Formulating made simple video: Plant-based meat alternative nugget

Video: Plant-based meat alternative nugget


If you're looking to create a plant-based chicken nugget that mimics the taste and texture of a traditional chicken nugget, you've come to the right place. Hi, my name's Sam Hormel, a senior technologist in technical service here at Ingredion. Here at the Englewood Idea Labs, I have an emphasis on your batters, breadings and coated products. And today we're going to be taking you through a plant-based chicken nugget that's going to be paired with plant-based crispy coating.              

Hi, I'm Megan Priest, also a senior food technologist at Ingredion, and my focus is plant-based meats. Formulating plant-based meats that meet consumer expectation for taste, texture, nutrition and labeling is not easy. In this formulating made simple video, we'll show you how to overcome these challenges, so that you can create the in demand meat alternatives your consumers will love. Let's get into it.

For this plant-based nugget, I will be using a specialized starch and gum system that will help to provide the structure and functionality. I will also be using our new VITESSENCE TEX Crumbles 102. A 65% textured pea protein product that will help to provide the bite and chew in this formulation.

First, I will need my VITESSENCE TEX Crumbles and water. We'll pour that in, give it a mix, and allow this to hydrate for three minutes. While that's hydrating, I'll take my specialized food system for plant-based chicken nuggets, and I'll add that to my other dry ingredients: the flavors and spices. The specialized starch and gum system is part of our food system solutions for meat alternatives. We've taken our ingredient know-how and expertise to help take some of the guesswork out of formulating, so you can get to market faster.

Once this is all combined, I'll add water and mix. Now our crumbles are ready, so we're going to add our hydrated crumbles into the bowl and mix until fully incorporated. About 30 seconds. Now all of the ingredients have been fully incorporated, your mixture should look like this.

Now that we have our nugget mixture, it's time to form them. You can do this by hand and use a mold like this one, or for larger batches you may use a patty former such as the one that we have in our pilot plant cold room that we use for meat alt development.

Now that our plant-based chicken nuggets have been formed, we need to ensure that they're firm enough to coat. So, before we move on the next phase in production, we're going to place these into the freezer and allow them to chill for at least one hour. Now that the nuggets are frozen, it's time to apply the batter and breading system. For this part of the procedure, we'll need the help of our batter and breading expert, Sam.

Texture is one of the most important attributes to customers when choosing a coated product. From a light and crispy texture, all the way to a hard crunch that you can hear. With Ingredion's plant-based technologies, we can create that desired texture with a guilt-free appeal. To finish off our plant-based chicken nugget, we'll want to pair it with a desirable coating that keeps your customers coming back for another bite.

In this formulation, we'll be utilizing our HOMECRAFT PULSE 2101 lentil flour with 20% protein. As well as our VITESSENCE PULSE 2550, which is a lentil protein concentrate that has 55% protein. We'll also be pairing it with salt and leavening agents to help reduce the density of the coating, as well as improve crispiness. Our plant-based proteins and flours are not only clean-label and gluten free but can be used as 100% wheat flour replacement, maintaining that health halo that consumers associate with plant-based eating.

We'll be utilizing a three step batter and bread process. First we'll start with our pre-dust, which will be utilized for adhesion and moisture retention within the substrate. Next we'll be using a hydrated batter that will give the overall structure to the coating. And last, a breading that will give the final appearance after recon.

First we need to start with hydrating our batter to our desired solids. In this case, 35%. We'll want to make sure that we're hydrating the protein and flour for a minimum of 10 to 15 minutes to fully incorporate the ingredients and reduce any dense particle perception.

For the pre-dust, we're going to be using same HOMECRAFT PULSE 2101 lentil flour, as the protein content is high enough for good adhesion of the batter. You can also use our N-HANCE 59, which is a clean-label potato starch for high moisture substrates such as fish or vegetables, as the larger potato granule can hold on to more moisture that's being released from the substrate and prevent some of that blow-off or lifting during frying.

For the breading, we're going to be using the same formula as our batter here but without hydrating it. Now that our batter is hydrated, it's time to coat our plant-based chicken nugget. First we'll start with an ice water bath to remove any ice crystal formation on the surface of the nugget and to get better adherence of the pre-dust. Start by taking your nugget or substrate, dipping in the ice water bath to decrystallize it, place into our pre dust, giving it a good shake and fully coating the product. Give it a nice shake to remove any excess pre-dust and dip into your batter. Shake off any excess coating or batter that you might have on it prior to dumping into our breading. Give it a good shake to make sure that it's fully coated and remove any excess breading. Our nugget is now ready for par-frying.

Now that the nuggets are coated, we're going to par-fry at 50 seconds at 380 degrees fahrenheit to set the coating. Once they're done in the fryer, we'll move them over to the freezer for at least 24 hours before final recon. Our previously par-fried nuggets are now fully frozen. We're going to final fry at 360 degrees fahrenheit for three to four minutes or until an internal temperature of 165 degrees fahrenheit is met.

As you can see with our final fry, the coating utilizing our HOMECRAFT PULSE 2101 lentil flour, as well as our VITESSENCE PULSE 2550 lentil protein concentrate, produces a beautiful golden color, as well as plenty of surface roughness that will increase the perception of crispiness in comparison to a traditional wheat coating. Listen to that crunch. As you can look on the interior, we're getting wonderful adhesion as well as the interior texture mimics a traditional chicken nugget. This is ideal for what we're looking for. Now that the nuggets are done, enjoy with your favorite sauce.

As you can see, with the right ingredient solution and a bit of Ingredion know how, you can overcome your formulation challenges to create those craveable plant-based meat alternatives.

For more videos and to explore our formulations, please visit our resource library. Or you can click on a live chat now to get quick answers to your formulation questions. Thanks for stopping by and see you again soon.

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