ST. LOUIS – Bunge has launched Beleaf PlantBetter in North America following its 2023 launch in Europe. The ingredient is designed for food manufacturers and bakers who seek plant-based alternatives that match the sensory qualities and versatile functionality of traditional dairy butter, according to the St. Louis-based company, which added challenges in butter substitutes include aeration, volume and taste.

“Beleaf PlantBetter stands out by delivering the same sensory excellence and processing ease as traditional dairy butter,” said Aaron Buettner, president of food solutions at Bunge. “We are excited to offer a solution that not only meets the high standards of our industry partners but also supports their sustainability goals all while delivering a lower cost-in-use compared to butter.”

Beleaf PlantBetter has the same melting characteristics as dairy fat. Initially it is designed for baking applications with future plans to extend to other dairy and confectionery applications.

Bunge conducted blind sensory panel studies across three countries that found Beleaf PlantBetter is on par with premium national butter brands. Manufacturers may reduce costs while gaining stability amid volatile dairy prices by using Beleaf PlantBetter, which has the same processing method as dairy butter, according to Bunge. It is vegan, plant-based, and free of dairy, lactose, palm and soy.