Cargill’s RadiPure pea protein boon reaches META & India plant-based consumers
14 Apr 2022 --- With plant-based food applications mushrooming in popularity, agri-food giant Cargill has strategically expanded its RadiPure pea protein in the Middle East, Turkey, Africa (META) and India to meet consumer demand.
The move comes from a boom in demand for protein-rich, plant-based foods in the region.
According to Cargill’s research, 83% of META customers choose food or beverages because they are high in protein. The number of products launched with high protein and plant-based claims has increased by 31% in the last five years.
“Adding RadiPure pea protein to our product portfolio gives our customers access to one of the most versatile plant proteins currently available,” says Banu Oksun, Cargill Foods, META enrichment category leader.
The rise of plant-based eating has been charted in Innova Market Insights’ Top Ten Trends for several years. The market researcher highlights a need for choice and multiple product positionings.
The increase in the plant-based appetite is demonstrated in the retail space with NPD hitting shelves weekly, and pea protein is fast becoming a crucial ingredient rivaling soy.
Amino acid profile packs a punch
Pea protein has a strong nutritional value with a significant amino acid profile and high digestibility. RadiPure provides roughly 80% protein and can be combined with other plant-based proteins.
“No individual protein source can solely feed the world. While consumers are looking for alternatives to increase their protein intake, they do not want to compromise on taste and texture. Our RadiPure pea protein helps us meet this growing demand in the market,” Oksun continues.
Cargill has invested more than US$530 million in Turkey and expanded its product portfolio to a wide selection of food ingredients, including RadiPure pea protein. The company further supports customers with technical expertise, including an application center and ingredient blending production plant in Orhangazi, a regional hub for dairy innovation.
Improving label claims
The soluble pea protein solution can also be used to make label claims, including non-GMO, dairy-free and gluten-free.
In addition to this, it has premium emulsifying, viscosifying and gelation properties. The pea protein can be used in dairy applications, dairy alternatives, snacks, bakery, plant-based meat alternatives, vegan and vegetarian solutions.
Oksun says: “We are committed to providing our customers in the META region with innovative solutions that help them win in the rapidly growing plant-based market space.”
Innova Market Insights’ flagged that the plant-based category draws almost equal attention from health champions, eco-warriors and ethical shoppers. Although vegetarianism and veganism continue to attract fresh supporters, the flexitarian movement grows faster.Research shows that 60% of global households now eat meat-free meals at least once a week, many enticed by the variety it brings to their diet, says the market researcher. New product development also demonstrates the segmentation of plant-based eating.
In 2021, pea suppliers in the plant protein sector faced an unprecedented shortage of raw material amid rising global demand for meat alternatives. Pea availability was hard hit by a drought in Canada, the largest pea-producing region in the world. Canada recorded a drop of 45% in its production and pea prices drastically increased by 120% compared to 2020.
Simultaneously, Europe suffered from low yields and in France, another large pea-producing country, the crop was severely damaged by the wet weather during the harvest.
By Inga de Jong
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