Plant protein has incredible potential for innovation says Johan De Conninck, Business Development Manager, IAR (France) . Starting from breeding where you can select plants with better proteins composition (quantity and quality), better process ability or less anti-nutritional factors. On the extraction and purification side it is possible to optimise processes using either dry (de-hulling, milling, sieving, air classifying, electo-separation…) or wet process (wet milling, solubilising, clarifying, fractionating with tangential filtration or chromatography, stabilising in wet or dry form). We see more and more new development in proteins texturizing using different technologies to produce vegetal milks or cheese or creating meat-like or tofu-like products.
On the application side, plant proteins can be integrated in many different food matrices for functional or nutritional purpose. This is why being able to characterise functional properties is so important (solubility, viscosity, foaming, gelling or emulsifying properties.) It is also necessary to determine the digestibility; preferably using in-vitro methods but also to characterise the organoleptic profile and to develop new formulation which receive high scoring from qualified sensory panels.
IMPROVE has a diverse list of technologies available in its pilot hall where it’s possible to work on any kind of plant material from seeds, leaves, roots, algae’s… Starting from few grams up to few tons we can apply a huge diversity and combination of process steps to define optimal processing lines in terms of mass balance, utility balance and CAPEX.
IMPROVE is also capable in its lab to characterise all the generated products starting form chemical composition, physical thermos-dynamical and functional properties to in- vitro digestibility and sensorial characterisation.