Merit leverages membrane filtration technology for new pea protein poised for ready-to-drink beverages
25 Jul 2022 --- Merit Functional Foods has revealed its high-protein new pea ingredient with a grit-free texture and without the sedimentation with formulations in proteinous ready-to-drink beverages. Sediment is one of the biggest challenges for beverage producers as it accumulates at the bottom of the bottle.
Peazazz C is a lower sodium protein, with 800% less sodium than standard pea proteins, which gives the ingredient access to low sodium claims.
“We use patented membrane filtration technology to produce Peazazz C, which removes impurities and produces a high-quality product. Via this technology, we purify up to 88% protein which results in high solubility and low viscosity, while delivering a neutral taste and smooth texture, making it ideal for nutrition products, including ready-to-drink beverages and offering maximum functionality for dairy alternative applications,” Ryan Bracken, Co-Ceo, Merit tells FoodIngredientsFirst.
“The functionality of Peazazz C, including high solubility and low viscosity, offers an ultra-smooth mouthfeel without chalkiness.”
Bracken explains that Peazazz C has a mouthfeel similar to dairy-based products.
Traceability back to the farm
Merit’s Peazazz C is a Canadian-grown and produced ingredient with full traceability.
“All Merit’s contracted pea and canola are assigned unique lot codes specific to the farm they came from. Upon receiving pea and canola seed at Merit, each lot code is entered into our tracking system, guaranteeing that our finished products can be traced back to the Western Canadian farm they were grown on,” explains Bracken.
“This ensures we produce only the highest quality ingredients and provides our customers with a trusted source of pea and canola protein,” he continues.
Traceability is a growing trend as consumers are more focused on transparency. Similarly, also in Canada and in the plant-based category, PIP International is advancing its agricultural traceability program for peas from seed to final protein.
Supply chain focus
According to Merit, they haven’t encountered any issues with seed supply and don’t anticipate any problems moving forward. The company affirms it is very close to the supply chain and their patented protein extraction process.
“Currently, the 2022 growing season has seen the highest precipitation on record, which Merit has been able to mitigate by spreading out contracted pea and canola crops throughout Manitoba and neighboring prairie provinces,” notes Bracken.
“Merit is on track for yields, ensuring we have ample inventory of pea and canola protein to fulfill our customer’s growing demands for plant-based foods & beverages,” he underscores.
Pea the rising star
Cargill hailed in late 2021 pea as a “rising star” in plant-based formulations, due to its widespread consumer acceptance, as “Plant-Based: The canvas for innovation” is ranked second on Innova Market Insights’ Top Ten Trends for 2022.
According to Innova Market Insights, pea protein penetration is more than double in the plant protein market in the US compared to the rest of the world and “keeps up its growing attraction in the industry” for its new product developments.
This year, food tech is continuing the advance of pea protein performance.
Equinom’s AI solution delivers optimized pea with more desirable traits – such as high protein content. Pressure BioSciences revealed its new shear technology to blend pea and dairy proteins.
Furthermore, outside the Americas region, Cargill has strategically expanded in the META area (Middle East, Turkey, Africa and India) with its RadiPure pea protein.
Back in Canada, Roquette unveiled the “Silicon Valley of plant protein” last November, opening the largest pea factory in the world.
In March, PGP International, a division of Associated British Foods Ingredients unveiled Prolifica, a range of texturized pea proteins that offers food manufacturers more textural, shape and protein content versatility in the development of plant-based products.
Pea proteins also featured heavily on the show floor of the recently concluded IFT, in Chicago.
By Marc Cervera
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