Achieving a Sustainable Society

The products of the Shin-Etsu Group, such as cellulose derivatives used in fields of pharmaceuticals and foods or synthetic pheromones used to control pests, contribute to solving our health and food problems.

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More comfortable living
Binder for plant-based meat alternatives "Metolose MCE-100TS"

Meat alternatives made from protein-rich soybeans and peas have come into practical use. It is attracting attention of not only for people who are vegan and health conscious and actively eating vegetable foods, but also as a food that contributes to solving food shortages and environmental problems due to population growth.
The Company has developed “Metolose MCE 100TS”, which is one of the products of cellulose derivatives, with a view of using it as a binder for plant based meat alternatives. This makes it possible to create a similar texture to real meat, which cannot be achieved with soy or other raw materials alone.
Our binder has already been adopted by a major hamburger chain. The global market for plant-based meat is expected to grow at a double-digit rate annually, and further market expansion is expected.

Interview with the staff in charge in the Metolose MCE-100TS

1.Please tell us about your job.
Mr. KH and Ms. CA: We are in charge of the domestic sales of cellulose products in the food field. We also handle cellulose used in the fields of construction materials, ceramics, cosmetics, and chemical industry.
Mr. HH: I am in charge of the overseas sales of cellulose for food applications, including sales for SE Tylose, a subsidiary that produces and sells cellulose derivatives in Germany.

Mr. HH

2. Please tell us what inspired you to develop Metolose MCE-100TS.
Mr.HH: We received inquiries from overseas customers about product functionality, and our technical sales representatives and laboratory personnel collaborated and developed this product.
An aqueous solution of Metolose will turn into gel when heated to a certain temperature, and revert back to solution when cooled. We thought that if we could lower the temperature at which the gel turns into solution and maintain its gelatinous state at room temperature, we might be able to expand its use in food as a substitute for egg whites, which is used as a binder.

3. Were there any difficulties or anything that you put extra effort into in developing Metolose MCE-100TS?
Mr. KH: Europe and North America have taken the lead in the technology for plant-based meat. In order to spread plant-based meat in Japan, it is necessary to provide foods that Japanese people like, which suits the dietary habits of Japanese people.We are working to create a new Japanese food culture, so even food manufacturers are still groping to develop such products.
We need to solve various problems, in order to propose a new product like Metolose MCE-100TS to such food manufacturers. We had a hard time to reach the quality that our customers demanded, because we had to take into consideration various factors: the food must taste good; we must be adjust a production line to fit for it, and the food must be sold at a fair market price.

Mr. KH

It was a new product development, so there were times when customers were cautious about taking the plunge. We work with our customers to find out how they can utilize their existing equipment without making major improvements in order to commercialize the products.
Mr.HH: In overseas markets, we have explained our products features to each customer to make them understand. Starting with the functional evaluation of the product at the customer's research laboratory, we carry out prototyping, actual equipment testing, and stability evaluation in sequence, so we need to work closely with customers. At each stage of evaluation, we need to provide observations and technical advice as appropriate to meet the quality requirements of the customer.

4. What did you think of the actual taste of the plant-based meat added with Metolose MCE-100TS?
Ms. CA: It was very delicious. I think it is good that it has low calories compaired to real meat, so it is healthy. With such a remarkable improvement in quality, I see a great potential for future demand for plant-based meat. This product can satisfy the various preferences of consumers because its texture and flavor vary greatly depending on the ingredients used and how they are formulated.

Ms. CA

5. Please let us know if there is anything else you would like to add to promote the product.
Mr.HH, Mr.KH, Ms.CA: Metolose is a material that makes it possible to do what was previously considered impossible in the food industry. We will continue to strive to expand sales worldwide, with the catchphrase "a material that makes your wish come true."