Plantebaserede pølser uden skind. Image: DTU Fødevareinstituttet

Research will give skinless vegan sausages a snap

Food, fish and agriculture Food production

Researchers at DTU have helped come up with a recipe for plant-based skinless sausages. Work is now continuing in the lab to alter the chemistry of the ingredients in order to give the sausages the desired snap feeling.

The road to a more sustainable diet includes choosing plant-based food items and reducing food waste, the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), has concluded in a report commissioned by the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration.

An innovation partnership between the institute’s researchers and Copenhagen-based food company Rootly is developing a new food product that will let consumers kill those two birds with one stone.

Their plant-based sausages contain large amounts of vegetable pulp, which a local juice producer has left over after squeezing juice from vegetables for their products. Pulp has mostly been discarded, even though there are still plenty of nutrients and fiber in the pulp, making it suitable as an ingredient in new food products.

Thanks to the new recipe, Rootly will be able to upcycle the pulp into skinless, vegan sausages that are high in fibre and protein, but low in saturated fat.

Playing with food ingredients

The project combines Rootly’s experience in producing plant-based foods with the National Food Institute’s expertise in creating functional formulations of food ingredients by playing with their chemistry to give them the desired properties.

The research aims to give the product a structure that can achieve things that are lacking in most such plant-based products on the market, namely cooking stability (plant-based sausages often break easily while fried, losing their sausage shape) and improved textural properties e.g. a snap feeling when you bite into the fried sausage.

The researchers have come up with a prototype that fulfills this ambition of creating a skinless, plant-based sausage with optimal textural properties that keeps its shape when fried. They are now carrying on work in the lab to find a way of upscaling production while retaining the sausages’ snap feeling.

The collaboration started as an Innobooster project, but is currently receiving funding from CPH Food – an EU-funded innovation partnership that links small and medium-sized enterprises in Region Zealand with relevant researchers, who can help come up with concrete solutions to specific problems.

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