UK-based ingredient specialist Ulrick & Short has developed a plant-based ingredient based on upcycled rapeseeds (from the Brassica family, also used to make canola oil).
Ulrick & Short specializes in clean-label, plant-based and natural ingredients. The company portfolio includes starches, flours, fibers and proteins for the bakery, meat, dairy, and ready meal sectors.
The Swedish investment firm Novax acquired a majority stake in Ulrick & Short for an undisclosed sum in 2021, with the move described as a strategic investment into the European specialty food ingredient market. Novax told FOOD Navigator that Ulrick & Short is “well positioned to capture the long-term secular trends of consumers and food manufacturers shifting towards healthier and more sustainable food alternatives.”
Plant-based ingredients for the European market
In 2019, Ulrick & Short entered the vegan category with the launch of its egg substitute called Ovaprox, which was designed to reduce the number of eggs required in a recipe. The product, made from wheat and maize, was claimed to provide a competitive alternative to conventional products.
The company further introduced the vegan protein fortification ingredient complex 20, which allowed manufacturers to develop high-protein bakery and snack products, as well as plant-based alternatives. Emma Walker, Development Technologist at Ulrick & Short, told Nutrition Insight at the time: “The end goal is to be able to make protein claims and improve nutritionals without people knowing is it any different to the standard product. Complex 20 proves that protein fortification doesn’t have to alter the flavor of finished products.”
The European ingredient specialist has now introduced the plant-based ingredient complex ZERO, which is described as a product that is “conceptually new” to the market. Complex ZERO is claimed to be equipped with high contents of protein and fibers, while containing 70% less fat and 94% less saturated fat compared with conventional 20% fat beef mince.
Ulrick & Short R&D Manager, Danni Schroeter, said: “Complex ZERO is a genuine wholefood alternative, not an imitation of meat and fish products. The development of complex ZERO was borne out of a desire to provide a nutritious and clean genuine alternative to enable plant-based NPD to evolve and not require ingredients with un-consumer friendly declarations such as methylcellulose to mimic a specific textural property.”
Schroeter concluded: “The localized sourcing of complex ZERO makes it inherently sustainable, both in terms of future production, but also a vastly reduced carbon footprint when compared not just with meat products, but also other plant-based products and ingredients.”meat fish eggs beef protein plant-based alternative investment strategic investment