Prolifica dry texturized pea proteins shake up plant-based arena with customization
09 Mar 2022 --- PGP International, a division of Associated British Foods (ABF) Ingredients has 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.
“The shape, size and varied protein content are very important in developing finished applications,” Kevin Andrews, senior business development manager, PGPI, tells FoodIngredientsFirst.
“The surface area and shape of the Prolifica granule can be critical to the developer to ensure the finished application works great in production and provides the water, flavor and color absorption required in the finished product. The protein range is also important as many products have a stated percent protein in their serving size.”
Spicing up protein blends
The growing consumer trend toward vegetarian or flexitarian diets has created a need for more plant-based protein options, especially for familiar products such as burgers, sausages or meatballs.
The rise of plant-based eating has been charted in Innova Market Insights’ Top Ten Trends for several years, culminating in “Plant-Based: A Canvass for Innovation” as the #2 trend for 2022.
Consumers are looking for the same taste, texture and experience as traditional meat products and expect offerings to be healthy and sustainably produced. According to PGP International, Prolifica makes it possible to develop plant-based products according to these requirements.
About 23% of consumers globally report that they are trying to limit their meat intake, PGP International states.
“The pea we use comes from proprietary sources that allow us to make non-GMO and gluten-free products. What we produce offers textural qualities and attributes that work well in plant-based meats and can also be used as an extender in traditional meat products,” Andrews elaborates.
Prolifica is best suited for plant-based beef, lamb and sausage. It can be shaped into crumbs, patties or meatballs.
Andrews explains: “We use extrusion technology where we select specific qualified incoming raw materials to customize finished dried texturized proteins for our customers’ applications.”
Overcoming R&D challenges
Some of the obstacles encountered in the production and evolution of Prolifica include the addition of cleaner labels, better color retention, improved texture and flavor.
“The hurdles come in waves with our customers’ “next generation” of finished consumer products,” says Andrews.
“Prolifica offers versatility in the fact that we can customize our ingredients to fit the protein requirements, absorption levels and other attributes that are needed in the finished applications.”
Pea supplies hit hard
Pea suppliers in the plant protein sector faced tight raw material supply capacity amid rising global demand for meat alternatives in 2021. Pea availability specifically was 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 have drastically increased by 120% compared to last year.
Simultaneously, Europe suffered low yields, and in France, another large pea-producing country, the crop was severely damaged by the wet weather during the harvest.
Pea protein is becoming a crucial ingredient, rivaling soy.
By Inga de Jong
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