The Importance of Color Consistency With Plant-Based Meat Substitutes

As vegan food becomes more prevalent for environmental reasons, development processes for plant-based protein need to become more advanced. While color will not change the taste of a vegan meat product, it will influence consumer perception, making color consistency vital for these foods.

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Why Color Consistency Matters

Color consistency is essential in plant-based protein because it:

  • Improves visual appeal: Many senses fuel the eating experience, like taste and texture. Visual appeal is just as important when communicating how enjoyable a food will be. Color consistency for plant-based meats following the right color formula will help to make the product more visually appealing to every buyer.
  • Supports product success: Consumers actively use the look of the product to determine if it’s worth purchasing. When a plant-based meat is inconsistent in color, consumers are less likely to trust the product and perceive it as out-of-date or unsafe to eat. Color consistency helps consumers develop a positive perception of the product, making them more willing to purchase it repeatedly.
  • Regulates the manufacturing process: Creating standards for end products is essential for streamlining the manufacturing process. When manufacturers know what color they need to achieve for plant-based protein products, they can integrate a consistent process for achieving that color. Greater regulation leads to increased efficiency.
  • Streamlines quality control: Manufacturers want to deliver high-quality vegan food products to the shelves, making quality control procedures essential. Color consistency plays a role in quality control — every product should look the same. With consistent processes in place that help to repeat the same product color, quality control processes can operate smoothly.
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Achieving Consistency With Measurement Equipment

When coloring plant-based protein, achieving consistency requires a quantitative approach to color. Taste is more of a subjective factor, but color can become objective with the right tools.

Spectrophotometry enables vegan food producers to develop a reliable method for plant-based protein color. This equipment can generate data on color values based on the transmission and absorption of different wavelengths. Developers can start by measuring the color values of a real meat sample and test the color of different plant-based protein coloring methods.

Once developers find the right coloring methods based on spectrophotometer results, they can apply the methods to manufacturing processes to ensure consistency.

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Contact HunterLab Today

HunterLab carries a range of equipment for color measurement and quality control. If your operation needs to implement development processes for more color consistency in vegan meats, our spectrophotometers offer a solution. Contact us today for more information about our equipment.