Whole Foods has announced the rollout of a line of cold-pressed plant-based milk from Texas-based MALK Organics. The refrigerated nut milks, which are extracted using high-pressure-processing technology, are now available in 2,000 stores nationwide.
MALK Organics, writes FoodNavigator-USA, is “carving out a niche at the premium end of the burgeoning nut milk category.” The company's nut milks are devoid of preservatives, thickeners, and emulsifiers. Each 28-ounce bottle contains more than one cup of sprouted organic nuts.
Whole Foods will be carrying unsweetened almond and vanilla-almond MALK in stores across the country; other flavors like maple-pecan and unsweetened cashew MALK will be available in select stores in the Southwest, Northeast, Northern California, and the Rocky Mountains.
“I used to make almond milk for my son with nuts and water and salt, because fresh almond milk is one of the best things I ever tasted,” MALK Organics co-founder and CEO August Vega told FoodNavigator-USA. “But I didn’t really have time to make it, so I started buying it, but there was nothing on the market that was anything like what I made at home.”
Unlike the products from MALK Organics, many plant-based milk producers use stabilizers or emulsifiers to give their products a creamier texture. The use of seaweed-derived carrageenan, in particular, was heavily debated within the organic industry for years before finally being permitted by the USDA in April. The substance, used in plant-based milks but also in ice creams, has been linked to intestinal distress in some people.
Plant-based milks have been rapidly gaining in popularity in recent years. Nielsen data released this summer showed that the American plant-based foods market rose 20 percent to $3.3 billion between June 2017 and June 2018, with plant-based milk sales up 9 percent. According to the data, sales of plant-based milk now comprise 13 percent of total milk sales nationwide.
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