NETHERLANDS – Dutch multinational Food and Nutrition Company Royal DSM has launched a new vegan flavor solution derived from algal oil to bolster the development of plant-based protein offerings.

Dubbed Maxavor Fish YE, the new flavor is a 100 percent allergen-free solution that allows food manufacturers to deliver across a variety of plant-based fish alternative applications, in addition to fish-based products.

These could include vegetarian fish nuggets, vegan fish sauce and fish cakes.

DSM’s says its new solution addresses the challenges food producers face when developing authentic-tasting, sustainable and label-friendly plant-based fish alternatives.

Most commercially available seafood flavors require the processing of fish or crustaceans, or are unable to meet Kosher or Halal needs.

DSM’s launch comes amid significant growth in the meat alternatives category, which sees plant-based fish alternatives emerging as an appealing option.

Emulating the tender, flaky texture of fish in fish alternative products can be complex for manufacturers, says Gilbert Verschelling, director of business development & innovation at DSM.

Creating an authentic and appealing flavor and texture in both plant-based and fish-based products also remains a challenge, Verschelling adds.

For instance, plant-based proteins often impart undesirable flavor off-notes, so achieving the mild flavor of fish in vegan and vegetarian applications while trying to mask unpleasant flavors can be difficult.

Verschelling however notes that MaxavorFish YE  allows food producers “to deliver on diverse consumer preferences across a range of plant-based fish alternatives and fish-based applications.”

Added during the blending of dry ingredients, Maxavor Fish YE offers two taste profiles – Maxavor Fish M YE and Maxavor Fish W YE – to emulate the body and taste of distinct fish varieties; one for rich and oily dark fish and another for fresh, light and fleshy white fish.

The DSM director of business development & innovation further adds that with the new vegan fish flavour, “producers conveniently meet all of these front-of-pack label claims with a single ingredient.”

This launch comes at a time when the number of consumers adopting flexitarian, vegetarian and vegan lifestyles is rapidly growing, while others turn to plant-based diets for environmental and ethical reasons.

Ocean biodiversity and the dangers of overfishing are also gaining more traction as concerns driving consumer purchases.

Two recent sustainable seafood examples include Cargill slashing its salmon farming emissions and UK-based retailer Tesco chartering a new course on sustainable tuna.

“The market for plant-based fish alternatives is showing exciting potential, and DSM is proud to be at the forefront of the industry,” concludes Verschelling.

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