vly and KWS Collaborate to Develop Plant-Based Products Made from Yellow Peas

German alt milk brand vly and seed specialist KWS have announced a multiyear partnership to develop plant-based foods made from pea protein.

Vly already offers a range of pea-based milk alternatives, while KWS has been breeding yellow peas since the 1980s. The company now leads the market in France, which is described as the largest and most important European pea market.

Previously, KWS has focused on selecting for traits such as yield, resource efficiency, and standing power. However, as part of the new partnership, the company will work to adapt the characteristics of yellow peas for use in plant-based foods.

“As a seed producer, we can contribute to food development right from the start — for example, in terms of improving taste, processing quality, and texture,” said Nigel Moore, who oversees the area of nutritional food ingredients at KWS. “Closely collaborating with downstream players in the value chain is the key to developing new products with tailored ingredients.”


Driving long-term change

Vly’s milk alternatives contain 50% more protein than cows’ milk, while being very low in saturated fats and carbohydrates. They have been described as “the first milk alternative that truly beats dairy milk in terms of macronutrients”.

Ten months after launching across Germany, vly reported that it had already sold a million litres of pea milk, after securing listings at 6,000 points of sale. In 2021, the company raised €6.1 million to upscale into new European markets and develop more products.

“Our collaboration puts to use knowledge and methods from molecular biology, bioinformatics, sensory science and food technology to drive innovation and long-term change in the field of dairy alternatives made on the basis of, in particular, peas and to provide healthy, nutritious and flavourful products for consumers,” said Dr. Anna Birke, Senior Fermentation Scientist and Innovation Manager at vly.

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