The plant-based alternative meat revolution now allows for the texture, flavor, and color of a veggie burger to mimic that of real meat; a huge advancement compared to 30 years ago when alternative meat was either wheat or soy based, and could be found in a can. Advances in science combined with consumer reasoning (be it environmental, ethical, or health) have led to these shifts in what it means to be a veggie burger and a flexitarian.
Consumers now have the choice of a “bleeding” burger, such as that from Impossible Foods, or having a veggie burger made from ingredients such as mycoproteins or pea proteins. No matter the components, it is getting harder and harder for the traditional carnivore to differentiate meat from animals and plants.
Using plant based materials such as fruits and vegetables is nothing new to GNT, market leader in the natural color space. For decades, GNT has paved the way, introducing the concept of “Coloring Foodstuffs” to the global food and beverage industry. Founded in 1979, GNT started with a small portfolio of colors made from fruits and vegetables. This has since expanded to include algae-based products, such as Spirulina, and over 20 kinds of fruits and vegetables, leading to more than 400 color shades.
At the upcoming IFT show in New Orleans, GNT will showcase a veggie burger showing the versatility of EXBERRY. Executive Chef Christina Olivarez says the inspiration came from “Having an abundance of GNT carrots in-house. We challenged ourselves to reduce the waste and use the whole ingredient (juice/pulp) while making something that was super tasty and enjoyable to eat.”
Using plant based materials in new ways will be vital to the changing needs of consumers. EXBERRY products provide a clear opportunity to offer interesting, fresh, and appetizing products through the use of color exploration. “EXBERRY products are made from plants, so it makes sense to use them as an ingredient”, says Olivarez.
By deconstructing the carrot into its juice and pulp components, Olivarez is able to create a colorful carrot bun, using the carrot juice, and a tasty plant-based veggie patty incorporating the pulp. In addition to carrots, the patty is loaded with other plant-based materials such as quinoa, black beans, mushrooms, and sweet potatoes. A home-cook friendly version of the recipe can be found here.