU® Pectin can prevent protein aggregation by creating an electrostatic interaction with the protein molecules at an acidic pH to stabilize them. Salt can also complicate the interaction, increasing ionic strength. The higher the salt content, the more difficult it can be to stabilize the formulation.

However, new GENU® Pectin YM-SAL-200 was developed to withstand a range of salt from .4% to .8% and protein (1% to 2%). This provides formulators with the recipe flexibility to create products with the higher salt content that consumers prefer.

Download the recipe card for this prototype here.


A Closer Look: Our Sustainable GENU® Pectin

From fruit tree to fertilizer, join us for a fun and full-circle look at the making of GENU® Pectin. This behind-the-scenes video explores our patented peel process and waste diversion efforts in making pectin.

Reinventing Condiments with a Label-Friendly Ingredient

The pandemic has solidified consumers’ goals of seeking foods with more health benefits. The appeal is broad, encompassing not only vegan or vegetarian trends, but also trends to reduce overall consumption of sugar, fat, and oil. It’s no secret that dressings, condiments, and marinades are sources of hidden sugars and fat, even when consumed in small amounts. While consumers are looking for healthier alternatives, taste and flavor will always be top of mind. They still want their condiments to have the expected flavor and texture, turning a healthy salad into a more pleasurable eating experience or enhancing the taste of a plant-based burger with a dollop of creamy mayonnaise. Simple and easily recognizable, quality ingredients are points of differentiation in this competitive category.

NUTRAVA® Citrus Fiber peak was developed to support the need for an easily recognizable, label-friendly ingredient to help you achieve your clean label goals in condiment formulations. It is nature-based and made from sustainably sourced citrus peels, a byproduct of the juice industry. Typical content of dietary fiber is at a minimum of 80% with an approximately balanced amount of soluble and insoluble fiber.

The ingredient of choice for condiments

NUTRAVA® Citrus Fiber peak can help formulators reduce fat, sugar, or oil content to create better-for-you condiments. It supports dietary fiber intake while enabling a smooth, squeezable texture. For emulsified condiments, it provides great stability and helps control syneresis. It is amylase resistant to help you create products like dressings for fresh vegetable salads. It also helps you innovate with new, vegan formulations to expand your product line. NUTRAVA® Citrus Fiber is compatible with standard manufacturing processes – no new mixers or equipment needed. Simply adjust the use level to achieve a range of viscosity profiles, depending on preference.

Other benefits:

  • Listed as citrus fiber on the label*
  • Supports your ingredient reduction goals
  • Allows for a simpler, label-friendly ingredient list
  • No E-number in Europe
  • Supports sugar and fat reduction
  • Sustainably sourced

See our recipe and video for an eggless, vegan, mayonnaise-like dressing here.

To learn more about NUTRAVA® Citrus Fiber, click here.

*National labeling requirements should be considered in the country of use. NUTRAVA® Citrus Fiber is a food ingredient that complies with the requirements set forth in the food and food ingredients legislation in the EU, the UK, the US and China. Contact us for other jurisdictions.

A Look Inside Our Newest Global Innovation Center

As part of CP Kelco’s growing network of innovation and technical support facilities around the world, we recently launched our newest global innovation center in Atlanta. This open, collaborative space was designed for scientists and customers alike to engage in ingredient research, problem-solving, development and pilot plant scale-up of food, beverage, home care, personal care and other consumer and industrial products. We’re excited to share an inside look.


“With our new innovation center, we’ve invested significantly in our commitment to provide a world-class customer experience and deliver on our brand promise of ‘Unlocking Nature-Powered Success’ through innovation and problem-solving. We’re excited about taking our global capabilities to a new level and further exploring the possibilities presented by key trends and growth opportunities – all with a sharp focus on meeting the evolving needs of our customers and consumers, today and into the future.”
– Didier Viala, President of CP Kelco


The test kitchen and lounge area.

Collaboration was an important consideration when designing the new innovation center, as we wanted to create a space that fosters and inspires an environment of creativity and ideation. Our customers are passionate and intent on staying ahead of industry trends and desire partners who are highly skilled and can help them through the product development process – we’ve built the new innovation center with this in mind. When we’re collaborating with our customers to solve their formulation challenges and discover new applications and custom solutions, the possibilities are endless.

Our patent wall showcasing our patents from around the world.

Some great features of our 24,000 square-foot innovation center:

  • Labs devoted to microbiology, fermentation science, R & D, and consumer and industrial applications development
  • A food and beverage pilot plant to support customers with production scale-up
  • A sensory evaluation space to conduct sensory studies to better understand customer preferences
  • A large chef’s kitchen to develop and test recipes featuring our nature-based ingredients
  • Open meeting spaces that encourage collaboration and can be customized for various events
One of our research and development labs.

Staffed with a team of more than 20 scientists and application specialists, the new center is open for customer visits and working sessions, in accordance with all recommended guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

We’re excited to welcome new and existing customers to the new innovation center to see our capabilities firsthand and collaborate with us.