USA – Swiss flavors and fragrances company, Givaudan and researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have identified the six ‘most promising plant-based proteins’ for the food industry.

The research project held in collaboration with the University of California Berkeley’s Product Development Programme (UC Berkley) has mapped out upcoming proteins that would be the most wanted in food and beverage applications.

The proteins include oats, mung beans, garbanzo beans, lentils, flax and sunflower seeds, regarded as emerging alternative proteins especially for nutritional beverages.

The students focused on 44 different protein beverage products and 42 plant proteins each scored based on commercial viability, protein content, sustainability, allergenicity, flavor and color.

“Our students have worked closely with Givaudan to profile a broad spectrum of proteins using a range of key filters,” said Sudhir Joshi, Ph.D., of UC Berkeley.

“We scored the proteins for commercial, nutritional, and sustainability factors and then ranked them for additional health benefits.

“These attributes make these proteins appealing candidates for new product development. It is undoubtedly an exciting time in the industry, and we are pleased to be playing such a pivotal role in its future.”

Search for plant-based proteins

According to a report provided by Givaudan, global plant protein market is expected to clock US$13.7 billion, growing at 8% CAGR to US$13.7 billion by 2021.

The report further highlights that 57% of global consumers are actively seeking protein sources, spurring a 92% growth in sales of plant protein products recorded over the last year.

“With an ever-increasing demand for proteins, we asked ourselves if the best proteins are currently being used, and if niche proteins that are in use today could play a bigger role in the future,” said Dr. Flavio Garofalo, Global Category Director Savoury Flavours and Natural Ingredients at Givaudan.

“This forward-thinking research will help our customers to navigate the ever-changing alternative protein landscape.”

The research builds on a plant-based collaboration between Givaudan and UC Berkeley since 2017, when the flavors company launched an Alternatives Meat Lab at the University.

Givaudan hopes to meet demand for plant-based products as consumers turn to alternative protein sources due to health, ethical and environmental reasons.

Earlier this month, the company launched clean label solutions for masking off-notes in plant-based beverages and meat alternatives.