Plant-Based Seafood

Vegan fish flavors that deliver more, naturally

Plant-based meat alternatives have transformed grocery store shelves and restaurant menus alike with a broad range of meatless options that appeal to consumer interest in a healthier, more sustainable diet. Now, vegan fish products are catching this wave. While the market is in its infancy – with annual sales of USD 10 million  - the potential is compelling for manufacturers that can skillfully formulate authentic, tasty and enticing vegan seafood products.

Naturally, this is a formidable challenge – especially when we think of the way consumer expectations and preferences for plant-based meat alternatives have evolved. We already know it’s not enough to be ‘just’ plant-based; these products also need to deliver on texture and succulence, nutrition, and above all, fantastic taste. Similarly, producers of fish-based and plant-based seafood options are tasked with achieving authentic, clean seafood taste that features the unique mouthfeel and body associated with fresh fish, while also managing sodium levels.

Without question, today’s more sophisticated and discerning consumers will be seeking vegan seafood products that check all the right boxes.

An opportunity to bring more to the table

In order to shore up all of these requirements, manufacturers need a toolbox that includes on-point fish flavors that can deliver on the taste and sensory properties of traditional fish products. However, most commercially available fish flavors are produced by processing fish or crustacean parts, and as a result, they don’t meet vegetarian criteria and are not fully sustainable, either.

Middle block flavors – where the delicate body and mouthfeel of fish needs to be replicated – have proven particularly challenging to get right. And so-called top notes, which can bring fish flavor to a range of products, are often natural, Kosher or Halal, but very rarely combine all three.

Genuine fish flavors, naturally

Addressing these key challenges, DSM recently launched vegan fish flavors with innovative and first-in-the-market attributes that food producers are looking for.

Maxavor® Fish YE are new middle block fish flavors that are natural, vegan and allergen-free, plus Kosher and Halal certified - making it truly unique and fully declarable. Importantly, it offers manufacturers two distinct profiles –  rich, oily dark fish and light, fleshy white fish – enabling them to mimic the distinctive body and mouthfeel of familiar fish varieties. Maxavor® Fish YE can be utilized across a broad range of fish-based and plant-based seafood products – from battered vegan fish nuggets to fish cakes to vegan fish sauces – giving manufacturers a flexible tool that delivers the authentic flavors consumers demand.

To fully reap the benefits of Maxavor® Fish YE, customers can turn to complementary solutions in our portfolio, such as

Added to this, our technical application experts help customers understand the key nuances to developing fish-based and plant-based seafood products and guide them towards the ideal formulation for exciting new offerings

Build authentic fish taste with our 100% vegan and natural fish flavor


Working toward nutritious, sustainable foods for the planet

It’s also worth noting that Maxavor® Fish YE is derived from a sustainable algal oil base. This and other key raw material selection enable transparent product claims for customers, and it also speaks to DSM’s own commitment to developing ingredients that further enable the creation of sustainable, plant-based products with a clean label. As the world’s oceans continue to be overfished, pursuing this commitment will remain a top priority for us. 

As the tide turns toward plant-based seafood, manufacturers face a booming opportunity to deliver authentic taste, clean flavor and desirable texture in a range of new products - with the right tools in their toolbox.

Contact me to learn more about the new Maxavor® Fish YE and our full Maxavor® vegan meat flavor range.

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Published on

30 March 2021