Vegan diets are becoming more popular among consumers concerned about nutrition, animal welfare and environmental issues.

So developing plant-based products for this market can lend bakers a competitive advantage, but the challenge is to find ways to replace the functional properties of egg and dairy.

Animal fats can be replaced by water- and plant-based oil emulsions, such as margarine and shortening. Nut or legume-based ‘milk’ can be used in place of animal milk and contain high levels of protein and nutrients.

Ingredients such as aquafaba, flaxseeds and chia are used to replace the functional properties of egg and stabilise foams to create emulsions in cake batter. But qualities such as ‘richness’, are more difficult to replicate, so this is in continuous development.

Laura Sherwood, bakery technologist, Campden BRI

Campden BRI provides technical support to the food, drinks and allied industries worldwide. Its activities are built on a programme of industrial relevant research and innovation steered by industry. See or telephone 01386 842000