Puratos partners Shiru on baked food ingredient alternative

BELGIUM, USA — Functional ingredients producer Shiru, Inc. is partnering with bakery ingredients maker Puratos to evaluate and develop alternatives to egg proteins for baked goods.

While eggs have been a vital ingredient to baked goods for their structural, gelation and binding properties, they are one of the most common allergens, are subject to volatile pricing swings based on supply and demand, and as Shiru pointed out in a fact sheet on the agreement, they also generally get low marks for sustainability.

Plant-based alternatives could solve many of the issues around eggs. To find substitutes, Shiru uses existing databases and bioinformatics to analyze which proteins provide the desired function in ingredients.

Then it uses artificial intelligence and machine learning dubbed the Flourish discovery platform, to find which of these proteins also exist in plants and can perform a similar function. The ingredients are then produced and evaluated using precision fermentation and high-throughput screening techniques.

Puratos and Shiru share the vision that our food system can be a force for good in terms of sustainability and nutrition, making us ideal partners

As part of the collaboration, Shiru will scale production and testing of identified proteins while Puratos will use its fermentation capabilities to produce ingredient prototypes, beginning with the egg-replacement proteins. Prototype ingredients then will be used in food application testing for a variety of baked foods.

“As a company rooted in biology and science, Shiru is the perfect partner in the Puratos’s journey to finding novel uses for proteins discovered by Shiru’s Flourish platform as functional food ingredients that are sustainable, healthy and delicious,” said Paul Baisier, chief R&D officer at Puratos. “Together with Shiru, we will be able to accelerate our plant-based product innovation pipeline for the benefit of our customers and consumers.”

The partnership also aims to produce a variety of other new ingredient alternatives for plant-based baked foods using Shiru’s protein discovery process.

“Puratos and Shiru share the vision that our food system can be a force for good in terms of sustainability and nutrition, making us ideal partners,” said Jasmin Hume, chief executive officer and founder of Shiru.

She added that Shiru’s Flourish discovery platform has identified functional ingredients that can unlock desirable plant-based baked goods products.

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