Pea, pulse, algae, and hemp proteins were identified as some of the proteins most likely to have increased usage in a new survey of technical staffers in the food industry.
A new survey of “protein knowledgeable” technical staffers suggests food industry insiders anticipate a wide variety of protein types increasing in usage over the next two years. Pea protein, pulse proteins, algae protein, and hemp protein were found to be the most popular choices among respondents for proteins that would see increased usage.
The survey was conducted among participants at a recent 2015 Protein Trends & Technologies Seminar in Chicago, staged by Global Food Forums, Inc. (Saint Charles, IL). Global Food Forums describes the survey respondents as “protein knowledgeable” based on their “direct involvement with protein ingredients in R&D, product development, and formulation.”
The first survey question asked, “Do you see the use of the following protein types (i.e., concentrated protein powders and/or high protein content protein content flours) in formulated products as decreasing, increasing, or remaining the same in the U.S.A. in the next two years?” Respondents were asked to provide responses on 30 different types of protein.
The most popular choice was pea protein, with 88% of respondents anticipating its usage would increase. Following pea as the top protein choices for increased usage were pulse proteins (not pea) with 74%, algae with 72%, hemp with 72%, quinoa with 66%, chia with 66%, insects with 61%, and brown rice with 60%.
Some of the protein types identified in the survey have only recently become commercially available to the food industry, such as duckweed, which Global Food Forums sees as an indication that “food formulators are searching out new approaches to provide the desired protein content in their products.”
Important Protein Attributes
The survey also asked respondents to identify “the most important characteristics of a protein ingredient in order to be considered for use” by selecting three of eight listed features. The most popular attributes were “functionality” with 67% of respondents selecting it as an important characteristic, “price per pound” with 49%, and “nutritional aspects” with 46%.
Nutritional Outlook Magazine