Plentiful Alternative Proteins

Posted on December 02, 2015 by Jennifer Bacon | 0 comments

As 2015 winds down, let's note the presence of protein ingredients as a predominant force. According to Innova Market Insights, “high protein” claims show no sign of slowing down, with 18% growth in the United States in 2014 versus 2013. Consumers are looking for proteins in foods and beverages to build and maintain muscle mass and to contribute to their overall wellness. In addition, the world’s population is estimated to reach 9.6 billion by 2050, leading to increased demand for protein.

While animal proteins such as whey and egg enjoy the mainstream status, newer protein ingredients make up a category that is often referred to as “alternative” proteins. The surge of these predominantly plant-based proteins is due to benefits related to sustainability, digestibility, low allergenicity, and dietary concerns.

FutureFood 2050 (, a publishing initiative of the Institute of Food Technologists, recently posted a slideshow highlighting 10 novel food ingredients found at July’s IFT15 food expo. Of the 10, four were alternative proteins: water lentils, fava bean, algae, and mankai. Here is a look at these as well as other up-and-coming protein ingredients.

Pea Protein
Pea protein is one of the main plant-based proteins that is enjoying a surge in use and interest. Consumers desire it because it is considered sustainable, natural, easily digestible, and vegetarian.

FlapJacked, Westminster, Colo. (, offers FlapJacked Protein Pancake & Baking Mixes andFlapJacked Mighty Muffins with Probiotics. Both utilize PURISPea pea protein from World Food Processing, Oskaloosa, Iowa (, in the formulations. “We have found that combining whey protein isolate with pea protein offers easier digestibility in our products,” says Jennifer Bacon, co-founder of FlapJacked. “Currently our protein source is split about 50/50. We only use the highest quality ingredients in our products. We have found that many pea proteins on the market source peas from different suppliers at different times of availability and from different countries. With PURISPea, we know the source; it’s non-GMO and we can guarantee its quality.”

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