GELITA DEVELOPS A SHEET-BASED VEGAN ALTERNATIVE TO GELATIN
Driven by the increasing demand for vegetarian and vegan-friendly alternatives to culinary classics, GELITA, the market leading producer of gelatin and collagen peptides, has expanded its gelling agent portfolio by delivering a world-first: agar-agar sheets.
A plant-based alternative to traditional gelatin, agar-agar is a seaweed extract that has extremely powerful thickening and gelling properties. It has long been used to thicken soups, make jams and jellies, ice creams and other desserts that need to set. Although favored by some of the world’s leading modernist chefs, plant-based agar-agar has, until now, only been available in powder form.
Using a novel manufacturing process, GELITA has succeeded in producing pure agar-agar as a standardized sheet. This new format offers numerous advantages in culinary applications such as chewy candies and gummy bears, for example. Agar-agar sheets eliminate the confusing ambiguity of spoon-based measurements in recipes and the need to use mixtures or different powder solutions. Every single sheet has an exactly defined and identical gelling strength, greatly simplifying its 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 never have to worry about your masterful creation collapsing or melting during a summer heatwave! On a practical note, dishes prepared with agar-agar remain stable for longer — even under the most extreme conditions.
In addition to being natural and vegan-friendly, agar-agar has no calories, no sugar, no carbs and no fat. It is also free from soy, corn, gluten, yeast, wheat, starch, milk, egg and preservatives … and is a good source of fiber, calcium and iron. It’s also reputed to help digestion, act as a mild laxative, prevent the body from storing excess fat and reduce cholesterol uptake.
Having worked intensively on the product for the past few years and launched in-house technology development programs, GELITA realized that consumer-friendly products had to be extremely easy to use. Hence, the development of a standardized sheet format as opposed to a bar or flakes. The company remains committed to “classic gelatin” but was keen to exploit the long-established advantages of agar-agar to meet regional requirements as well as consumer preferences, and offer optimal solutions.
The initial response has been good; the product is already attracting interest from potential customers who were disillusioned with agar-based powder products. DEKOBACK, based in Helmstadt-Bargen, Germany, for example, has decided to integrate the agar-agar sheet into its baking decorations and accessories range of products for distribution in German supermarkets.
As agar-agar is plant based, it’s ideal for creating the most tempting vegan or vegetarian dishes when gelling is required. Now, with the easy-to-use agar-agar in sheet form, anyone can prepare delicious vegan foods without the mess and guesswork of using powder-based varieties.
For more information about our agar-agar sheets, today.