Campden BRI has begun research into developing techniques to help the food industry produce cost-effective protein-rich ingredients from plants.
Campden BRI has over 2,500 member companies from 80 countries, including all of the top 10 UK retailers, and provides technical, legislative and scientific support and research to the food and drinks industry worldwide.
Over the next two years the project will investigate different processing methods and assess more plant-based ingredients to determine how they perform in meat and dairy alternatives and bakery products.
The research will compare different processing techniques and parameters, such as equipment, time and temperature to understand the impact they have on yield and protein functionality. The project then aims to optimise the nutritional value and technical performance of these ingredients – providing manufacturers with more plant-based protein options.
“The food industry is responding by seeking to develop or reformulate products with plant-based protein ingredients, but this is no easy task.”
Ingredients research team leader, Tiia Morsky, who is leading the project, said: “The rise in veganism and flexitarian diets requires products to be free from animal-based ingredients. The food industry is responding by seeking to develop or reformulate products with plant-based protein ingredients, but this is no easy task. Manufacturers can become confused about which plant-based proteins are available to them, which are most suitable for their product and how they will function during new product development.”
Morsky added: “Protein functionality plays a key role in product development and consumer appeal. Egg, for example, is a unique multi-functional ingredient that is used for aeration, emulsification, enriching, colour, shine, and structure formation. Replacing this ingredient is, understandably, difficult for manufacturers. However, our work has found pulses – such as peas, beans and lentils – display great functional properties with significantly higher foam expansion and foam volume stability when compared to egg white proteins.”