Emsland in protein processing partnership to scale up plant-based Just Egg
13 May 2020 --- US-based sustainable foods manufacturer Just is entering into a partnership with Emsland Group to expand its protein processing capacity. The collaboration will provide the scale needed to meet increasing worldwide demand for the Just Egg, an egg alternative made from mung beans. The move is an indication of the further mainstreaming of Innova Market Insights Top Ten Trend 2020 the Plant-Based Revolution, as consumers turn away from animal-derived products.
“Our partnership with Emsland Group is not only an innovative and creative development in the world of protein processing, but it will ultimately help us make Just Egg more accessible and affordable to customers and consumers around the globe,” says Josh Tetrick, Co-Founder and CEO of Just. “We’re excited to learn from its more than 90 years of experience in the food industry, guided by the philosophy ‘using nature to create.’”
Germany-headquartered Emsland Group has manufactured pea and potato products that are essential elements in a wide range of food applications. Partnering with Just to process mung bean protein, the key ingredient in Just Egg, is a first for the farmer cooperative and will help ensure a manufacturing infrastructure for Just Egg that is dependable, efficient and expandable.
Emsland Group’s protein processing partnership with Just and expertise in starch extraction and utilization for various food products are critical components of making Just Egg a low-cost and sustainable protein. This alliance will allow the manufacturing partners to access mung bean protein more easily and create a new revenue stream from the sale of the legume’s high starch content.
The news closely follows Just’s December acquisition of a 30,000 sq ft (279 sq m) factory in Minnesota, US, which specializes in patented protein extraction methods for Just Egg. It also follows the company’s March announcement of a host of global strategic partnerships to manufacture and distribute Just Egg across North America, Europe, Latin America and East Asia.
Innova Market Insights reports a 21 percent increase in NPD with vegan claims globally, 2015-2019, with most new product launches occurring in Europe compared with other regions of the world (61 percent). In 2019, the market researcher also reported that more than one in four global consumers say vegan alternative food launches are most sustainable.
In an effort to make Just Egg accessible to millions more consumers, and as a result of increased efficiencies in sourcing, protein processing and manufacturing, US shoppers are now able to buy Just Egg at a much more competitive price than when it launched nationally last year as a liquid in a 12 oz retail bottle and in larger liquid and patty formats in foodservice. Since December, Just reports a 51 percent increase in grocery sales velocity with large gains at top national chains.
Pulses as egg alternatives
Fava beans and other pulses have been flagged as high-protein solutions to replacing eggs. Earlier this year, Univar Solutions debuted a new range of pulse-based ingredients that offer total replacement of egg yolks, egg whites and whole eggs in bakery, sauces and dressings.
“In terms of egg replacement, pulses like fava bean offer improved performance due to their natural protein content, which acts as an emulsifier. Furthermore, fava is the most neutral tasting of pulses, so other flavors can shine through. A ‘deflavored’ option is available to reduce other notes even more,” highlights Samuel Russell, EMEA Marketing Manager Food Ingredients at Univar Solutions.
Chickpeas are also in the spotlight as the key ingredient of Ingredion’s egg-free emulsifier Evanesse CB6194. The clean label ingredient is touted for use in sauces and dressings, which traditionally use egg for emulsification as seen with vegan mayonnaise.
By Missy Green
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