New research by FutureBridge has identified the four ‘next-generation’ proteins which it claims are best positioned to displace today’s plant-based offerings. The research services company says that while the market for plant-based protein is growing – projected to reach $10.8 billion globally by 2022 – complex issues are emerging in the industry, for example surrounding the sustainability of ingredient sourcing.
The firm argues that manufacturers need to start looking beyond wheat, soy and pea protein and move towards a more diverse range of crops.
According to FutureBridge, its new plant protein analysis brought together the firm’s start-ups database with its in-house software and data analytics. It also built on a detailed assessment of available technologies in relation to scalability, sustainability, nutrition and functionality, to identify the following list of upcoming plant proteins:
“Companies must look to the next wave of plant proteins to provide more options during product formulation,” said Sarah Browner, FutureBridge’s food and nutrition lead analyst.
“The proteins which are most utilised in plant-based products today have several problems. Pea protein, for example, has a very pronounced flavor which is difficult to mask while soy scrambles to move away from its association with GMO.”
The aim of finding ‘better’ plant-based protein alternatives has underpinned other recent research efforts.
A study conducted by the University of Copenhagen, the findings of which were revealed earlier this month, identified fava beans as a promising sustainable protein alternative to the “environmentally taxing soybean”.
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