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Plant-based product services

Plant-based product services

The demand from consumers for plant-based products in Europe continues to expand. To answer the growing demand from the market, food manufacturers (ingredients, finished products, etc.) have been developing new products over the past years.

Plant-based foods: Mérieux NutriSciences has a complete understanding of the market

Europeans’ consumption of plant-based products has grown by 49% in the last 2 years. More recently, the core growth in the plant-based market has been driven by demand from flexitarians.(1)

At Mérieux NutriSciences, we understand that plant-based food manufacturers are looking for strategic lab partners to support them with:

  • Dairy substitute,
  • Meat substitute,
  • Other plant-based products (plant-based eggs, plant-based ingredients, plant-based seafood…)

Plant-based alternatives to dairy and meat, are mainly based on soy, almond, rice, wheat, oat, coco and other non-animal products. Plant-based products include drinks, alternatives to yogurt, desserts, creams, ice creams, cheese and spreads, as well as tofu, tempeh, seitan and alternatives to meat products such as plant-based burgers or ready-meals.

Plant-based products: Safety and quality

Some of the main challenges for plant-based alternatives in terms of food safety and quality are:

Endospore-forming bacteria from raw materials (plants and seeds) that survive heating and may produce toxins.
Allergenic proteins (from plant-based ingredients)
Pathogenic bacteria 
PAHNitrosamines and heterocyclic aromatic amines may also occur in plant-based alternatives
Heavy metalspesticides, hexane (in soy isolates)
Antinutrients. Legume seeds contain protein inhibitors of enzymes, phytic acids,….
Off-Flavors produced during processing of plant materials (grassy, beany flavors from soybeans, bitter and astringent flavors from saponins and isoflavones. It’s necessary to formulate to mask or reduce the potency of these off-flavors.
Formulationreformulationshelf-life studies and process validation will be necessary to conduct to assure the expiration dates and safety of new plant-based product services.
Meat alternatives products have near-neutral pH and high protein and moisture content, making them susceptible to microbial growth. Extrusion treatment is a critical control point that promotes the safety and shelf-life of the product.
Sum up of the main challenges for plant-based producers

Vegan diet excludes animal-based foods such as meat, including fish, as well as animal-derived products such as dairy and eggs. In the case of vegan products, it will be necessary to perform species identification.

Plant-based foods and their regulation in Europe

Mérieux NutriSciences’ expertise with plant-based foods

Working with Mérieux NutriSciences to ensuring the Safety and the Quality of your products means:

  • working with more than 100 accredited labs
  • worldwide presence but with a local reach
  • a strategic partner with more than 50 years in Food Safety & Quality

Discover Mérieux NutriSciences' plant-based product services and how we can help you to meet the safety and quality requirements in Europe:

We provide support to the entire the supply chain of plant-based food: plant-based ingredients, meat and dairy alternatives, egg alternatives and all the final products with plant-based ingredients. Our main plant-based product services are:


Microbiological Food Testing

  • Microorganisms

Mould and yeasts, Salmonella spp, Listeria monocytogenes, Listeria spp, Staphylococcus, Escherichia coli, Enterobacteriaceae, Bacillus cereus presumptive, Bacillus and Clostridium spores…

  • Microbiological stability
  • Shelf life
  • Accelerated shelf life
  • Environmental monitoring
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Chemistry Food Testing

  • Composition

Nutritional analysis, Minerals and heavy metals, including inorganic arsenic, Vitamins, Fat profile, cholesterol, amino acids, Isoflavones, polyphenols, tannins, phytosterols, phytic acids, lignans, hydrocyanic acid, phenolic compounds, …

  • Contaminants

Dioxins and PCBs similars to dioxins, Mycotoxins. Process contaminants: Acrylamide, MCPD esters and glycidyl esters, furans and methylfurans, Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), Ethyl carbamate, Heterocyclic amines, Hydroxymethylfurfural. Benzopyrene. Pesticides / insecticides / herbicides / fungicides/Chlorates and Perchlorates. Furosine. Melamine and its analogues.Hydrogen peroxide …

  • Allergen analysis: Gluten analysis, Food allergen analysis (PCR, Elisa, LC-MS/MS)
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Research & Sensory Services

  • Species identification: q-RT PCR
  • Consumer tests
  • Expert panel test internal or external
  • Consultancy
  • Training of internal expert panel
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