Functional food ingredients supplier Healy Group is releasing a range of micronized pea and rice protein ingredients, coined PrimaPro. According to the company, a novel, “world-first” mechanical manufacturing process produces ultrafine protein powder which is touted as having increased functional benefits. With over 80 percent protein, PrimaPro is suitable for plant-based diets, sports nutrition and high-protein beverages and snacks.
The continued mainstreaming of the sports nutrition sector is having a profound impact on NPD and partly spurring recent innovation in protein. Innova Market Insights has reported a strong growth in sports-related positionings within mainstream food and beverage NPD. In 2017, over 5 percent of new global food and beverage launches featured protein claims, with a CAGR of 29 percent from 2013-2017. This space is increasingly looking at both animal-derived and plant-based proteins.
“Micronized proteins are proteins which have been broken down into a smaller particle size. The particle size of the PrimaPro micronized pea/rice proteins has been reduced from typical values of D90 100 micron+ into a class of their own, where the D90 is less than 25 micron,” Healy Group Technical Director Paul Sheldrake tells FoodIngredientsFirst.
Standard vegetable protein isolate (left) against PrimaPro (right) product suspension after 10 minutes. NB. Dyed for test display purposes. “We see a great gap in the market for these microfine proteins to help improve the quality and functionality of consumer products. This is already being shown in the volume of information requests, product trials and pre-launch sales of these proteins,” notes Sheldrake.
PrimaPro’s benefits reportedly include a smoother, less gritty texture, improved particle suspension, cleaner flavor profiles and enhanced emulsification capacity.
“Due to the smaller particle size and better dispersion of PrimaPro, feedback in our preliminary trials indicated a more palatable product with less bitterness, when compared to standard vegetable proteins,” Sheldrake explains.
“The process involves a specialized mechanical milling process. The nature of the mills ensures that the protein content and amino acid profile of the base ingredient is maintained,” he adds.
The PrimaPro range includes Pea, Rice and Pea and Rice blend from Pea Protein/Rice Protein Concentrate as base materials. Each PrimaPro product contains roughly 80 percent protein and the range will be released this April.
According to Sheldrake, the potential application areas of PrimaPro include protein shakes and beverages, but also high protein bakery and snacks, where a more homogenous mixture and smoother texture is desired.
“PrimaPro is highly suited to vegan protein products where challenges surrounding grittiness, dispersion and bitterness are commonplace. Additionally, it lends itself well to emulsified sauces such as mayonnaise and cream sauces, forming smoother and creamier emulsions,” he notes.
Healy Group is also currently trialing PrimaFi, a micronized fiber product, according to Sheldrake. “We have so far seen significant benefits in meat brines where PrimaFi increases yield and succulence,” he adds.
Additionally, the company is in the process of launching a number of functional blends for growing trend areas, such as vegan cheese and sugar-free blends.