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Bunge launches plant-based butter alternative

Bunge introduces Beleaf PlantBetter, a novel plant-based alternative for traditional butter to satisfy the growing demand for environmentally responsible and cost efficient dairy replacements.

Bunge Plant Based Butter

As demand for dairy alternatives surges, Bunge's Beleaf PlantBetter emerges as a potential answer to the complexities faced by food manufacturers and bakers seeking plant-based alternatives that match the sensory qualities and versatile functionality of traditional dairy butter and can easily be integrated in their current production process.

The company said Beleaf achieves the precise aeration, volume and taste required for products such as croissants, cakes, etc., that has proven challenging for most butter substitutes. These challenges have been further amplified by the escalating volatility in butter pricing, driving the need for innovative solutions.  

"Beleaf PlantBetter is a game-changing innovation developed by Bunge that brings together the sustainability attributes of plant-based with the uncompromising sensory and performance of dairy butter — all while delivering a lower cost-in-use compared to butter," explains Aaron Buettner, President of Food Solutions at Bunge.

Beleaf PlantBetter recreates the aroma, taste and texture of traditional butter and is a blend of primarily coconut, cocoa butter, rapeseed and lecithin ingredients. It has the same melting characteristics as dairy fat and is initially designed for bakery applications, with future plans to extend to other dairy and confectionery applications. The solution offers food manufacturers and bakers the following advantages:

  1. A series of blind sensory panel studies conducted by Bunge across three countries demonstrate that Beleaf PlantBetter is on par with premium national butter brands.
  2. Manufacturers can reduce costs while gaining stability in the face of volatile dairy butter prices.
  3. Beleaf PlantBetter offers the same processing method as dairy butter, allowing for seamless integration into the production process.
As a conscientious choice for both manufacturers and consumers, Beleaf PlantBetter offers an environmentally responsible alternative to dairy butter as it reduces carbon emissions by 50% compared to standard dairy butter. This achievement has been independently verified through a third-party study conducted by the Terra Institute. In addition, Beleaf PlantBetter is composed of recognizable ingredients from all natural sources. It aligns with the growing consumer desire for transparency in food products, delivering an ingredient list that consumers can understand and feel good about.

Bunge's dedication to consumer adoption and the growth of the Beleaf product portfolio is further exemplified by the launch of Eleplant, Bunge's retail version of Beleaf PlantBetter, earlier this year in Europe. PlantBetter has also been nominated for the Fi Innovation Awards 2023 in the Plant-based Innovation category. 

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