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Reliable alternatives to dairy proteins

Today’s consumers expect food products to be not only tasty, healthy and affordable but also both natural in origin and consistent in quality. Moreover, these same consumers are increasingly concerned about linked ethical matters such as animal protection and intensive farming. 

All this explains why vegan meat-, milk- and egg-free diets are now espoused not only by vegans and vegetarians but also by meat-reducers; by people with special dietary needs (arising, for instance, from ethnic/religious rules or from dairy protein allergies or lactose intolerance); and by the nutrition-conscious. Soy protein-based foods and drinks are commonly used as an alternative to dairy, while new opportunities in this field are emerging from the development of products based on other vegetable sourced proteins, such as pea proteins.

Roquette is the world leader in pea-derived ingredients for food. These include a complete range of pea proteins known as NUTRALYS®. NUTRALYS® comes with a variety of functional and physical properties, some of which are particularly relevant to the production of dairy-like products.

The pea protein in NUTRALYS® is highly purified (85% as dry matter) and is obtained from a sustainable source, the yellow dried pea.

Based on clean processing procedures, NUTRALYS® pea protein:

  • Is suitable for “all-natural, all-vegetable” dairy formulations.
  • Is non-GMO and not a major allergen.
  • Is an affordable source of protein.
  • Displays technological properties ideal for dairy-like product processing.
  • Possesses the emulsifying properties and viscosity necessary for a creamy texture.

Until now, the main restriction on the use of vegetable proteins has been their taste – this can vary slightly, depending on botanical origin, but it has always had a persistently unattractive odour and a so-called « green » (or vegetable) sensory note. As a result of continuous research and improvement, NUTRALYS® S85F (containing 85% protein) overcomes this drawback. The origin of the undesirable “green” note is linked to certain naturally- present volatile molecules, such as hexanal.  Roquette technology has made it possible to exclude these, from raw material to isolated protein.

Processing: fermentation, texturization, ease of use and cost-effectiveness

In terms of processing, the pea protein makes fermentation possible. In terms of texturization, a protein gel comparable to soya is created. 

This protein helps stabilise emulsion/emulsification. In addition, it offers trouble-free use while significantly reducing formulation cost. This is why NUTRALYS® is half the price of dairy proteins. NUTRALYS® also has inherently free-flowing properties, which makes the lecithin or other additives and flow agents required in milk and soya protein unnecessary.

NUTRALYS® is also very easily dispersed, with no dust, lumps or foam formation, making it easy to use in manufacturing environments. 

The Roquette patented process for pea protein isolate results in a highly purified pea protein (~85% protein content/dry substance) with a high amino acid score of 93 for adults. Unlike other vegetable protein sources, NUTRALYS® has a very low anti-nutritional factor content. This ensures optimal efficiency with high digestibility: approximately 98% - that’s better than whole peas or pea flour and comparable to the best animal protein source.

The amino acid profile of pea protein is well balanced and fulfils the requirements defined by the World Health Organization for adults.

It should also be noted that pea protein isolate has the advantage of being able to offer the recently approved generic claim related to bone health. Categorized as an ingredient, NUTRALYS® is suitable for all-natural, all-vegetable dairy formulations.

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