Natural Products Insider

JUL-AUG 2019

INSIDER is the leading information source for marketers, manufacturers and formulators of dietary supplements, healthy foods and cosmeceuticals. Since 1997, INSIDER has been serving the needs of the global nutrition industry.

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24 INSIDER July /August 2019 41 to 48% protein, making one 30 gram serving a good source of protein. "Almond protein has been shown to be compatible with other complementary proteins, including both plant-based sources and dairy sources, to create products with complete amino acid profiles for optimal product development," she noted. "Within blends, almond protein can also aid in neutralizing unpleasant flavors (such as 'earthy' notes in pea protein), creating a well-rounded product with good flavor and a simpler label." Almond protein powder has a better taste profile than other protein powders, according to Shaheen Majeed, president worldwide, Sabinsa, maker of Promond almond powder. "It has a complete range of amino acids, including branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)," he said, noting Promond has a minimum of 50% protein, is easily digestible and fit for vegans. "It has a low carbohydrate content and is lactose-free. This off-white to cream, free-flowing powder is easy to formulate and process into a variety of finished products." New Hope's NEXT Trend Database, which tracks products and claims at Natural Products Expo trade shows, has found innovation activity is much higher in the plant protein than in the animal protein segment. There were 680 plant protein ingredients/claims relating to protein volume at Expo West 2018, compared to only 499 for animal proteins. The share growth for plant protein ingredients/claims was 38%, compared to 5% for animal proteins, based on data from Expo West 2016 through 2018. On the animal side, NEXT found substantial negative share growth for whey, casein and milk protein in diet and nutrition products (-32, -61 and -62%, respectively). These proteins fared much better in food and beverage products. While whey had a modest 26% share growth, casein and milk protein posted huge growth shares of 198 and 182%. Clearly, the innovation for these proteins shifted from supplements to food/beverage. Egg protein was the only outlier, with positive share growth in both supplements and food/drinks (88 and 87%, respectively). Plant proteins also had gains in both diet/nutrition and food/beverage segments at Expo West. Pea protein was out front with a whopping 131% share growth in diet/nutrition products and an astronomical 486% share growth in food and beverage. Rice protein logged a thin 7% share growth for supplements but an impressive 101% growth in food and beverage. Hemp posted disappointing growth, with -44% in supplements and -25% share growth in foods/drinks. With the recent passage of the 2018 Farm Bill in the U.S., hemp with lower than 0.3% THC (the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis) will now be legal. Its regulatory status in supplements and foods awaits FDA or congressional pathway to legality, but the hemp and CBD products have been flooding the market in the meantime. Thus, there is a real opportunity in hemp protein powder for sports nutrition and broader applications. As expected, soy protein share growth at Expo West 2018 fell 40% in supplements but managed a modest 19% share growth in foods and beverages, according to NEXT analysis. Technology Drives Innovation Although the market for all kinds of protein powder products has become crowded, one area of differentiation is in the underlying technologies used to make better, innovative products. As the sports market has turned away from soy protein, it is also wary of soy lecithin, which is considered not "clean" by many consumers. Glanbia's patent-pending BevEdge technology offers a clean label method of delivering exceptional dispersibility and superior flavor without lecithin, according to the company. Introduced with its BevEdge Pea Protein in 2017, this technology is now also available as BevEdge Whey Protein 290, featuring a whey protein isolate. "With no lecithin in the ingredient, there is also no use of soy, so no soy allergen and no soy on the label," Glanbia noted. Boosting the bioavailability of protein powders is a benefit offered by Nutrition 21's Velositol, a mix of amylopectin and chromium. A 2017 study publication reported adding Velositol to a 6 g dose of whey protein taken by men and women increased the fractional rate of muscle protein synthesis (MPS, the process of building new muscle) beyond what was seen with whey protein alone (J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 14:6). A product of an Australian-New Zealand partnership, Extrusion Porosification Technology (EPT) from Clextral promises protein powder manufacturers improved rehydration properties such as dispersibility and solubility with difficult-to- dry products, such as dairy proteins. Alain Brisset, EPT business development manager, Clextral, added, "We can achieve optimal flavor retention for powdered beverages (coffee, for example) compared to conventional spray drying." Juna Deygat, EPT worldwide sales manager, Clextral, said the technology can reduce energy consumption and generate a higher throughput. "This is due to the processing of highly concentrated media," she explained. Targeting the plant protein trend, Futureceuticals developed its Beverage- Ready Grains to help protein beverage formulators tackle issues with taste, texture and mouthfeel. The process behind the line—oat, quinoa and ancient grain varieties—shatters the tough cell wall and creates a free-flowing hydrocolloid-like material, the company noted. Technology has enabled innovations such as a hot protein drink featuring rice and pea protein powder. "Heat does not affect the nutritional value," assured Noam kaplan, CEO of Matok V'Kal, Ltd., which makes the vegan Fit4Style Protein Cup. "Just like heating a steak does not affect the protein value of it." As these and other technologies help deliver more potent and flavorful protein powder-based products within economic and market constraints, consumers and athletes will benefit from a wider array of product options than even the dizzying array of high- protein food and beverages. Adding energy and recovery ingredients like creatine and botanicals is yet another way brands are upping the ante in a crowded marketplace. Sports Nutrition: Protein Powders

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