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Functional Ingredients in Action



The Protein Community: Functional ingredients in Action

On 20 June, The Protein Community (TPC) organised the Acceleration Session: Functional Ingredients in Action. More than 35 TPC-partners gathered at the Innovation Center of Avebe in Groningen. Another 30 attendees joined online. Emma Teuling (Nizo), Marc Laus (Avebe), Erwin Kuiper (Codrico) and Jens Herold (ProXES) shared their knowledge and helped the attendees further in their journey finding the perfect ingredients for their plant-based protein innovations.

Functional ingredients

Functional ingredients play a crucial role in creating high-quality plant-based protein products. However, navigating the landscape of functional ingredients can be challenging, as it involves finding the perfect blend that optimises your product’s taste, texture, and sensory experience. This session aimed to delve deep into the essential role of functional ingredients and collectively translate their potential into tangible actions.

Key takeaways

1. Sensory functionality takes precedence: The audience emphasised that the taste and mouthfeel of a product are crucial factors determining consumer acceptance. If consumers do not enjoy the sensory experience, they are less likely to purchase the product again.

2. Processing influences functionality: While the source of ingredients is important for product functionality, highlighted was that processing techniques play a significant role as well. Processing can override natural differences and enhance or modify the functionality of ingredients.

3. Faba as an intriguing and readily available source: Faba beans emerged as an interesting and accessible protein source discussed during the session. Its potential for various applications in plant-based products was recognized.

4. Synergistic approach to protein functionality: Combining the functionalities of different protein sources was identified as a promising strategy. Synergistically leveraging the strengths of multiple protein sources may lead to innovative and improved products.

5. Addressing the challenge of scaling up: The session acknowledged the significant challenge of bridging the gap between product testing and full-scale production. To tackle this issue, participants highlighted the need for an intermediate step. They mentioned the Agrifood SME Innovation Voucher as a potential solution, offering support or resources to facilitate the transition from testing to large-scale production.

6. The question was posed whether the future lies in processing advancements or simplification. It provoked discussions on finding the optimal balance between enhancing the functionality of proteins through processing techniques and simplifying product formulations to meet consumer preferences and expectations.

The next Acceleration Session of The Protein Community will be in 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: