Proprietary pea protein may be used to replace methylcellulose in meat alternatives

Merit Functional Foods announced that its Peazazz pea protein may be used to replace methylcellulose, an ingredient commonly used in meat alternatives as a binding and gelling agent.

Merit Functional Foods (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) announced that its Peazazz pea protein may be used to replace methylcellulose, an ingredient commonly used in meat alternatives as a binding and gelling agent.

“If you ask any consumer what methylcellulose is, chances are they won’t recognize it, and it’s even more likely that they won’t be comfortable consuming it,” said Merit’s co-CEO Ryan Bracken, in a press release. “But despite this, methylcellulose is a part of the ingredient labels for many of the meat alternatives on the market today due to its unique functionality, and formulators are struggling to find a suitable clean label solution to replace it.”

Methylcellulose has been historically difficult to replace, as it provides the functional qualities necessary for upholding the springy, meat-like texture consumers demand from their meat alternatives. Peazazz, for its part, offers unique water binding, high solubility, and strong gelling properties not typical of other pea proteins that allow manufactures to achieve the ideal texture of meat alternatives without the use of methylcellulose.

“We are motivated by the potential this innovation has uncovered for formulators,” Bracken said. “We’ve heard from our customers the challenges of removing methylcellulose, and now Merit is able to provide them an opportunity to finally eliminate it from their products with our functional pea protein ­– Peazazz. And beyond this, there’s an added benefit of enhanced protein claims and a delicious sensory profile that’s on par with traditional products.”