The two companies have been in a partnership for a number of years, with the aim of using Novozymes’ enzyme know-how and Solae’s soy capabilities to develop new soy proteins with distinct functional and nutritional benefits.
Further to their work with a number of experimental enzymes, the companies appear to have identified combinations with potential, prompting them to file for patent protection. Novozymes’ marketing director Anders Oestergaard this morning told NutraIngredinets-USA.com that the firms expect the patents to be published “over the next week”.
Although he could provide no specific timeline, Oestergaard confirmed that the companies “have some products in mind to go commercial with” in global markets.
These are expected to be new forms of protein isolates that will have higher solubility and a better flavor profile than competitive products. This would allow the ingredients to be used to higher concentrations or ratios, and in a wider range of finished applications.
“Soy protein concentrates and isolates are currently used to fortify products for infant nutrition, sports nutrition or meal replacement. In order to optimize that use and make them suitable for a wider range of applications, you must improve the solubility and flavor quality of soy. Enzymes treatment can do this,” said Oestergaard.
Enzymes are already widely used in protein processing. According to Novozymes, its collaboration with Solae stands out because the companies have been working with experimental enzymes that have not yet been commercialized, in order to find the matches with the most potential.
Ultimately, the fruit of this partnership should allow manufacturers to double protein content in applications that require high protein levels, or to increase the proportion of soy protein relative to other proteins in regular products.
This means manufacturers could potentially decrease the use of dairy proteins, which have shot up in price over the last few years, said Oestergaard. And although soy prices have also increased, the rises remain below those incurred by dairy-derived ingredients.
In the future, Solae and Novozymes also expect to examine other benefits in soy protein ingredients.
This would include tapping into the nutritional and health benefits of soy, as well as making the ingredients soluble in applications where they currently cannot be used, such as juice drinks.
However, Oestergaard stressed that this work is still speculative.