Givaudan identifies plant-based proteins with the biggest potential in food industry

The Swiss ingredients manufacturer has published findings of groundbreaking research

Givaudan has unveiled the results of a pioneering research project conducted in collaboration with University of California Berkeley’s Product Development Programme. The research has identified the top six new plant-based proteins that could likely be game-changers for the food industry, and in particular, nutritional beverages.

“With an ever increasing demand for proteins, we asked ourselves if the best proteins are currently being used, and if niche proteins that are in use today could play a bigger role in the future," said Dr Flavio Garofalo, Global Category Director Savoury Flavours and Natural Ingredients at Givaudan. "This forward-thinking research will help our customers to navigate the ever-changing alternative protein landscape," he added.

The research examines many factors such as crop yields, cost of production and separation, allergens, colour and taste challenges

The research examines many factors such as crop yields, cost of production and separation, allergens, colour and taste challenges, as well how these new proteins could help the food industry meet wider challenges such as UN development goals in sustainable agriculture and production and delivering affordable and healthy nutrition.

Mapping the landscape

Givaudan has been exploring the protein space with UC Berkeley since 2017. As part of this collaboration, the Swiss ingredients maker set the students at the university with the challenge of researching emerging alternative proteins for nutritional beverages to find out which offered the best new opportunities. This involved mapping the landscape, starting with an initial pool of 44 different protein beverage products and 42 unique plant proteins.

Each protein candidate was profiled against a series of filters including commercial viability, protein content, sustainability, allergenicity, flavour and colour.

We scored the proteins for commercial, nutritional, and sustainability factors

Using a process of elimination, based on the key criteria, the students identified six proteins that they believe have the potential to change the industry. The proteins identified are oats, mung beans, garbanzo beans, lentils, flax, and sunflower seeds.

Sudhir Joshi, PhD, UC Berkeley, commented: “Our students have worked closely with Givaudan to profile a broad spectrum of proteins using a range of key filters. We scored the proteins for commercial, nutritional, and sustainability factors and then ranked them for additional health benefits. These attributes make these proteins appealing candidates for new product development. It is undoubtedly an exciting time in the industry, and we are pleased to be playing such a pivotal role in its future.”

The white paper summarising the research findings, why the six proteins were selected and the benefits of each protein, is available to download from the Givaudan website.

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