SWEDEN – AAK, Sweden based producer of value-adding vegetable oils and fats has launched a new portfolio of tailor-made solutions to meet the growing demand for plant-based foods.
Called AkoPlanet, the platform provides manufacturers with solutions to develop plant-based products, with a range of applications in meat, dairy and ice cream segments.
According to the company, the new portfolio will enable it to use its distinct co-development approach to work together with its customers to create bespoke solutions.
“Vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian diets are rapidly growing, creating new and exciting opportunities for food manufacturers,” said Johan Westman, President and CEO, AAK Group.
“This development is, of course, very interesting to AAK as we have been working with plant-based ingredients for more than a century.”
It will also enable food manufacturers to meet the rising industry concerns such as health, nutrition and sustainability, while addressing the growing demand for plant-based products.
The AkoPlanet™ portfolio is said to use raw materials that are traceable to the growing region.
AAK notes that this has positive implications for the flavor, texture and other sensory attributes of plant-based foods, enabling manufacturers to create great-tasting alternatives to meat, dairy and ice cream products.
“Many of the key characteristics of animal-derived products can be recreated through optimal formulations of oils and fats,” said Henning Villadsen, Business Development Director at AAK.
“This has positive implications for the flavor, texture and other sensory attributes of plant-based foods, enabling our customers to create great-tasting alternatives to meat, dairy and ice cream products.”
Going forward, the company says that it sees the plant-based portfolio become one of its most important categories.
Earlier this year, the company said it is investing US$32 million (SEK 300 million) at its production facility in Zhangjiagang, China.
Last October, AAK opened its Customer Innovation Center in Singapore to further strengthen its capabilities and customer co-development approach in the Southeast Asian market.
It has also acquired Dutch company MaasRefinery B.V., which also specializes in toll refining of vegetable oils and fats for the food industry.