The Israeli soy specialist has been marketing Bontex for many years, but the main uses to date have been in noodle, soup and ready meal products.
But VP marketing and development Gary Brenner told FoodNavigator.com that Solbar is looking to tap health and wellness opportunities for its existing product range and this has led it to investigate uses for Bontex in such diverse products as pralines, petit fours, snack foods, savoury batters and breads.
“We didn’t realise [until recently] the opportunities for taking health and wellness with bakery and confectionery products,” he said at the HIE trade show in Paris this week. “We are listing to the market and reacting to needs. Where we have a product, we try to meet them.”
David Kraus, market development, global applications manager, said that the Bontex proteins typically have 273 kcals per 100g, 15mg fat per 100g and less than one per cent fat.
Digestibility is said to be higher than other proteins, such as meat proteins, and they are gluten-free and oil-free. Solbar expects this latter attribute could make them attractive as alternatives to peanuts, which do contain oils.
Kraus explained that there may be some need for additional processing to make it suitable for use in different products. For instance, as it stands Bontex has no flavour or coating. To this end, Solbar is open to possible co-operation with like-minded companies.
It is also conducting trials on using natural, E number-free colours and flavours, instead of E-number which are now encountering market and consumer resistance.
“We understand that raw materials are important, but ingredients solutions are needed and this is consistent with what we have done all along,” said Brenner.
Other healthy moves
Earlier this year Solbar introduced a new isolated soy protein with about a quarter of the sodium usually found in isolatescalled Solpro 957, which is intended to contribute to manufacturers' quest to lower levels in finished foods.
Sodium is typically used in the extraction process for soy protein isolates, and sodium levels in the ingredient are estimated to be between 11000 and 13000 ppm.
Solbar, however, says it has found a way to adapt the process and reduce this to 3000 ppm, or 300mg/100g.