Using this method, the company can produce protein isolates, natural colors, flavor enhancers, gluten substitutes, and other useful compounds.
Gavan Technologies Ltd. (Acre, Israel) says it has developed a waste-free extraction method to derive protein and other ingredients from plants. The company says its upcycling method uses the entire plant, without leaving any leftovers. Using this method, the company can produce protein isolates, natural colors, flavor enhancers, gluten substitutes, and other useful compounds. This process also allows for up to a 10-fold reduction in energy usage by requiring zero-to-minimal heat.
“Our new, multistep technological platform enables us to take any plant source, isolate, and extricate multiple proteins and other valuable components until the source is fully consumed,” Itai Cohen, CEO and co-founder of Gavan, said in a press release. “No part of the plant is left out. Moreover, the proteins maintain their original form—there is no resulting modification to their physical structure. All of the source’s nutritional and functional qualities are fully preserved.”
Cohen said the problem with many current methods used to produce alternative proteins is that they fail to utilize the plant source’s fully and “end up wasting valuable raw material.” For instance, multiphase chemical processes can result in lost yield and diminished ingredient quality at every step of the process, ultimately resulting in up to 80% of the plant source being wasted or sent to be composted or used as animal feed.
He continued: “The problem is not the source nor the product; the problem is within the process. We developed advanced methods for protein extraction from inception and that by design are regenerative. We can exploit all of a plant’s components and explore their functional potential in endless food applications, without imparting any sensory shortcomings.”
Gavan’s extraction process can be applied to any plant protein source, the company says, including soybeans, chickpeas, lentils, and algae. In a lentil pilot trial, extraction of a 92% protein isolate yielded additional nutrient value—including complex carbohydrates, fiber, minerals, and fat—and was ultimately converted into a nutrient-filled, neutral-flavored, non-gluten flour. The company also produced a high-functioning, protein-rich emulsifier with aquafaba-like abilities that works as an egg white replacer. Gavan also derived multiple products from spirulina, including a protein-dense, vibrant blue colorant.