Replacing animal fats in plant-based food

Replicating fats in plant-based meat is an important part of getting its texture right. A range of ingredients, including a variety of oils and even coconut fat, can be used to do this.

Substituting fat in vegan products “allows us to create plant-based alternatives that closely resemble the taste and texture of traditional animal-based products​,” Sergio Pinto, CEO of Brazil-based ingredients company Cellva Ingredients, told FoodNavigator. “This is crucial for consumer acceptance and adoption of plant-based diets​.”

Creating plant-based fats

Creating plant-based substitutes for fat often requires a range of ingredients. “We use a combination of plant-based ingredients to create our fat, starting from a single swine cell. This includes a blend of vegetable oils, emulsifiers, and other plant-based components that closely mimic the texture and mouthfeel of traditional animal fats​,” Cellva’s Pinto told us.

Texture is a pivotal part of the role of a fat substitute. “Our fat substitute plays a pivotal role in improving the texture of plant-based meat. It’s designed to replicate the mouthfeel, juiciness, and succulence of traditional meat, which is often attributed to the fats found in animal products​.”

Another major consideration is sustainability. Of course, as a significant reason for the development of plant-based meat in the first place is animal meat’s negative impact on the environment and link to high greenhouse gas emissions, it’s important that the substitute for fat is sustainable as well.

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