Independent food technology companies and manufacturers are leading the market for plant-based ingredients for foods. Several companies are using technology to improve the taste and texture of healthier choices. The original reaction by some major business interests was unsuccessful attempts at lawsuits, and to downplay the benefits. Currently larger corporations and major food brands are developing products with plant-based ingredients because they are recognizing the increased demand, and are capitalizing on the newest food trend.
Plant-based ingredients have many benefits to the environment, health, and accessibility. Growing and processing plant-based ingredients takes up less land, energy, and water than growing and processing animal products, such as eggs, milk, and meats. It is more sustainable and better for the planet. Many crops, such as the grain sorghum, are high-yielding and drought resistant. They can grow in hot climates, and produce more food than egg and poultry farms. They require no animal feed, no genetically modified organisms (GMOs), no growth hormones, and no slaughter houses.
These ingredients provide more nutrition with less risk of bacteria, allergies, and contamination. The foods are healthier because there is no cholesterol, no artificial ingredients, no preservatives, and no processed sugars. Some plants provide texture to foods, some provide natural sweetness, and others provide great taste. Exploring the possibilities, developing a database that helps discover creative uses for plants, and trying innovative combinations are steps independent companies take to develop new products that rival traditional products in taste, texture, and satisfaction. Hampton Creek’s food info, for example, explains to customers how pea proteins can produce a Just Mayo substitute that replaces the eggs found in traditional mayonnaise.
Plant-based ingredients also help make healthier foods more affordable for shoppers in all income brackets. Health food used to be too expensive for the average family to use and enjoy, so they were only found in up-scale health food stores. They are now found in regular grocery and department stores at affordable pricing. That means everyone can enjoy and purchase healthy foods. The benefits of plant-based ingredients for foods also have world wide implications for helping to eradicate malnutrition, hunger, and the waste of natural resources.