Sprouting key to quality of AIDP's new rice protein ingredient

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition

Sprouting key to quality of AIDP's new rice protein ingredient
Ingredient development and marketing firm AIDP has brought to market a protein ingredient from sprouted rice that the company says offers a more complete protein profile and formulation advantages as well.

The key, said Alan Rillorta, AIDP’s director of branded ingredient sales, is the sprouting process. Once the seed germinates, the chemistry within the kernel rapidly transforms.

“This whole germination process sets in play all these chemical reactions,”​ Rillorta told FoodNavigator-USA. “The sprouting process alters the amino acid profile.

“In this case it benefits us because it shifts it in such a way that the protein becomes more complete. What’s most notable is that conventional rice protein is low in lysine.  In the sprouted rice protein there is a shift that increases the lysine levels,”​ he said.

Vertical integration key to quality

AIDP produces the protein, branded as Gabiotein, in conjunction with a partner in China.  The vertical integration of that partner’s operations is key to the product’s quality Rillorta said.

“Rice protein is made from a secondary process from making rice syrup,”​ he said “From the syrup production you have a secondary waste stream that is rich in protein.”

 In other operations, this secondary stream is dried down to “slags,” which are then stored for eventual shipping to a separate protein production facility.  The drying process and potential long storage period affects the eventual quality of competing rice proteins, Rillorta said.

In the AIDP process, the syrup and protein ingredients are made simultaneously in the same facility. This yields a product that has significant advantages, Rillorta said.

In addition to the more complete protein profile, Rillorta ticked off these attributes:

  • Better smell and taste than competing rice proteins.
  • Smoother texture, making it easier to formulate in cereal, bars and snacks.
  • Lighter color.  Competing rice proteins darken as they await processing in the slag stage, Rillorta said.
  • Better performance in applications that require liquid suspension.

Better-for-you attributes

Being a plant protein, Gabiotein has all of the advantages of appealing to vegan markets, said Kathy Lund, AIDP’s vice president of product development.  But it has a key differentiator when ranged against its plant-based competitors and when measured against whey, the 800-pound gorilla in the functional foods protein space.

“This biggest competitor is whey because it is the standard for a complete protein profile,”​ she said.

“We are not really a big player in whey protein. We are looking for products where we can have a competitive advantage. We are looking for places where we can bring a unique added value to the marketplace.  So there are all kinds of better for you components to Gabiotein, such as allergen free, soy free, wheat free.”

Lund said she has observed a significant shift in the marketplace toward plant based proteins, especially as the price of whey protein has risen.

“It seems to me that customers are trying to figure out, should we go into plant protein?  Then they start looking at price. Gabiotein is cost competitive,”​ she said.

AIDP is the process of obtaining organic certification on the ingredient, Lund said.  She said the company hoped to be finished with the process in time for the IFT show next week, but missed the deadline.  She said she expects the certifcation to come through in the next few weeks.

AIDP will highlight Gabiotein at its booth at the show in Chicago, which opens the show floor doors on Sunday.  In addition, the company will also highlight its Magtein bioavailable magnesium ingredient.  Up to this point, that ingredient has been featured mostly in supplement applications but has significant potential as a food ingredient, Lund said.

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