WORLD-FIRST VEGAN ALTERNATIVE TO LEAF GELATIN

August
12, 2021
3 min

Eating habits are changing like never before, largely as a result of growing interest in flexitarian diets, along with vegetarian and vegan products. The sourcing of food is also a key consideration for many ethnic and religious groups (kosher, halal). However, it’s important to bear in mind that when it comes to meat-free products, both chefs and consumers are unwilling to compromise on convenience, indulgence, texture and visual appeal. That’s why here at GELITA, technical experts have expanded our gelling agent portfolio by delivering a world-first: agar-agar sheets.

Although favoured by some of the world’s top chefs, plant-based agar-agar has, until now, only been available in powder form or as a mixture with other gelling agents. The seaweed extract has extremely powerful thickening and gelling properties, and has long been used to thicken soups, make jams and jellies, and also ice creams and other desserts that need to set.

Using a novel manufacturing process, we have succeeded in producing pure agar-agar as a standardised sheet. This new format offers numerous advantages in culinary applications, such as desserts, fancy cakes and cream fillings for example. Agar-agar sheets eliminate the confusing ambiguity of spoon-based measurements in recipes, along with the need to use mixtures or different powder solutions. Every single sheet has a clearly defined and identical gelling strength, making it wonderfully simple to use and ensuring a successful dish every time.

What’s more, agar-agar has a higher melting point than many gelling agents. It stays firm in high temperatures and is ideal for use in hot climates. As such, you’ll never have to worry about your culinary creation collapsing or melting during a summer heatwave! On another practical note, dishes prepared with agar-agar remain stable for longer - even in the most extreme conditions.

In addition to being natural and vegan-friendly, agar-agar has low calories, and no fat. It is also free from soy, corn, gluten, yeast, wheat, starch, milk, egg and preservatives, and is a good source of fibre, calcium and iron.

Having worked intensively on the product for the past few years and launched in-house technology development programmes, we realised that consumer-friendly products must be extremely easy to use. Hence, the development of a standardised sheet format as opposed to a bar or flakes. Undoubtedly, we remain committed to “classic gelatin” but were keen to exploit the long-established advantages of agar-agar to meet regional requirements, as well as consumer preferences, and offer optimal solutions.

As agar-agar is plant based, it’s ideal for creating the most tempting vegan or vegetarian dishes when gelling is required. Now, with easy-to-use agar-agar in sheet form, anyone can prepare delicious vegan foods without the mess and guesswork involved when using powder-based varieties.

For more information about our agar-agar sheets, contact us today.