Recent years have seen growing consumer interest in plant-based food options, leading to a (partial) transition from animal- to plant-based proteins. For example, the UK’s Vegan Society predicts that, between 2020 and 2025, the market for plant-based milk alternatives will grow by around 17% per year while consumption of vegan cheese will increase by 13% per year.
However, the increased use of plant proteins comes with several challenges as plant-protein ingredients often contain compounds that can cause unpleasant flavours in end products – such as hexanal from legume-based proteins producing a noticeable 'beany' flavour.
It can be very difficult – if not impossible – to completely eliminate these unwanted compounds using conventional food processing approaches such as filtration and / or chemical processing. Moreover, the extensive use of chemical additives doesn’t really match up with the view of plant-based food as a natural, healthy and sustainable option.