© Ingredion

New Ingredion Pea Protein Enhances Texture and Taste in Cold-Pressed Bars

Ingredion Incorporated, a leading provider of specialty ingredient solutions, has launched VITESSENCE® Pea 100 HD, a pea protein designed to enhance the texture and taste of cold-pressed bars in the US and Canadian markets. This new product allows these bars to maintain softness throughout their shelf life, offering preferred sensory attributes and nutritional benefits. Ingredion showcased VITESSENCE® Pea 100 HD at the IFT FIRST Annual Event and Expo 2024 in Chicago this week, featuring it in a plant-based Chocolate Tahini Jelly protein bar. Daniel Kennedy, Director of Sales for Healthful Solutions and Protein Fortification, and Yeni Pena, Senior Business Manager for Texture Solutions, led a discussion at the expo on innovations in texture and creating sensory experiences that enhance taste and build consumer preference. Addressing …


A photo of a shared facility

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New Foodvalley NL Report Advocates for Alt Protein Hubs to Accelerate a Climate-Neutral Food System

Dutch firms Foodvalley and Invest-NL have released a new report suggesting strategic recommendations to accelerate the production of alternative proteins in the Netherlands to drive the transition to a climate-neutral food system. Advancements in plant-based production, cellular agriculture, and fermentation technology are pivotal for such a transition; however, companies’ barriers to scaling up hinder the sector from making an impact. The market and the barriers According to the firms, the Dutch market for alternative proteins is forecast to surpass €10 billion by 2030, indicating significant growth potential. The country’s alternative protein sector leverages traditional agricultural strengths with innovative biotechnological research, creating an ideal environment for alternative protein ventures, evidenced by the numerous startups successfully attracting private investments. This unique positioning provides opportunities for the Netherlands …


WOA fava beans

© WOA / vegconomist

WOA Repurposes Proprietary Lupin Technology to Innovate Pea and Faba Protein Isolates

Australias Wide Open Agriculture Limited has announced the successful development of enhanced protein isolates from pea and faba (fava) beans using its proprietary technology. WOA’s technology, initially utilized for producing Buntine Protein from lupin, has now been successfully adapted for pea and faba proteins, showcasing the versatility of WOA’s extraction process and its potential applicability to a broader range of alternative proteins. The new protein isolates were developed in WOA’s R&D laboratory and produced at its pilot plant in Perth, Australia. Compared to standard isolates, the company claims these functional protein isolates show improved gel strength, solubility, and reduced viscosity. Superior products for evolving needs Enhanced gel strength contributes to better product texture, stability, and shelf life. Improved solubility aids in ingredient dispersion and incorporation, …


Raw potato on color background


10 Molecular Farming Startups Transforming Everyday Plants into Protein Powerhouses

Today, we bring you a roundup of molecular farming startups transforming plants into biofactories to produce alternatives to animal proteins, pigments, next-gen sweeteners, and growth factors. Plant molecular farming, an additional production approach to plant-based, cultivated, and fermentation, promises unlimited and cost-effective ingredients for food and other industries. Since it doesn’t require expensive infrastructure and bioreactors — only the magic of plants and bioengineering —  existing greenhouses and fields can become ingredient factories, ensuring a straightforward industrial scale-up and competitive prices. Each of the following startups has chosen a plant as its production facility: 1. VelozBio, Mexico: Discarded  fruits VelozBio, a startup based in Monterrey founded in 2020,  claims to have developed the world’s fastest protein design and development platform. VelozBio produces high-value proteins, including casein, by expressing target …


© Quorn Foods

Quorn’s Mycoprotein to Be Blended with Animal Pork and Served in NHS Hospitals

First of all, to be clear, blended and hybrid products are no new thing and have existed for years, both successfully and unsuccessfully. As a publication specialised solely in the vegan business niche, we have widely avoided the topic of products consisting of plant (or fungi) meat blended with animal protein, since we do not write about animal products. But this is different and it would be remiss of us to not report, that: Quorn Foods, pioneer of meat-free products since 1985, today announces that “Quorn Foods’ role in the past was to help a few people eat no meat. We have now evolved into a company that helps everyone eat less meat.” Why is this significant? As most people in the food industry are …


Study aims to boost legume crop yields in Italy


Study Aims to Boost Legume Crop Yields in Italy, Improving Plant Protein Self-Sufficiency

According to LEG-ITA, a project working to increase legume crop yields in Italy, less than 5% of European utilised agricultural area is devoted to grain legumes. Consequently, European self-sufficiency in plant proteins is poor, with the region relying mainly on imported soybeans. To address this, a two-year LEG-ITA study conducted in partnership with the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies aims to identify key factors influencing the yield stability of grain legumes. Low yield stability is one of the most prominent reasons why farmers prefer other crops, and solving this issue could incentivise more growers to choose legumes. In turn, this could play an important role in improving the sustainability of the food system. The researchers will collect data on growing conditions for grain legumes, cultural …


Bezos Center for Sustainable Protein established at Imperial College London

© Imperial College London

Bezos Center for Sustainable Protein Opens at Imperial College London, Will Receive $30M in Funding

The Bezos Earth Fund has announced the launch of a new Bezos Center for Sustainable Protein at Imperial College London. The Center will span seven academic departments, focusing on the development and commercialization of sustainable, affordable, nutritious, and tasty alternative food products. This will include research into cultivated meat, precision fermentation, AI, machine learning, nutrition, bioprocessing, and automation. Engineering biology and biofoundries (where cells effectively become mini factories) will be used to develop and scale up new bio-based processes. The Center will also encompass several institutes and facilities, including the Center for Synthetic Biology, the Center for Translational Nutrition & Food Research, and SynbiCITE (the UK’s industrial translation center for synthetic biology). These institutes will help with education, translating discoveries into real-world applications, and commercialization. …


Bunge faba beans

© Bunge

Bunge Strengthens Plant-Based Protein Portfolio with Pea and Faba Concentrates

Bunge has announced the expansion of its protein concentrate portfolio to include pea and faba protein concentrates, complementing its existing soy protein concentrate offerings. To facilitate this expansion, Bunge is partnering with Golden Fields, an agricultural company and leading dry miller of pea and faba beans in Europe. Golden Fields will produce exclusively for Bunge at a newly constructed factory in Liepaja, Latvia. The new range of Bunge’s pea and faba protein concentrates is characterised by several notable attributes. These products are non-GMO, light in colour, finely powdered, and contain 55-70% protein on a dry basis. Such specifications make them suitable for food applications, allowing manufacturers to easily boost protein content and support non-GMO and allergen-free labelling. Industry Context Pea and faba beans are gaining …


A drink made with leaf protein

© The Leaf Protein Co.

The Leaf Protein Co. Secures $850K to Unlock the Highly Nutritious Rubisco Protein for F&B

The Leaf Protein Co., an Australian agritech startup extracting Rubisco proteins from green leaves, has raised $850,000 in a pre-seed round to accelerate its growth and propel the commercialization of its sustainable protein solutions for the F&B industry. The University of Melbourne Genesis Pre-seed Fund led the raise. LaunchVic’s Hugh Victor McKay Fund (supporting local agtech startups) and Loyal VC participated. With the new capital, the startup will expand its staff, optimize its pilot plant, and enhance its protein extraction methods to bring its leaf proteins to market. Hun Gan, CEO of Genesis Pre-Seed Fund, expressed pride and support on behalf of the University of Melbourne, acknowledging the significant progress the startup has made and highlighting the potential of innovations to improve people’s lives, tackle …


Pureture announces faster production for plant-based casein that can seamlessly replace dairy proteins

© Pureture

Pureture Cuts Production Time for Plant-Based Casein, Joins Others in Removing Cows From the Dairy Industry

US biotech company Pureture, a company developing functional animal-free ingredients, announces that it has improved the production process for its plant-based casein — a yeast-derived, non-GMO ingredient for realistic and clean-label dairy alternatives like yogurt, milk, and cheese. Pureture says it has developed an innovation (not disclosed) that leverages novel ingredients to boost yeast growth and activity, allowing for cost-effective production: growing yeast in 30% less time. Pureture states that its innovation is a big step towards more sustainable production of plant-based dairy, positioning it as a leader in this growing market. Clean label plant-based dairy In addition, the new method eliminates the need for anti-foaming agents commonly used in yeast production, making the final product more natural. Despite the reduced additives, Pureture says the …


Mycorena's mycelium meat

© Mycorena

The Role of Science-Driven Alt Protein Startups in Addressing Global Food Security

A recent review article published in Nature Communications explored an ecosystem of alternative protein startups and their science-powered innovations, exploring the potential market penetration of products and their impact on addressing the food security challenge — doubling protein demand by 2050 without relying on animal agriculture. Elena Lurie-Luke and her team at the Department of Biosciences at Durham University, UK, utilized science-driven startups as a data source to assess progress in alternative proteins, emphasizing their agility and innovative capabilities. Translating innovation to the market The researchers categorized the startup ecosystem based on their product development approach to create alternatives to meat and fish proteins into three groups: Replace, Modify, and Make. The study used already-developed products as examples to analyze the potential of products to …


© NCSU & Bezos Earth Fund

Bezos Earth Fund Establishes Sustainable Protein Research Center at NC State University

The Bezos Earth Fund has awarded North Carolina State University $30 million over the next five years to establish the first Bezos Center for Sustainable Protein. This project will create a biomanufacturing hub for sustainable dietary proteins that are environmentally friendly, healthy, and affordable. This funding is part of the Earth Fund’s larger $100 million commitment to create a network of open-access research and development centers focused on sustainable protein alternatives to expand consumer choices while addressing environmental concerns. An additional $40 million investment was announced alongside this grant, complementing the previously committed $60 million. The overarching goal is to contribute to the Earth Fund’s $1 billion pledge towards food system transformation. Chancellor Randy Woodson of NC State noted, “As a land-grant university in a …


Dig Insights report

Report Reveals How Brands Can Capitalize on Plant-Based Protein Trends in 2024

The Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) and The Good Food Institute (GFI) recently conducted a comprehensive survey to examine consumer attitudes and behaviors toward plant-based proteins. The survey, which included 1,500 Americans aged 18-65, was carried out in late 2023. The results, compiled into a detailed report by Dig Insights, provide valuable insights into the current landscape, health perceptions, and barriers within the plant-based protein market. Current Landscape According to market analysts, the plant-based protein market has experienced consistent YOY growth and is projected to continue at a CAGR of 8.6% until 2034. Despite this, many consumers remain unfamiliar with plant-based proteins, suggesting a large potential market waiting to be tapped. While veganism initially boosted the popularity of plant-based diets, non-vegan consumers now incorporate plant-based …


The Israeli-based food-tech startup NewMoo has emerged from stealth mode, unveiling a plant molecular farming platform for producing caseins in agricultural plant seeds. 

Image courtesy of NewMoo

NewMoo Emerges from Stealth Using Plant Seeds as ‘Bioreactors’ to Grow Casein Proteins for Animal-Free Dairy

NewMoo has emerged from stealth mode, unveiling a plant molecular farming platform for producing caseins in agricultural plant seeds. “Our approach doesn’t require expensive bioreactor machinery to grow our proteins. The plant seeds themselves act as bioreactors,” explains the Israeli startup. Considered the “holy grail” of milk structure by the dairy industry, caseins are responsible for the taste and functional properties consumers love about cheese: melting, stretching, and bubbling. NewMoo claims that its caseins are equivalent to cow-derived proteins in terms of nutrition, composition, and functionality. By utilizing plants instead of cows for production, NewMoo offers a cost-effective, animal-free, and sustainable method for creating a wide range of dairy products, including cheese. Daphna Miller, NewMoo co-founder and CEO, comments, “This method of making previously animal-based foods …


Plant-based meat by Fuji Oil

© Fuji Oil

Fuji Oil, Amano Enzyme & Nissin Foods Lead Japan’s Surge in Alt Protein Patent Rankings

By embracing innovation, Japanese companies are expanding their foothold in the alternative protein market. Nikkei Asia and the Tokyo-based research firm Patent Result analyzed a report on patents filed by companies and research institutions, giving each a score based on its value. Their analysis shows that three firms—Fuji Oil, Amano Enzyme, and Nissin Foods Holdings—ranked the 2nd, 6th, and 16th spots (as of April 2024) in the top 20 list of worldwide organizations filing patents related to technologies and methods to produce alternatives to animal products. What are these patents for? Fuji Oil According to Nikkei, the soy-protein innovator Fuji Oil holds patents for making plant-based butter and cheese. Fuji Oil employs a patented specialized Ultra Soy Separation process to make plant-based cheese and create low-fat soy …


ALEHOOP produces proteins from seaweed and legume byproducts


European Project Uses Biorefineries to Extract Proteins From Seaweed & Legume Byproducts

ALEHOOP, a European project funded by Sustainable Bio-Based Europe, has successfully used pilot-scale biorefineries to recover sustainable proteins from macroalgae (seaweed) and legume byproducts. The recovered proteins could be used to produce high-value food and feed products, including meat alternatives, snacks, and sports drinks. The project has conducted numerous safety tests to ensure that the proteins address any regulatory requirements and market barriers. Consistently high-quality Seaweed is a highly sustainable protein source as it requires no additional land or freshwater to grow and can benefit marine ecosystems. Meanwhile, legume processing generates byproducts such as seed coats, hulls, broken seeds, and leaves, which would normally be discarded; proteins made from these byproducts therefore have a very low carbon footprint. One challenge faced by the ALEHOOP project …


Plant-based medallions on a production line

Image courtesy of Ensemble

Meat Alternatives to Drive the Total Incremental Volume of Protein Ingredients to 860kt by 2027

According to research by Swiss company Giract, the total global incremental volume of protein ingredients is projected to reach 860kt over the forecast period 2022-2027, with meat alternatives accounting for the largest proportion of growth. The research finds that ingredients that can replicate the sensory properties of meat and are compatible with the technical requirements of processing are becoming increasingly available. This is encouraging manufacturers to produce more meat alternatives, which in turn is increasing consumer demand. Soy protein remains popular due to the availability of affordable non-branded options and its production scalability. Pea protein is also rapidly gaining interest due to its nutritional and functional advantages; however, some manufacturers have struggled to reformulate their recipes to use pea instead of soy. Fava bean protein …


flava pulse pea protein concentrate

Pea protein concentrate with a great taste! A new standard for the industry.

After 4 years of dedicated research with our R&D partners, we have introduced a groundbreaking process that is set to revolutionise the industry standards. FlavaPulse is the first dry fractionation plant utilising this patented technology to eliminate bitterness and off-tastes in pea protein.  Pea protein concentrates offer an attractive alternative to pea and soy protein isolates, thanks to their competitive price and low carbon footprint. However, the specific bitterness in native pea flour has been a limiting factor in food recipes. Formulators in the meat and dairy analog industries, bakery, and gluten-free and allergen-free applications can now incorporate our new version of pea protein concentrate without compromising on taste. The initial feedback from our clients has been overwhelmingly positive, with test panel participants describing the product …


Mycelium bacon on a plate - CellX unveils its mycelium fermentation programme

Image courtesy of CellX

McKinsey Report: Majority of US Consumers Willing to Try Novel Protein Ingredients

A report by strategy and management consulting firm McKinsey has found that most US consumers are open to trying food and drinks that contain novel protein ingredients. The report divides novel proteins into three categories — animal-free products made using precision fermentation, biomass proteins derived from microorganisms, and fungi proteins such as mycoprotein and mycelium. Plant-based proteins were also studied for benchmarking purposes. The results indicate that 63% of respondents would try animal-free proteins, 56% would try biomass proteins, and 49% would try fungi proteins. Comparatively, 77% are open to plant-based proteins. 28% said they would be more likely to try a novel ingredient if it made the food healthier, and nutritional descriptions such as “good source of protein” were found to be the most …


Green peas in close up


Pea Protein Market Projected to Grow at CAGR of 19.9%, Reaching $7Bn Valuation by 2031

The global pea protein market is set for significant growth and will be worth $7 billion by 2031, according to a report by Astute Analytica. A shift towards sustainable plant-based proteins and healthier lifestyles will drive the market to grow with an estimated CAGR of 19.9%. Unlike many other proteins, pea protein is allergen-free, widely available, and has a high nutritional value. It is also low in calories and high in fiber, helping to address cardiovascular issues and obesity. Over the forecast period, pea protein will be widely used in applications such as meat alternatives, protein bars, and shakes. The increasing trend for clean-label products will encourage manufacturers to incorporate more pea protein into their formulations. Competition from other protein sources such as wheat, soy, …