Tadah came to us to commercialize one of their most popular and innovative products, their Falafel Poppers. Our challenge was to find all-natural solutions to match the original home kitchen samples – a light, crunchy falafel exterior with a smooth, creamy hummus interior, in a plant environment. Adding to the challenge was the unique shipping needs of the product – it needed to ship frozen but in some retailers, it also needed to thaw and sit in a refrigerated case without the product degrading.
We found two solutions that not only fit well into the Mediterranean theme of the product but also solved shelf life and texture issues without much change to the ingredient deck. To keep the falafel exterior crunchy, we added pre-gelatinized garbanzo flour, which represented only a slight change to the original home kitchen recipe. This kept the falafel shell crunchy, even after thawing and cooking in the microwave, the preferred method of cooking for the consumer.
To keep the hummus creamy and smooth, without taking on additional water during the thaw, we added fenugreek gum, a gentle gum system that bound up just enough water to keep the product creamy and delicious. The remaining work involved adjusting fry times at the plant to ensure the falafel exterior stayed crunchy while the interior fully cooked, all without the product getting too tough during the fry.
Formulating innovative yet commercially viable products that taste and look great throughout shelf life can difficult, and even more so with all natural ingredients. Through extensive benchtop testing and support of the production team at the co-packer, CuliNex was able to develop Falafel Poppers that stayed true to the original formula and tasted just as intended.