-KH News Desk
Meala, an Israeli food technology business, has shared that it has created a patented platform that produces “functionally activated proteins” that are intended to replace methylcellulose and gums, which are frequently employed as binding and gelling agents. According to the business, their proteins open up the option of upgrading to clean-label versions of the majority of plant-based meat substitutes while enhancing their sensory qualities.
Many food formulators that use plant-based substitutes are searching for binders and gums to use in their products that qualify as clean-label ingredients.
In 2020, Liran Gruda, a specialist in culinary arts and molecular gastronomy, Hadar Ekhoiz Razmovich, a product innovation specialist, and Dr. Tali Feldman Sivan, a serial entrepreneur and business strategist, among others founded Meala. The goal of the firm is to provide nutritious vegan food and clarify the distinctions between meat and meat substitutes. Meala is a product offered by The Kitchen FoodTech Hub.
Hadar Razmovich, one of the company’s founders, said, “If you break down the ingredients list of a real meat burger, its composition will be meat, fat, some carbohydrates, spices, salt, and pepper. Our vision is for plant-based alternatives to sport a similar short list of simple, recognizable ‘home kitchen’ ingredients while delivering the same full-bodied flavor and texture of real meat.”
Meala claims that their novel functional protein has already been proven to work in plant-based burgers, kebabs, dumplings, and other products that are made to resemble meat for alternative meat producers and the food industry.
Amir Zaidman, The Kitchen FoodTech Hub’s CBO, commented, “Unfortunately, it is challenging to replace additives consumers do not want in their foods. We are extremely excited about Meala’s breakthrough B2B platform and its possibilities for plant-based brands. We believe this can be a giant step in making plant-based foods the standard.”
Meala will focus on meat alternatives before expanding to dairy, fish, and egg alternative products.
What is methylcellulose?
Meala outlined how methylcellulose (E461) was chemically altered from natural cellulose to become a water-soluble polymer. It can be found as a thickening, emulsifier, binder, stabiliser, and gelling agent in a variety of meat, dairy, and egg analogues. When heated, it gels and feels more like flesh; yet, when chilled, it returns to its viscous condition. Hydrocolloids like methylcellulose are necessary since plant-based proteins can’t bind and have a poor ability to retain water.