Fava beans are becoming a bigger plant-based protein player

KANSAS CITY Broad beans are having an exceptional year in the vegetable protein category. Investments and ingredient launches have focused on the legume, known for its neutral color, neutral taste and soil health benefits.

Beneo, which has a US office in Parsippany, NJ, has invested $54 million in a Pulse processing site in Offstein, Germany, which is expected to be completed by 2024. The site will initially focus on protein concentrate , starchy flour and hulls from broad beans.

“From a technical perspective, the bean is a very promising raw material to help manufacturers create appealing plant-based foods,” said Steven Gumeny, Beneo’s regional product manager for rice ingredients and functional proteins, North America. “They have a mild taste and a creamy, light yellow color.”

The beans’ ingredients are suitable for products that are suitable for vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian diets, he added.

“Faba Bean Protein Concentrate is a vegetable protein that in some applications could replace animal protein (milk, egg) as well as soy protein,” Gumeny said. “It showed great solubility and very good emulsifying properties. Additionally, fava flour starch rich flour is naturally high in protein and can help boost protein content in various applications while also serving as an alternative to wheat flour in gluten-free baking applications. »

Beneo’s fava bean protein concentrate and high-starch flour will be used for protein enrichment and texture enhancement in meat and dairy alternatives as well as in baked foods and cereals, including including gluten-free items. Protein makes up 22% of high-starch flour with beans, compared to 11% to 13% protein in bread flour, he said.

“We’ve tested Beneo bean ingredients in a variety of baking applications, including bread, soft pastries, cookies, and even pizza crust,” Gumeny said. “Most of these prototypes were developed gluten-free, but they can also be used in combination where plant-based or egg replacement is important.”

Beneo will source the beans from German farmers in the Kassel and Wetterau regions who are certified by the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative, Gumeny said. The beans will be grown within 200 miles of the processing plant. Beneo will process raw materials in intermediate production facilities until the plant is fully operational. Beneo’s Fava Bean ingredients became available in June.

A regenerative agricultural benefit, fava flour (Vicia Faba) has one of the highest nitrogen-fixing abilities, resulting in high levels of available nitrogen in the soil, said Pulse Canada, Winnipeg, Man. Legumes, which are edible seeds from the legume family, also include other beans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils.

CK Ingredients, Oakville, Ont., will commercially launch FabaFuel protein fava in October, said Colleen Madden, vice president of innovation. Made from Canadian beans, FabaFuel contains 64% protein and 12% dietary fibre. Ingredients will be available for business-to-business operations in North America. Potential applications for FabaFuel include baked foods, extruded snacks and batters/breadings as well as plant-based meat and poultry alternatives, dairy alternatives and powdered beverages.

CK Ingredients’ proprietary process deflavors the ingredients from the beans without the use of water, chemicals or additives.

“Unflavored beans may have bean notes or off flavors, but ours is very creamy and sweet,” Madden said. “The color is very nice and white. It is very easy to formulate with. »

Ingredients CK Fabafuel Fava Protein has potential in applications that include baked foods, snacks, and extruded batters as well as plant-based meat and poultry alternatives, dairy alternatives, and powdered beverages.

The tannins in some beans have a negative effect on palatability and digestion, but FabaFuel is made from a tannin-free variety. Other benefits include gelling properties, water retention properties, neutral flavor and neutral color. Fabafuel can be used to reduce or replace egg white in formulations. Since it contains 12 grams of net carbs per 100 grams, it can be used in keto-friendly formulations, according to CK Ingredients. Although no federal definition exists in the United States, net carbs generally refer to total carbs minus fiber and polyols.

Nutris Group, Zagreb, Croatia, has opened a factory producing plant-based ingredients from fava beans and potatoes in Novi Senkovac, Croatia with an investment of $31.7 million. Nutris.tech, a business segment of Nutris Group, produces protein isolates, starch and fiber from beans and potatoes and supplies food industries in North America, European Union and in Asia. Nutris and SiccaDania, a Danish company that provides engineering systems for the plant industry, formed a joint venture to make the investment. The two companies have tested technology developed by the University of Copenhagen which will be used in manufacturing at the site.

Roquette, La Madeleine, France, has launched a Nutralys range of organic textured proteins made from peas and beans, which will initially be available on the European market. Textured proteins come in 11 grades with different shapes and textures.

Chicago-based ADM offers a line of bean and legume-based ingredients, including fava beans, said Jacquelyn Schuh, global marketing manager, protein nutrition solutions.

“Available in raw and pre-gelled forms, our beans and pulses offer diverse functionality for a range of applications, including on-trend snacks, bars and cereals, without impacting taste, texture or flavor. appearance,” she said. “Our beans can also be roasted or seasoned, making them delicious additions to mixes in extruded forms, for high flavor and texture, plus added protein.”

The growing importance of beans as a food ingredient comes as the plant-based protein industry continues to flourish. ResearchAndMarkets.com projects that the global plant-based food ingredients market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 15% from 2021 to 2030, reaching a market value of $12.34 billion in 2030 from $2.9 billion in 2020. Food grew 6.2% in 2021 to $7.4 billion, according to data released in March by the Plant Based Foods Association, The Good Food Institute and SPINS.

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