ProSante XCL is a newly developed textured soy protein, which Cargill claims has a structure close to that of whole muscle meat.
The company said that the products appearance, bite and chewing properties make it ideal for meat replacement in a wide variety of products, including fresh, canned and instant soups or noodle preparations, stews, wok dishes and spring rolls.
The company has identified a growing trend among health conscious consumers looking for alternatives to meat, who expect to experience the same bite sensation they would normally expect when eating meat products.
Furthermore, this is certainly a market segment worth getting into. The overall European market for soy products currently standing at more than €1.5bn a year is expected to grow at roughly 10 per cent per year.
"Soy has gained a prominent position in healthy diets as a valuable alternative to animal proteins, but most textured products do not meet consumers expectations surrounding their look or bite," said Henk Jan Buurman, soy protein product manager for Europe, Middle East and Asia.
"Our customers set us a challenge: develop a textured soy protein matching consumers expectations that is natural and healthy. We believe ProSante XCL is the answer to these requests."
Problems with the bite profile of previous soy proteins have meant that, up until now, these products have mainly been used as meat extenders or as ingredients in vegetarian meals. But Cargill claims that the breakthrough structure of ProSante XCL provides manufacturers with a genuine alternative to meat.
"It has also been designed to fit easily within existing recipes and production processes, has a long shelf life and is cost competitive with other meat alternatives," said Buurman.
ProSante XCL is one of a range of soy proteins from Cargill that also includes soy flours and soy isolate.
Cargill Texturising Solutions is a leading supplier of texturisers and emulsifiers to the global food and beverage industry. Cargill is an international provider of food, agricultural and risk management products and services with 149,000 employees in 63 countries.