Achieving flavour and texture in plant-based – WITHOUT COMPROMISE

Holmach and their market leading technology partners, overcome plant-based manufacturing challenges through advanced innovation and process development

Recent statistics report a 230% year-on-year increase in plant-based sales with Sainsburys predicting that vegetarians and vegans will make up ¼ of the population by 2025. The pressure is on for manufacturers to respond to this demand with plant-based products that tick the boxes for taste, texture and nutritional value.

With consumer spending under threat and sustainability objectives high on the agenda, these things need to be achieved cost effectively, whilst minimising the use of water and energy.

Alongside our market leading technology partners we’ve been working with some of the UK’s leading plant-based manufacturers to overcome the complex challenges presented by these natural ingredients that include unsavoury odours and textures and high levels of enzymatic activity.

Poorly thought-out processes and technology solutions can result in a below par tasting product with an unpleasant mouthfeel that’s high in additives and preservatives.

Lagarde’s retorts; Perfinox’s scraped surface heat exchangers; Revtech’s continuous heat treatment, Lyco’s cooker and cooler, QBO’s Universal Processing System and UHDE’s high pressure processing solution, all boast significant credentials within the plant-based sector.


Recognised as the world’s leading retort manufacturer, specialising in defined cooking, pasteurising and sterilising, Lagarde’s retorts have been used for the harmonising of binding agents, whilst inhibiting the enzymatic reactions common in plant based. The sustainable gentle steam/air process is noted for developing umami flavouring and extending shelf-life to maximise retail distribution opportunities.

Case Study Everfresh Natural Foods use sprouted grains within their vegan bakery products because of the added health benefits, digestibility and extra protein & nutrients that they provide. With a range that’s free from sugar and other preservatives, Everfresh looked to Holmach and Lagarde for a solution that enabled them to create a safe ambient product with an extended shelf-life, ensuring retention of the flavour and moisture levels.


Suitable for both batch and continuous processing, Perfinox’s advanced Perfitherm technology can be used for multiple plant-based applications that require inline heating and cooling or aseptic processing. Variable speed agitation can reduce or increase sheer, enhancing texture and mouth feel. Project objectives have included inhibiting the enzymatic reactions of ingredients, eliminating the need for unhealthy additives and preservatives and enhancing the positive organoleptic properties of the raw ingredients.

Study A plant protein paste was recently developed using the Perfitherm Scraped Surface Heat Exchanger. The technology was the obvious choice as the customer needed a process that inhibited the enzymatic reactions of plant-based ingredients, whilst ensuring continuous inline cooling to preserve the integrity of the final product.


Ideal for nuts, seeds, grains, herbs and spices, Revtech’s patented continuous heat treatment solution intensifies flavours through roasting and toasting, whilst neutralising bacteria and inhibiting enzymatic activity. Ticking all of the sustainability boxes, Revtech bucks the industry trend of using fossil fuel by being fully electrically powered with low energy consumption. Capacities range from 100kg to tons per hour.

Case Study Revtech’s market leading technology is commonly used for the processing of malt. With its property as a natural sweetener, demand for malt is expected to soar as consumers demand healthier alternatives. The continuous pasteuriser and/or roaster roasts, puffs, steams and flavours all types of grain making it ideal for food manufacturing and the brewing and distilling industries.


Lyco Manufacturing’s market leading technology is ideal for the cooking and cooling of pulses, legumes and grains, as well as noodles, pasta and rice. The compact design and continuous process make it an ideal solution to integrate with existing lines. Using less water and energy than competitive solutions, capacities range from 200kg to 5 tons per hour.

Case Study With pungent odours, the processing of soya has historically been complex. Perfect cooking and hydration within Lyco’s cookers and coolers deodorises soya whilst removing naturally occurring toxins. Patented Hydro Flow® technology ensures a uniform cooking and cooling process, giving a better yield and decreasing manufacturing time.


Currently used for multiple plant-based applications, Roboqbo’s Universal Processing System offers a scalable solution for manufacturers, giving them the flexibility to develop new products, whilst meeting production demand. The QBO offers the convenience of cutting, cooking, cooling and pasteurising within a single unit, harnessing the natural properties of plant-based ingredients.

Case Study With their natural creamy texture and significant nutritional benefits, the team at Origin Kitchen looked to cashew nuts as the base for their new range of plant-based spreads and desserts.

The manual, labour intensity of their homebased process restricted production capacities and limited the growth potential of the business, whilst also potentially causing issues with product variances. Following a single product trial the team knew that Roboqbo was the perfect solution. Not only were they able to complete all parts of the manufacturing process in one single vessel in less than a quarter of the time, but the product quality and shelf-life for the vegan range was much greater. With all ingredients being cooked together, the flavours were more intense, having bonded together beautifully throughout the whole process. The greater sheer of the Qbo also enabled better sized particulates, enhancing the creamy mouthfeel even further.


UHDE’s HPP / cold pasteurisation process is suited to products that would otherwise be damaged by thermal processes. These include protein boosting shakes and smoothies, guacamole and vegetable burgers with high levels of active ingredients. HPP extends shelf life and eliminates the need for preserving agents or chemicals, whilst retaining the organoleptic and nutritional properties of the raw ingredients.

Case Study Importing over 122,000 tonnes per year, Avocado consumption is soaring but with concerns over the natural life cycle and associated wastage, manufacturers are looking to HPP to extend the shelf life of guacamole, whilst ensuring that the organoleptic and nutritional properties are maintained.

To drive growth within the plant-based sector, manufacturers need to prioritise taste without compromising on health and nutrition with unhealthy additives and preservatives.

Thermal processing technology and processes offer the ultimate solution whilst fulfilling other key manufacturing objectives including reductions in water and energy usage, increased production levels and consistent quality.

For technology and process solutions to support your plant-based projects, give us a call on 01780 749097 or email


Published 02.12.2022

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