Natural Products Insider

JAN-FEB 2018

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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16 INSIDER January/February 2018 In response to the global outbreak of "protein fever"—the notion that protein is a defi cient nutrient in most diets— consumption and usage of this nutrient in various forms is reaching groundbreaking highs. Consumers insist on increasing protein intake, and the food and beverage industry is responding by creating a variety of products fortifi ed with animal- and plant-based protein ingredients. "When it comes to protein sources, health and wellness, sustainability, allergen-free and clean label are four main drivers grabbing consumers' attention," said Jenna Mills, marketing communications specialist, nutritional beverages, Kerry. Animal-Based Protein Ingredient Options The human body requires "high-quality protein for optimal growth, muscle health and overall organ function," said Nathan Pratt, nutrition scientist, Kerry, making it essential to formulate with the best types of protein. At the heart of dietary proteins are 20 amino acids, nine of which are essential, meaning the body cannot produce them so they must come from the diet. Ensuring products have a "high PDCAAS (protein digestibility corrected amino acid score) of 1.0 adequately supports consumers' protein needs," Pratt explained. Animal proteins meet this goal. "Proteins derived from animal sources provide a more robust physiological response, particularly with respect to the stimulation of muscle protein synthesis, the repair and building of damaged and/or new muscle," said William McCormack, Ph.D., business development manager, nutrition at Synergy Flavors. He added that the response is mediated by higher essential amino acid concentration per gram of protein, superior digestion and absorption kinetics. "More consumers are becoming aware that dairy proteins are among the highest- quality protein sources available," said Kara McDonald, vice president, global marketing communications, U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC). Dairy proteins are a "complete protein source" because they contain "essential and nonessential amino acids, including branched-chain amino acids [BCAAs], such as leucine," McDonald continued. (BCAAs, especially leucine, are required for muscle protein synthesis.) Of the dairy proteins gaining attention, whey protein isolate, is a popular choice. "Whey protein isolate has a superior amino acid profi le, and is fat- and carbohydrate-free," said Jordan Donohue, business development manager, sports nutrition and health foods, Arla Foods Ingredients. "Whey proteins are rapidly digested and fully absorbed by the body, ensuring optimal delivery of essential amino acids to tissues." Whey proteins are used to enhance the protein profi le and nutritional value of many food and beverage products without compromising clean labels. In addition, Donohue pointed out the use of whey proteins helps reduce fat in yogurts, desserts and cheeses without affecting taste and texture. Two other dairy proteins gaining traction are micellar casein and native whey, both of which contain high concentrations of amino acids. "[Micellar] casein is a slow-release protein," meaning it is "good for satiety and is used extensively in meal replacement products," said Paul O'Mahony, product strategic manager dairy and plant proteins, Glanbia Nutritionals. With slow-release, the digestion rate is slower, which helps keep a consumer full for a longer period. With micellar casein's slow digestion, "the amino acids are slowly dispersed into the blood stream, which aids muscle recovery," explained Kate Sager, U.S. marketing manager, Ingredia Inc. Native whey is said to be closer to whey's original form compared to whey ingredients processed as byproducts of cheese production. Raw milk is dried at low temperatures and then goes through a fi ltration process, resulting in a more intact protein. This minimally processed protein is "high in BCAAs and essential amino acids," O'Mahony said. Because dairy comes in liquid or powder, mixing these proteins into functional food and beverage products to meet consumers' needs is possible. "Dairy proteins provide a range of functional properties," McDonald explained, "including fl avor, emulsifi cation, foaming, heat stability, water binding and gelation, which provide structure, sensory and nutritional qualities." This affords a wide range of applications—bars, beverages, baked goods, soups, dressings, candy, ice cream and more—all of which can glean clean labels because "dairy proteins remove hydrogenated oils and other avoided ingredients in formulations for a clean and functional label on innovative offerings," McDonald concluded. Some less considered, yet nutritiously sound, animal-derived protein ingredients include cricket, chicken and collagen. "Cricket powder from farm-raised crickets is an emerging alternative protein and nutrition source," said Aaron Dossey, Ph.D., founder, All Things Bugs. "It is a complete animal-based protein that is high in iron, B vitamins, and omega-3s and -6s." Identifi ed in the research paper "Edible Insects: future prospects for food and feed security" (the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations [FAO]) as "nutritional powerhouses," crickets are high in protein and essential amino acids. Although eating insects is a foreign concept, especially in Western culture, it is gaining momentum in the Food & Beverage: Protein Animal proteins contain essential and nonessential amino acids, making them complete protein sources. Plant-based protein sources are quickly gaining popularity among consumers. Fortifying food and beverage products with protein takes precision, trial-and-error and science. Clean Label Protein Ingredients Fortify Functional Foods and Beverages by Ginger Schlueter INSIDER's Take

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