Plant-Based Food Science and the Impact on Pizza: Next Generation Flavor, Texture and Nutrition

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Plant-based eating, also more commonly known as veganism is a growing trend that could be here to stay. The concept of veganism has gained a huge amount of popularity and buzz over the past 5-6 years. From industries to communities, a lot of changes have taken place when it comes to living a vegan lifestyle. As the world continues to become more environmentally and health conscious, more consumers every day are debating a switch to a vegan lifestyle.

This growth is well documented, as an NSF survey found that 88 percent of food industry practitioners said that they expect demand for plant-based products to increase as more consumers continue to give veganism a try. Furthermore, a global survey conducted in 2021 by Rakuten found that 81 percent of consumers had tried plant-based milk, 48 percent had tried other dairy alternatives, 44 percent had tried vegan meat alternatives, and 25 percent had tried a vegan egg replacement.

By opting for the vegan lifestyle, consumers can help create a better place for animals and to make it a safe environment for all the living beings on the planet. The consumption of animal meats and byproducts of animal catering requires a huge area of land and water for their maintenance, which further causes excessive carbon dioxide production and land waste.

Food technologies and innovations are advancing, which is good news for vegans, vegetarians, and “flexitarians” who, for decades have had to give up taste when it comes to plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy. Vgarden, a leader in developing extra flavorful cheeses, spreads, meat alternatives, pastries, pastas, and more, has been “in the lab” in Israel. It has now announced a comprehensive line of whatit calls “Pizza Solutions,” after having supplied one of the world’s largest pizza chain restaurants in the world with better textured and tasting toppings that are nearly indistinguishable from the original “mozzarella and pepperoni” and other combinations pizza lovers crave.

The stereotypical idea of tofu as a replacement for a juicy steak discouraged people from attempting vegan food, but advancements in food technology, thanks to the digital transformation of ingredients, processes, and packaging, have opened the door for better-tasting vegan options.

Thanks to technological innovation, vegan pizzas have become some of the most delicious and nutritious meals around.

Vgarden has developed and marketed a highly successful range of pizza toppings, with dairy-free cheeses variously flavored and based on coconut oil and meatless alternatives developed in collaboration with leaders in the pizza category. As with all Vgarden plant-based cheeses, the new range will be cholesterol free, high in calcium, and rich in nutritional fibers. Vgarden’s products for restaurants and food service are available today and being marketed in Israel, Australia, and the U.S., with more regions to come in 2023.

“We understand pizza! That is why we are looking to provide a full spectrum, delicious, innovative solutions for plant-based pizzas. From mozzarella that melts and stretches to parmigiana and Feta that matches the best traditional versions, spicy pepperoni slices, meat-free sausage, and tuna, we’ve proven with some of the largest pizza restaurant brands in the world,” said Eyal Adut, Head of Marketing and Business Development, Vgarden.

“By working with Vegan chefs, restaurant owners and operators, and visionaries in the food service industry in Israel, we were able to deliver the best alternative pizza solutions in the market today, enabling us to quickly expand in Australia and enter the U.S. market earlier this month,” Adut added.

As better-tasting, more authentic, and affordable plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy toppings continue to improve, more pizzerias are putting them on the menu as consumer demand continues to skyrocket. Not only are pizzerias, fast casual dining restaurants, pizza delivery services, and more benefiting from higher sales and customer loyalty, they are able to provide items with more conscious ingredients, sustainably sourced.

Vegan pizza offers more health benefits, being made with dairy-free mozzarella cheese or a base made of flour, nutritional yeast, and cashew nut puree resulting in fewer saturated fats. Additionally, vegan pizza is often made with a whole-wheat crust and topped with vegetables, both of which are good sources of fiber.

As consumers began to recognize the health and environmental benefits of vegan pizza, many have begun to give the non-traditional pizza pie a try. This has made vegan one of the fastest-growing pizza types across many choices, surging 187% on menus in the last three years. On top of this, according to Verified Market Research, the Vegan Fast Foods Market size was valued at $17 billion 2020 and is projected to reach $40.3 billion by 2028.

This continued and rapid growth has restaurants of all types, from fast food to sit-down, around the world increasingly looking for ways to add vegan options, specifically vegan pizza in most cases, to their menus.




Edited by Erik Linask

Content Contributor

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