Functional Ingredients in Action

June, 22 2023

The Protein Community: Functional ingredients in Action

The Acceleration Session: Functional Ingredients in Action took place on 20 June. The event brought together over 35 TPC-partners at Avebe’s Innovation Center in Groningen, with an additional 30 attendees joining online. The session featured presentations from Emma Teuling (Nizo), Marc Laus (Avebe), Erwin Kuiper (Codrico), and Jens Herold (ProXES), who shared their knowledge and provided guidance to attendees in their quest for the perfect ingredients for plant-based protein innovations. Avebe showcased the foaming functionality of its potato protein during their ’30 seconds of foam’ and the audience had the opportunity to taste macarons that utilized this potato protein afterwards. 

Key takeaways

1. The audience emphasized that consumer acceptance relies heavily on the taste and mouthfeel of a product, prioritizing sensory functionality. If the sensory experience is not enjoyable for consumers, they are less inclined to make repeat purchases of the product.

2. While the choice of ingredients is crucial for product functionality, it was emphasized that processing techniques also have a significant impact. Processing has the ability to override natural variations and effectively enhance or alter the functionality of ingredients.

3. During the session, the discussion highlighted faba beans as a captivating and easily obtainable protein source. Faba beans were recognized for their potential in various applications within the realm of plant-based products.

4. A synergistic approach to protein functionality was identified as a promising strategy. The session emphasized the potential benefits of combining the functional properties of different protein sources. By leveraging the strengths of multiple protein sources in a synergistic manner, innovative and improved products can be developed.

5. The session recognized the considerable challenge of scaling up from product testing to full-scale production. To address this issue, participants emphasized the importance of having an intermediate step. They discussed the potential solution of utilizing the Agrifood SME Innovation Voucher, which offers support and resources to facilitate the transition from testing to large-scale production. This voucher can assist in bridging the gap and provide the necessary assistance for companies in this critical phase.

The next Acceleration Session of The Protein Community will be 19 September on Novel Foods. Events of TPC are partner-only. Are you not a partner of TPC yet? Get in touch with Community Manager Leo Koning:

Focus areas protein Transition to gain more speed & impact

June 6, 2023

Focus areas on The Protein Transition to gain more speed & impact

Maybe you heard us say it; our objectives are to plantify the protein industry, shorten time to market and become (more) protein self-sufficient. But what does that mean to partners of The Protein Community and how do these focus areas connect to the initiatives and activities that we organize at Foodvalley NL?  

Protein self-sufficient

Firstly, becoming protein self-sufficient. The goal is to establish local protein production systems that can meet the growing demand for sustainable protein sources in a specific area. The aim is to make locally produced protein products appealing and accessible to consumers, fostering a more self-reliant and resilient protein ecosystem. This can be developing crops, but also new technologies, ways of funding etcetera. We have various activities to achieve these goals. For example the Bean Deal initiative. The objective of the Bean Deal, officially known as the Green Deal Protein-Rich Crops, is to scale up the cultivation and processing of protein-rich crops in the Netherlands, primarily intended for human consumption, with a focus on nitrogen-fixing legumes. The deal is signed by 56 organisations (companies, government), all working on this objective in 30 concrete subprojects for the coming 3 years.

Plantifying the protein industry

Secondly, we aim to achieve a shift in plantifying the protein industry itself. Instead of relying solely on traditional animal-based protein sources, companies are embracing alternative protein options. This involves not only diversifying protein sources but also transforming the mindset and operations of companies that currently are focused on meat, dairy and fish production. The goal is that they become key players in the production of plant-based alternatives, offering innovative and appealing protein products that cater to the changing consumer preferences for sustainability and health. This focus area is about the ‘Plantification’ of animal-based protein products: the creation of a plant-based variant of a widely known animal product, recipe, or brand. An example is Friesland Campina, that is working on local plant-based dairy alternatives together with TPC-partner De nieuwe melkboer

Shorten time to market

Lastly, the time to market is crucial in the fast-paced plant protein industry. With the market rapidly evolving and competition intensifying, companies need to develop new plant protein products and release them asap. This not only establishes them as game changers, but also enables them to capture market share and meet the growing demand for sustainable and plant-based protein options. By accelerating product development, companies can stay ahead of the curve and deliver on the increasing consumer expectations for healthy and tasty products. At The Protein Community we facilitate this by connecting people, companies and organisations in the eco-system 1-on-1 (match making) and with organizing events to gain knowledge, share experiences and for networking.

Visual icons

In conclusion, the focus areas of protein self-sufficiency, plantifying the protein industry, and shortening time to market are driving the transformation and growth of the plant protein sector. In everything we do, we refer to these themes and start using these visual icons. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us!