World Food Processing, based in Oskaloosa, IA, has taken a back to the seed approach toward developing its PurisPea line of protein ingredients. The family-owned company leveraged its experience in plant breeding to come up with a better raw material, Lorenzen said in speaking with FoodNavigator-USA at the recentSupply Side West trade show in Las Vegas, NV.
“For us it all goes back to the seed. We wanted to give our farmers different tools for organic and non GMO farming, so we started to breed peas for growing in all different areas around the US,” Lorenzen said.
In addition to breeding a blander tasting pea, Lorenzen said the company has developed intellectual property around how the pea is processed, especially in the milling stage, to capitalize on the natural taste neutrality bred into the stock. In a brief taste test at the show, the PurisPea line showed well against an undisclosed competitor’s product in several beverage applications.
Lorenzen said the company set out from the beginning to offer a protein line that could work in a variety of applications.
“We have an ingredient for use in a typical powder blend, one for high inclusion RTDs and one for bars,” Lorenzen said.
Blending is the key
A number of experts in the field of protein for sports nutrition and other applications have said that the benefits of blending have becoming increasingly apparent. Research is piling up showing that 20 grams of a blend of sources can outperform 20g of even the best quality protein from a single source. Pea proteins are ideally placed to benefit from this growing body of knowledge, Lorenzen said.
“People want protein and they want it in different delivery method and they want it in different blends. Whey protein is the king of protein absolutely, and pea can play really well with whey,” Lorenzen said. Whey is renowned as the fast-digesting protein, whereas pea can provide a more sustained delivery post exercise, he said.
The use of alternate sources of protein can also lend some predictability to a manufacturer’s cost structure, Lorenzen said. Whey is a byproduct of cheese manufacture and so its cost is dependent on the cost of fluid milk and the demand for cheese. Pea protein presents a more rational cost calculation, he said. Milk prices in 2014 were near historic highs though they have dropped since then.
“Having the growing and manufacturing in North America where most of the peas in the world are grown gives you the ability to have a sustained supply and a sustained cost of goods. With animal protein there has definitely been volatility in the market. It changes year to year. Pea protein has a stable price and is something you can bet on for years and years to come as long as it is in a sustainable supply chain,” Lorenzen said.
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