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Instant pulse & grain solutions for RTE meals
Friday, 13 November, 2020, 14 : 00 PM [IST]
Meiron, Israel
Cham Foods Limited, launches a line of dry, ready-to-eat (RTE) pulses and grains for instant meals and soups to fill the demand for a quick, nutritious meal at home or on-the-go. The new line maintains the full flavour and texture of grains and legumes, answering the unmet needs of established food companies, diet-meals startups, and innovative emerging brands.

Meeting challenges in RTE pulses and grains
The ideal for developers creating plant-based ready-meals containing healthful legumes and grains is to showcase them in their wholesome complete forms but most pre-cooked legumes and grains undergo long, multi-step preparation that leaves them overcooked and looking smashed. Instant-meal manufacturers often resort to offering noodles or pastas instead.

Moran Avni, VP of business development, Cham Foods, said, “Our RTE precooked pulses and grains can easily be integrated into any instant hotpot, saving time and labor for both food companies and consumers, taking the instant meal concept to new heights. Whether opting for lentils or quinoa, the pulses look like they were cooked ‘just now’, taste good, and contain their full nutritional value. All that’s needed is to add hot water and wait one to five minutes.”

Global RTE meal trends
Innova Market Insights reports an 11 plus per cent average annual growth in launches of ready-to-eat meals and soups (RTEs) featuring a vegan or vegetarian or plant-based or clean-label claim (Global, CAGR 2015-2019). The research group also noted 33 per cent growth in global ready meals and soups launches featuring a clean-label claim in 2019, with 15 per cent of global ready meals and soups launched featuring a vegan claim and 14 per cent of global ready meals and soups launches featuring a vegetarian claim in that year.

In today’s time-pressed world, consumers seek quick, ready-to-eat options but too often vegetarians and vegans end up in a trade-off between ‘on-the-go’ eating and healthy eating. RTE makers recognize this challenge, especially when it comes to traditionally slow-cooked foods such as pulses and whole grains — the primary, ideal sources of vegetarian protein.

Shay Shevi, CEO, Cham Foods, said, “The gap between consumers’ desire to eat wholesome, better-for-you foods and the ready meals they actually eat is huge. Consumers perceive many dry RTE meals as cheap, unhealthy, or ‘artificial’. Our mission is to change this perception and bring innovation to the table. This is especially crucial during these times, with fewer people dining out which has led to high demand for hot, wholesome meals that are easy to access.”

How it’s done
The company combines traditional methods with sophisticated technologies to overcome challenges in crafting freeze-dried prepared ingredients in order to preserve their nutritional value. It also maintains the same textures and flavours of freshly made whole grains and legumes. Simply add hot water and they’re ready for consumption in minutes.

The company’s advanced freeze-drying and pre-drying processes effectively keep the products closest to fresh, without added ingredients. They enjoy a long shelf life at ambient temperatures. The end product is about 30 per cent of its original weight, and retains the original colour, shape, flavour, and nutritional value far better than with any other drying method.

Guaranteeing farm-to-table quality and transparency, starts in the fields, working with select suppliers and growers, to bring consumers high-quality, non-GMO, conventional or organic legumes and whole grains that comply with the highest safety control standards.

“Our clean-label, plant-based product line contains a full complement of proteins, fibers, vitamins, and minerals in one pot. They’re ideal for flexitarians, vegetarians, and vegans. We can provide the ingredients separately or create mixes tailor-made to client preferences. We can even customize the texture, making the legumes or grains turn out softer or firmer upon rehydration, as desired,” concluded Avni.
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