Natural Products Insider

JUL-AUG 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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52 INSIDER July/August 2018 Each plant source carries a different portrait of amino acids. "The essential amino acid profi les of plant proteins vary by source," Braun explained. "Many plant sources are low in lysine, such as lupin, rice, wheat, sorghum, oats, hemp and fl ax, while pea and lentil are lower in sulfur-containing amino acids." A Good Balance Of the plant protein sources available, soy breaks away from the pack. "Soy protein is the only widely available plant-based source of protein that is considered a high-quality, complete protein on its own," Braun noted. "It meets all of the essential amino acid [EAA] requirements for children, as well as adults, and is well-digested." However, as interest is growing in alternative protein sources, suppliers are getting more creative to deliver a complete amino acid profi le. "We're seeing brands more interested in unique, innovative protein blends," Shone said. "Formulations with different protein concentrations and multiplant sources help with solubility and taste profi les. By blending plant proteins, formulators can achieve a more nutrient- dense product in addition to offering a combination of proteins to meet daily nutritional requirements." Certain plant sources are selected specifi cally to add some of the less common amino acids into blends. Pumpkin seeds, seaweed and soy are packed with leucine. Beans, hemp and cashews provide a less common plant-based amino acid: lycine. Lentils, oats and quinoa help round out blends with isoleucine. Currently, blending remains at the forefront of providing consumers with a non-animal-based, complete amino acid profi le. "Brands are moving away from standard protein sources, such as soy, and toward a variety of more novel protein sources such as pumpkin, hemp and fl ax," Shone maintained. "These source s offer an assortment of nutrients, in addition to being a quality source of protein." Formulation Challenges A common issue brands face with plant proteins isn't as much about the amount of protein offered—but the taste of the plant blend. Compared to the dairy-based taste of whey and casein protein blends, plants tend to have an earthier taste that can be tough for consumers to overcome. "The biggest challenge is taste, identifi ed as the top purchase driver for consumers when it comes to plant proteins," Shone said. Each plant protein offers its own distinct fl avor profi le and texture that can affect the end product. For brands to circumnavigate issues consumers face with taste, fl avor masking comes into effect. Flavor masking allows brands to create a pleasant mouthfeel for their plant-based products. Ultimately, brands face a bigger issue that chemical engineering won't be able to fi x. Misconceptions about how effective plant-based proteins can be are being tackled every day, Shone pointed out. "Common misconceptions about plant-based proteins also pose a challenge for brands. One of the biggest myths is that you can't get a complete amount of protein from plant sources. However, the truth is that eating a variety of plant-based proteins throughout the day can supply enough of the essential amino acids that you need." What Does the Future Hold? Animal-based products still make up a signifi cant amount of the protein market. "For years, whey protein has been the most popular and widely consumed product type in the protein market," Weiss commented. Not only does whey protein offer all nine EAAs, it also is the most bioavailable form of protein. However, brands are beginning to see a shift in what consumers want, including a very noticeable change in attitude toward plant-based products in general. Plant-based protein is positioned to benefi t. "It is widely thought that the plant- based protein market will continue to grow in the coming years," Weiss stated. "Statistica has estimated the plant protein market may grow more than 30 percent by 2020 to exceed US$10 bill ion." Jean Heggie, strategic marketing lead, DuPont Nutrition & Health, concurred. "More consumers are identifying as 'fl exitarian'—not abandoning meat, but actively reducing meat consumption and choosing plant-based options." She concluded, "These are fundamental shifts in consumer attitudes and behavior that are only building momentum in the market and support a bright outlook for growth of plant proteins." Plant-Based Protein Protein Innovation Digital Magazine Protein is an indispensable part of the human diet, but a growing population and an array of dietary preferences have fueled the quest for alternatives to traditional animal sources like meat, poultry and dairy. Pulses (such as soy beans, peas and lentils), fungi, sea plants, ancient grains and insects are increasingly popular options. Read more about protein trends and innovative proteins hitting the market by downloading INSIDER's Protein Innovation Digital Magazine. Vol. 8, No. 3 February 2018 US$20.75 Secaucus, NJ Meadowlands Exposition Center APRIL 10 & 11 Sustainability Clean Label Nutrition Protein Innovation Market's evolution mirrors demands for nutrition , clean label and sustainability Scan Here "The hottest trend in protein has been the rise of plant-based protein products, and all indicators say this trend will continue." ÑJoe Weiss, president, Nutrition 21 LLC

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