Markets and Markets market data show that from 2019, the CAGR of the plant protein market is expected to grow at a rate of 14.0%, and will reach a value of $ 40.6 billion by 2025. Vegetable proteins are an attractive option because they are usually free of allergens, and they can satisfy consumer demand for vegetarian products, and are rich in various amino acids.
Broad bean protein, market rookie
Recently, a new study from the Department of Food Science at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark showed that broad beans have a promising future as a source of non-soybean plant protein. In addition, based on its assessment of its impact on the environment, this crop is known as a better substitute for soybeans. At the same time, as global consumption patterns change, more and more Danes choose to eat vegetable protein, partially or completely replacing animal protein.
Innova Market Insights lists the "plant-based revolution" as the second largest trend in the development of food and beverages in 2020. With the rise of plant-based products, the market interest in broad beans is expected to continue to rise. Plant-derived food and beverage innovations continue to flourish, mainly because of increased consumer interest in health, sustainability, and ethics, as well as consumers' lifestyle trends toward cleaner features.
Iben Lykke Petersen, an assistant professor in the Department of Food Science at the University of Copenhagen, said that soybean is a crop that puts pressure on the environment, so many consumers are eagerly looking for soybean substitutes, especially those with strong environmental awareness. This consumption trend has driven R & D personnel to find a broad bean processing method that can produce concentrated protein powder. One of the advantages of broad beans is that they can be grown locally in Denmark, and the climatic conditions in the region are relatively suitable.
This growing crop obviously has great application potential. For example, in terms of egg replacement, legumes like fava beans provide better application performance due to their natural protein content (which acts as an emulsifier). Among the egg replacement solutions, Univar Solutions has developed a "deflavored" that can be used to further reduce odor masking. Manufacturers have realized that broad beans may become the most neutral bean flavor, and when it is used as an ingredient, other flavors of beans can also shine.
The researchers used a unique method, "wet fractionation", to successfully concentrate broad bean protein and remove some substances that would otherwise inhibit protein digestion. This new method makes broad bean powder rich in protein and at the same time easier Absorbed by the body. Wet fractionation is to grind the beans into flour, then add water to mix the mixture into a soup. After that, it is easier for researchers to pick out those substances that are not beneficial to the human body, so as to produce the best products.
Research results show that this method can significantly increase protein content. In addition, through testing, it can be found that this protein is almost as easy to digest as researchers break down the protein in animal products (such as meat and eggs). In order to find a substitute for soybeans, the researchers tested various crops, looking for those crops with the most potential as protein powders, and could also be grown locally in Denmark. Here, fava beans perform better than lentils, amaranth, buckwheat and quinoa.
More sustainable production
Broad beans are considered more sustainable by researchers than soybeans. This crop is considered more suitable for climate considerations because they can be grown locally. Unlike soybeans, soybeans are mainly grown in the United States and South America, and are usually exported to Denmark. In addition, the researchers noted that many farms in Brazil and Paraguay have cleared large areas of forest and created space for soybean cultivation, which has had a serious negative impact on wildlife, biodiversity and carbon dioxide emissions.
Another important factor is that unlike broad beans, many soybeans have been genetically modified to be resistant to Roundup (a herbicide produced by Monsanto). Under these circumstances, many consumers are critical of the impact of soybeans on the environment.
In contrast, manufacturers prefer products that are tasteless, neutral in color, and solid in texture, and broad beans are more in line. Unlike pea, pea usually has a very bitter aftertaste. Although the nutritional quality of protein is a feature of interest to formulators, taste is another key factor. In this context, broad beans can compete with soybeans and other plant-based protein substitutes. When fava beans are processed correctly, their proteins retain their natural bright color, as well as a neutral taste and good texture.
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