Homework for New Protein Sources

March 15th, 2017


Category: Miscellaneous

Reading information about product(Food Business News) – A proliferation of protein sources has made an impact on the food industry in recent years. Formulators may wish to do some homework on the ingredients, be they sourced from peas, beans or even algae. Is the supply of the protein source increasing? At what percentage may the ingredients be used in applications? Perhaps most importantly, how do they affect taste?

Experimenting with new protein sources may continue. The market for alternative proteins, or those beyond fish and meat, is expected to grow at least 14% annually through 2024, according to a 2016 report from Boston-based Lux Research called “Finding a Winning Formula for Alternative Proteins.”

Food developers will seek to explore new sources and create new formulations to mitigate the negative environmental impact of the existing protein supply chain, according to the report. Soybeans, peas and oats have emerged as dominant plant sources based on their nutritional content and commercial value, according to the report. Technology will be vital in improving protein flavor and creating new food and beverage products.

Vegan claims rose 257% in global food and drink launches from September 2010-August 2011 to September 2015-August 2016.

Diet choices may expand the use of alternative proteins as well. Vegetarian claims rose 25% and vegan claims rose 257% in global food and drink launches from September 2010-August 2011 to September 2015-August 2016, Mintel said when giving food and drink trends for 2017.

“In 2017, the food and drink industry will welcome more products that emphasize plants as ingredients in recipes for home cooking and packaged products that leverage plants as a way to align with consumers’ nearly omnipresent health and wellness priorities,” Mintel said. “This will lead to more innovations that capitalize on and also exalt the inherent goodness of plants.”

Investing in pea processing

Already this year investments and innovation have focused on pulses, especially peas.

Roquette, La Madeleine, France, plans to invest more than C$400 million ($303 million) to build a pea protein manufacturing site in Portage la Prairie, Man. The Canadian facility will have a processing capacity of more than 120,000 tonnes per year, said Pascal Leroy, vice-president and head of the pea protein business for Roquette, when plans were announced in January.

Roquette expects construction to start in the second half of 2017 and production to begin in 2019. Roquette already operates a pea protein manufacturing site in France that has a processing capacity of nearly 100,000 tonnes per year, Mr. Leroy said.

Pea protein may work in such applications as gluten-free items, vegetarian food, sports and slimming foods, senior nutrition and clinical nutrition, according to Roquette. Mr. Leroy said snacks, nutrition bars, pasta, meat analogs and sports nutrition products are all potential applications.

At the Canadian plant, Roquette will process yellow peas, just like it does at the France plant, and make pea protein ingredients like those made at the France plant, Mr. Leroy said. The company offers Nutralys brand pea protein ingredients.

PGP International, Inc., based in Woodland, Calif., and a division of ABF Ingredients, in February launched a 60% pea protein crisp that may be used in such applications as cereals, snack bars, energy foods and confectionery. The company’s extrusion technology ensures the crisps remain free from hexane. The ingredients are gluten-free and may be used in products for those intolerant to animal-based proteins or soy.

Not all pea proteins are the same, said Amanda Donohue-Hansen, business development manager for Cargill, Minneapolis.

“Without clear standards of identity on protein content, as we see in the soy and dairy protein space, it can be confusing,” she said. “Ultimately, it’s important to understand the desired protein nutrition and functionality of the final product in order to find a pea protein to meet one’s needs.”

Pea flour inherently has at least 20% protein content and has been shown to give more of a protein boost than traditional flours in baked foods and snacks, Ms. Donohue-Hansen said.

“However, its functionality and sensory properties are different than traditional grain flours and need to be taken into consideration when formulating,” she said.

Mechanically concentrated pea flour has upwards of 50% protein content.

“Many in the industry will commonly refer in marketing to this concentrated pea protein flour as ‘pea protein,’ although its protein content equivalent in soy is simply labeled ‘soy protein flour,’” she said. “At Cargill, when we say ‘pea protein,’ we are referring to pea protein ingredients that are separated from the starches and fibers in a wet process with a minimum protein content of 80% on a dry basis.”

Cargill offers its pea protein ingredients through a partnership with World Food Processing, a multi-generation, family-owned business based in Oskaloosa, Iowa, that has developed non-bioengineered/non-G.M.O. pea seed varieties to minimize off-flavors.

“Through Cargill formulation expertise and the great flavor profile provided by World Food Processing’s pea genetics, we are able to overcome off-flavors in many bakery applications and invite customers to try our prototypes to see for themselves,” Ms. Donohue-Hansen said.

Ingredion, Inc., Westchester, Ill., has become more active in pulses through a distribution alliance with AGT Food and Ingredients, Regina, Sask., a company globally active in pulse ingredient sourcing, processing and distribution.

“One of the challenges that product developers face when working with plant-based ingredients such as pulses is the natural, beany flavor profile,” said Pat O’Brien, manager, strategic business development for Ingredion and based in Bridgewater, N.J. “In certain applications the flavor profile may be desired while in other applications product developers may prefer a bland flavor profile. Ingredion has the technical and applications support to help customers achieve the flavor profile they desire when working with pulse ingredients.”

Ingredion and AGT Food recently launched a series of Clean Taste pulse ingredients, which allow product developers a bland flavor profile for easier incorporation into applications in which flavor has been an issue.

Ingredion’s Vitessence line of protein concentrates derived from pea, lentil and faba bean range from 55% to 60% in protein content, Mr. O’Brien said. Vitessence Pulse CT 3602 faba bean protein has been shown to replace up to 45% of wheat flour in a cracker application, allowing for a “good source of protein” claim, said Dilek Uzunalioglu, Ph.D., business scientist, bakery and snack team leader, global applications for Ingredion and based in Bridgewater.

The water-holding capacity of Vitessence Pulse CT 3602 is close to that of wheat flour, which enables formulators to incorporate it with slight adjustments, Dr. Uzunalioglu said. A water increase of up to 10% water is recommended, depending on the formulation.

Homecraft flours from Ingredion include a range of pulse-based flours derived from pea, faba bean, chickpea and lentil, Mr. O’Brien said. Protein content in the flours ranges from 12% to 30%.

Archer Daniels Midland Co., Chicago, offers VegeFull cooked ground bean products that have been shown to work in such grain-based foods applications as tortillas, brownies, cookies, snacks, cereal, pizza, pasta, crackers and chips. VegeFull cooked ground bean powders have been shown to substitute for 10% to 25% of flour or added fat in baked foods. They may be extruded into pasta or snack foods starting at 30% replacement.

More protein sources

Algae, soy, wheat and eggs are other possible protein sources for baked foods.

TerraVia, South San Francisco, offers an AlgaVia whole algae ingredient that is about 65% protein. It is non-bioengineered/non-G.M.O. and gluten-free. TerraVia and VMG Partners, a private equity fund, in April 2016 launched a new venture that seeks to incorporate algae into existing food and beverage products by first investing in or acquiring manufacturers of those products.

DuPont Nutrition & Health offers Supro isolated soy proteins and soy protein nuggets. The isolated soy proteins provide a sustainable, plant-based economic protein source. The nuggets are 60% to 90% protein and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They provide protein fortification when a crunchy texture is desired.

ADM expanded its soy protein portfolio last year by purchasing a controlling stake in Harvest Innovations, which makes expeller-pressed soy proteins, oils and gluten-free ingredients. Soy products from Harvest Innovations, Indianola, Iowa, include non-bioengineered/non-G.M.O. soy chips, expeller-pressed soy flour and organic soy crisps.

Soy protein is a complete protein, meaning it contains all essential amino acids at the levels required, said Tasha Hermes, senior scientist for Cargill.

“Soy protein does bring different functionality, particularly water-holding capacity, as compared to a wheat flour,” Ms. Donohue-Hansen said. “As a result, the balance of other ingredients must be carefully managed so as not to adversely affect texture, flavor or shelf life.”

MGP Ingredients, Atchison, Kas., produces four Arise wheat protein isolates. Protein accounts for 90% protein minimum (dry basis) in three of them: Arise 5000, Arise 5500 and Arise 8000. The fourth one, Arise 6000, contains 85% protein minimum (dry basis).

“The balance of elasticity and extensibility properties of Arise wheat protein isolates is unique compared to other proteins derived from soy, pulses, whey or egg that do not possess the aforementioned properties,” said Ody Maningat, Ph.D., vice-president of R.&D. and chief science officer for MGP Ingredients.

Eggs provide many essential amino acids, which the body cannot produce and must be obtained through the diet, according to the American Egg Board, Chicago. Egg white proteins help trap extra water and lend strength to the baking structure. When formulations use whole eggs, the yolk’s lecithin helps to hold water and extend shelf life. The proteins conalbumin, globulins, ovalbumin and ovomucin in egg whites help to create large food foams.

Setting the bar higher with protein

High-protein bars may offer an opportunity for grain-based foods companies to power up their sales. Protein sourced from whey, wheat or soy may do some of the heavy lifting in new product launches.

Energy and nutrition bars eclipsed $3.4 billion in global sales in 2015, said Chris Schmidt, senior consumer health analyst, Euromonitor International, at Ingredient Marketplace in Orlando, Fla., last April. The consumer base for the product category is expanding, he said, dividing the consumers into three groups. Core users are informed and highly critical. Casual users seek out trusted and familiar ingredients. Fitness lifestyle users are willing to experiment across formats, brands and ingredients.

Sports nutrition products are targeting a wider group of consumers looking to maintain an active or healthy lifestyle, said Stephanie Mattucci, global food science analyst, Mintel, when she spoke at Ingredient Marketplace. U.S. retail sales of performance bars reached $1,046 million in 2014, up nearly 13% from $929 million in 2012, according to Mintel.

A category leader has invested in whey protein. PowerBar, owned by Post Holdings, Inc. and based in Emeryville, Calif., recently launched a PowerBar Clean Whey line of protein bars and drinks. Each bar contains 20 grams of protein, said Nick Stiritz, senior brand manager for PowerBar, in an article in Food Business News, a sister publication of Milling & Baking News (see Aug. 23, 2016, issue of Food Business News, Page 12). Whey protein is absorbed quickly in the body, he said. Milk protein also was incorporated into the new PowerBar because milk protein is digested and absorbed in a longer time frame than whey protein, meaning milk protein provides a longer energy delivery of protein.

Whey protein is high in essential amino acids and branched-chain amino acids, particularly leucine, said John Kjaer, head of sales, functional solutions, bakery at Arla Foods Ingredients, which is based in Viby, Denmark. Whey proteins stimulate muscle growth and re-generation more effectively than other protein sources, he said.

“They are easily digested and quickly absorbed by the body,” Mr. Kjaer said. “Lastly, they provide a taste advantage over some commonly consumed plant-based protein sources.”

Arla Foods Ingredients offers Nutrilac whey protein ingredients.

“Typically our solutions are based on 100% whey protein, but for some nutrition applications we also offer blends of different types of proteins,” Mr. Kjaer said. “Nevertheless, all of our solutions are based on all-natural milk components.”

MGP Ingredients, Atchison, Kas., offers Optein hydrolyzed wheat proteins that are 90% protein on a dry basis. The types of protein in Optein are enzyme hydrolysis products of gliadin and glutenin that exhibit solubility in water because of their reduced molecular size, said Ody Maningat, Ph.D., vice-president of R.&D. and chief science officer for MGP Ingredients

“Nutritionally, Optein contains approximately double the concentration of glutamine (the leading amino acid in Optein) compared to soy and whey proteins,” he said. “When consumed in the form of energy or meal replacement bars, it reduces muscle soreness, aids in muscle recovery and maintains healthy blood glucose and lactate levels, especially among active individuals.”

Proline, the second leading amino acid in Optein, helps maintain healthy joints because of its role in cartilage production and repair. Optein is able to deliver 5 grams (good source) or 10 grams (excellent source) of protein per serving.

Manildra Group USA, Shawnee Mission, Kas., offers a GemPro Ultra wheat protein isolate that contains about 25% to 30% glutamine in the form of glutamine peptides. Consuming glutamine-rich proteins promotes faster recovery after exercise.

Archer Daniels Midland Co., Chicago, offers isolated soy proteins with minimum protein levels of 90% on a moisture-free basis.

Soy protein is a complete protein in that it contains all essential amino acids at the levels required, said Tasha Hermes, a senior scientist for Minneapolis-based Cargill. Soy proteins offer versatile functionality and a complete nutritional profile, and they are among the most cost-friendly proteins on the market, said Amanda Donohue-Hansen, business development manager for Cargill. However, they also may bring allergen issues, and many soybeans are bioengineered/G.M.O.

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