Limagrain’s extruded pulse range Pep’s Balls touted for plant-based protein enhancement
02 Dec 2021 --- Limagrain Ingredients has unveiled its range of extruded pulses, Pep’s Balls, to keep up with the market demand for plant-based ingredients that satisfy evolving consumer taste requirements.
These extruded pulses are designed to enhance products with plant-based proteins, according to the company.
The balance of power in the food industry worldwide is steadily leaning more toward answering to the requirements of flexitarians, vegetarians and vegans and this presents a myriad of detailed challenges for producers.
“Our process to develop these new products was quite simple: we follow carefully the evolution of the plant-based food market, and the latest report by Bloomberg Intelligence showed strong expected growth for this market from US$29.4 billion in 2020 to US$162 billion in 2030,” Elise Grolières, snacks and breakfast cereals, marketing manager, Limagrain, tells FoodIngredientsFirst.
The rise of plant-based eating has been charted in Innova Market Insights’ Top Ten Trends for several years. This year, the market researcher’s “Plant Forward” trend signaled the progressive nature of the movement as it expands into new categories and regions.
Notably, the plant-based category is being championed by eco-warriors, ethical shoppers and health boffins alike.
Looking to 2022, the market researcher has crowned “Plant-Based: The Canvas for Innovation” as its number two trend for the forthcoming year.
According to Limagrain, Pep’s Balls are a creative response to the situation. The company claims their Pep’s Balls is an ideal natural texturizer with good mouthfeel.
Legumes have the leg up
Consumer choice takes precedence and the numbers show that they are flagging the taste of plant-based products as garnering the most attention.
According to Limagrain, plant-based protein products need to keep their composition simple, with a handful of trusted ingredients consumers know. About a quarter of consumers are concerned about the taste of plant-based protein products and 17% are concerned about their texture, the company reports.
Their proteins can be used in products like bread, cookies, biscuits, cereals bars or even meat substitutes, to reach protein or fiber claims, explains Grolières.
Innova Market Insights’ consumer research also highlights a need for choice and multiple product positionings as “there is no single definition of a plant-based customer,” it states.
The challenges for manufacturers is including legumes in food products while maintaining its organoleptic quality.
Going up against the grains
Limagrain markets seed and grain products in 58 countries, generating sales of close to €150 million (US$170 million). More than 335,000 metric tons of cereals are transformed each year in seven production sites in Europe.
The company recently rebranded and regrouped all its functional flours under one new brand, Innosense.
Limagrain says its functional flours are the result of the synergy between cereal knowledge and the mastery of its hydro-thermal processes and enjoys a strong position in Europe for functional flours under the brand names Westhove and BiTex.
LifyWheat, a fiber-rich wheat flour was also launched earlier this year.
By Inga de Jong
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