Veggie Burger Made with CrushDynamics Puree Wins Preference 2:1, Study

Veggie Burger Made with CrushDynamics Purée Wins Preference 2:1, Study

Study by Matrix Sciences Finds CrushDynamics Solutions Elevate the Sensory Experience of Plant-Based Proteins by Margin of 2 to 1.

The plant-based protein market has exploded as consumers adopt flexitarian and plant-based lifestyles. However, not just any product will do. Today’s consumers expect solutions that both taste good, and are low in sugar, sodium, and fat.

The challenge is most consumers want to give up meat but not the meat experience.  This refusal to compromise has left food manufacturers with the daunting task of creating plant-based proteins that mimic the taste and texture of meat while maintaining the health and ethical attributes driving the plant-based protein movement.

Could the polyphenol attributes of a grape purée be the missing link?

A new study by Matrix Sciences revealed that adding CrushDynamics purée dramatically improved the taste profile, texture, and appearance of plant-based burgers.

The study: Matrix Meat Analogues Central Location Test
Bringing over 30 years of experience, Matrix Sciences are leaders in sensory research, providing valued insights on the overall food experience, including its appearance, aroma, taste, texture, and feel.

The Task:
Matrix Sciences put CrushDynamics ruby purée to the test by contrasting two plant-based burgers, identical in all ingredients, with one exception: the addition of the CrushDynamics ruby purée.  But could one ingredient impact the sensory experience? The answer was a resounding “YES”.

The study, conducted in Grand Rapids, Michigan, asked 50 participants to rank the two plant-based burgers on their overall sensory experience (hedonic attributes) and factors that they categorized as “just right attributes”, specifically the taste and texture of the burger.

The results were clear with participants expressing a two-to-one preference for the New CrushDynamics burger.

Consumers Agree: CrushDynamics Purée Improves Plant-Based Proteins
The panelists agreed that adding the CrushDynamics ruby purée to a plant-based protein positively impacted their sensory experience. In fact, they shared that the burger made with the CrushDynamics ruby purée had the ideal color, texture, and mouthfeel.

Getting Down to the Nitty Gritty:
• 65% of the participants preferred the CrushDynamics burger over the control burger
• The overall appearance of the CrushDynamics burger was rated 7.1 (from a 9-point scale) in contrast to the 6.0 ranking of the control burger
• According to the Just Right Attribute Scale (a 5-point scale where 3 is the ideal): participants ranked three of the attributes: color (3), texture (3.2), and mouth Feel (2.7) as achieving the ideal sensory expectations

The Story behind the Solution
Brands and manufacturers in search of the ideal plant-based protein prefer a balanced flavor but increasingly demand reduced sodium levels and extended shelf life to meet the demands of their consumers and retailers. Made from grape pomace, a wine by-product, CrushDynamics purée is a sustainable and nutrient dense ingredient that can help manufacturers achieve this task.

In a recent study in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, researchers Wen and Liu et al explored the interaction between legume proteins and polyphenols. Their research revealed that polyphenols have a positive impact on the structural properties of legume-derived proteins. Understanding how polyphenols impact the properties of legume-derived protein is key to optimize both the way that the protein is processed and to strengthen the overall formula of these plant-based products.

CrushDynamics was on a quest to tackle this challenge. During their research, they discovered that an ingredient made from an upcycled and fermented grape pomace consistently improved the taste and texture of plant-based protein while also responding to the need for lower sodium levels and longer shelf life.

CrushDynamics unique fermentation process “tames the tannins” bringing forward the flavour profiles without the residual bitterness that is typically associated with grape pomace.  Internal blind testing consistently revealed that plant-based proteins made with CrushDynamics solutions both looked and tasted better.

The results from the Matrix Meat Analogues study confirmed that adding CrushDynamics purée to plant-based proteins improved the user experience.

The Science behind the Discovery:
Taste is experienced across five taste bud receptors: specifically bitter, salty, sour, sweet and umami.  These receptors are locked until they come across a particular flavour, which acts like a chemical key and releases the specific sensory experience.  However, taste buds can become blocked with protein pellicles muting the overall flavour experience.

Grape purée, contains high levels of polyphenols which help to cleanse the protein pellicles and in turn, allows the food better access to the taste receptors on the tongue so that the full flavour of the food will come forward.  However, the astringent quality of the tannins of grape pomace (which provides wine with its unique attributes) has prevented it from being used in food and beverage manufacturing.

Researchers McRae and Kennedy stressed the necessity of understanding the complex relationship between tannins, salivary proteins, and astringency to better understand the structure of tannins, and in turn, improve the wine quality.

Through their patented process, CrushDynamics tamed the tannins in grape purée, providing brands and manufacturers with a versatile solution.

Adding CrushDynamics to foods and beverages elevates the overall sensory experience: flavors taste brighter and fresher, both salty and sweet flavors are enhanced and complex umami notes, often missing in plant-based meats, are introduced. As a result, in many formulations the sugar, sodium, preservatives and artificial/natural flavors can be reduced or eliminated.


 CrushDynamics Media Contact
Allie Broddy



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