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Non-Dairy Plant-Based Alternative Drinks

Make ’em taste like milk!

Almond, Soy, Coconut, Seed-plant-based Non Dairy Beverages

It is no longer just for the lactose-intolerant.

Global market for dairy alternatives is valued at 20 billion USD and estimated to double by 2026 to 40 billion USD (Source:

Asians have long invested in plant milks due to genetic differences in lactase enzymes.

In 2020, the Covid pandemic increased the focus on healthy functional drinks.

Exponential growth of the online shopping market features trendy products with low glycemic index, higher fibres, antioxidants, no trans fats, and higher plant antioxidants.

Plant based milk alternatives are gaining popularity with increased adoption of vegan diets, advocates of lactose-free milk and sustainability of cow’s milk impact on the environment concerns.

However, consumers are used to the creamier, rounder mouthfeel of dairy milk beverages and expect the same from plant-based alternative beverages.

Creamy and Satisfying like Milk

Your formula for non-dairy milk alternatives will revolve around rice, nuts, grains or soy. These raw ingredients are vastly different in the oil, protein and sugar profiles from that of animals’ milk.

Proteins in plant ingredients are much lesser than cow’s milk. Among the different type of plant-based beverages, rice and sesame milks have the highest total carbohydrates (>15%) and calorie amount (>130 calories), while quinoa and soy milks contain the highest protein level (>4%).

In addition, just like how consumers display preferences for the slight taste differences between the milk of cows and goats, plant-based beverages differ in tastes depending on their source of nuts or grains.

To achieve an acceptable and desirable taste profile, formulators need to enhance their non-dairy drink with different functional ingredients as well as stabilize the emulsion formed.

My team needed to refine the formula. Even though blind tests pointed to a creamy and nice flavor, it failed to stay intact when added to coffee. It separated quickly.

Christina, Beverage Application Technologist

Of Bean Odours and Precipitation Problems in Soy, Cereal and Nut Milks

Soy milk has a distinct soybean odour during the manufacturing process.

Ryoto Sugar Ester emulsifiers have been used successfully to promote the removal of this odour due to its protective effect on protein enzymes.

Soybean and nut beverages are sometimes fortified with oil to improve the oil-protein ratio and sugar added to improve palatability.

This new blend of oil-water emulsion will benefit from powerful plant emulsifiers to stabilize the emulsion for longer shelf life and better taste profile.

Microbial spoilage emulsifiers may aid in prolonging shelf-life of the plant milks.

UHT makes the flavours go off

Plant-based beverages are usually subjected to ultra-high-temperature (UHT) treatment.

These heating processes denature proteins and results in precipitation. Beverage developers find it challenging to balance the sensorial profile changes and ready-to-drink (RTD) sterilization requirements.

Role of Sucrose Fatty Acid Esters In Non-Dairy Plant-based Beverages

Do you specialize in soy, rice, oat, almond, cashew, hemp seed, or hazelnut alternative milks?

If you want your plant-based beverage brand to shine, you need to master your raw materials’ physiological attributes to create stable desirable flavours and textures.

With the large variety of sources for plant-based alternative drinks, the different nutrient profiles and characteristics make quality emulsifiers a necessity. 

From creaminess, mouthfeel, and colour to the combination taste in dishes and coffee, consumers want their plant-based beverages to feel and taste like milk.

Your formula consisting of plant stabilizers, oils and other natural additives will work synergistically with Ryoto™sugar esters to arrive at the consistent sensory profiles of regular cow’s milk.

Ryoto Sugar Esters, with its targeted span of HLB values for oil-in-water emulsions, can help you achieve your sustainable formula!

This works so well in the making of my almond milk. Ryoto Sugar Esters are able to boost the other stabilizers to make the textures much more consistent!

Mabel, Beverage Formulator TEam

Ryoto Sugar Esters

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