Israel’s KaYama Foods, founded by Gad Harris in 2022, pioneers a ground-breaking fat technology that it claims makes plant-based oils as effective as meat fats in delivering flavors, texture, and aromas during cooking.
According to the startup, animal meat fat tends to melt at a higher temperature range, while vegetable oils have a lower melting point — except coconut oil that has a melting point of 25°C (77°F). This feature (of plant oils) makes plant-based meats lose their oils and thus their flavor and moisture in high-temperatures cooking processes.
To tackle this problem, many plant-based formulations include emulsions and emulsifiers to prevent oils from leaking out. Still, they don’t provide the functionality of oil. To solve the taste problem in meat analogs, KaYama Foods has developed a thickening product that raises the temperature at which plant oils liquefy, retaining them in the products.
The company’s patent-pending formula can be applied to any plant-based oil, allowing manufacturers to choose from a broad range of options. The product is clean label, made using recognizable ingredients.
Good fat alternatives
Since taste is king, many companies are developing novel fats to enhance plant-based foods. The Israeli food tech startup Gavan has developed FaTRIX, a series of high-performance, plant protein-based fat substitutes for bakery; leveraging the power of fungi, Swedish food tech company Mycorena is ready to scale the production of its clean-label fungi-based fat.
Innovating in the field of cellular agriculture, Germany’s Cultimate Foods specializes in cultivated fat to develop hybrid meats — the first products of cultivated meat. In the US, San Francisco-based Lypid has launched PhytoFat, a flavored plant-based fat solution for alt meats that features a high melting point that helps to preserve juiciness throughout the cooking process — which matches KaYama Foods’ solution for tasty plant-based meat.
“If you ever tried [a meat alternative] and were left with a dry, rubbery feeling, or maybe the flavors and aroma weren’t quite right, it was probably because the product didn’t have a good fat alternative,” Gad Harris told the Israeli innovation news outlet NoCamels.
KaYama Foods was a finalist in this year’s MassChallenge Israel accelerator program, a four-month intensive program that helps entrepreneurs advance innovations.meat alternative meat protein plant-based alternative cellular alt startup