InnovoPro expands beyond plant-based with clean-label emulsification solutions for bakery, beverage & beyond

By Elizabeth Crawford

- Last updated on GMT

Source: Getty/AlasdairJames
Source: Getty/AlasdairJames

Related tags InnovoPro

Israeli company InnovoPro is bringing its clean-label, chickpea protein powered solutions to the broader food and beverage industry after proving its ability to bind, blend, foam and problem-solve other common challenges within plant-based categories.

The company’s flagship chickpea protein ingredient, CP-Pro 70 concentrate, has earned accolades in the plant-based sector not only as a nutrition powerhouse with a digestibility score of 100% and a PDCAAS score near the top of the scale for plant-based proteins at 0.8 in the US, but also for its solubility in hot and cold preparations and strong emulsification capabilities that bind both water and fat and which remains stable during shelf-lie.

The ingredient is the foundation for InnovoPro’s plant-based egg white replacement system,​ which promises to deliver higher peaks than other options without higher costs, and it is available in the US  in a wide-range of plant-based products, including in Zero Egg, protein powders, meat-alternatives, dairy-free spreads and dairy-free yogurts, ice creams, and barista-style milks among others.

It also shines as an emulsifier in bakery, which CEO Taly Nechushtan told FoodNavigator-USA was a surprise and which helped the company see the ingredient’s potential beyond plant-based applications.

Clean-label emulsification represents 'a much bigger opportunity'

“We conquered a very nice space of protein replacement for the plant-based market, but looking at the vision of the company and seeing what the chickpea protein can do, especially around emulsification, we see a much bigger opportunity” to bring the power of chickpea protein to the broader market, added the company’s recently appointed chairman Joel Bar-El.

He added as a natural ingredient CP-Pro 70 and InnovoPro’s other chickpea protein solutions “have a clear differentiation, as most other emulsifiers out there in the market are not natural” or healthy for people and the planet.

Likewise, the solutions are colorless, odorless and tasteless, which means they do not need to paired with masking agents, which allows manufacturers to shorten their ingredient lists and replace “all kinds of substances that are chemicals that start with the letter E and are by definition not healthy and definitely not natural,” he said.

As such, the ingredient’s clean-label emulsification properties represent “a much bigger opportunity and a market that is an order of magnitude bigger than the plant-based protein and which is more profitable,” Bar-El said.

The cost of InnovoPro’s clean-label solutions will vary based on application but they replace other ingredients and boost overall nutrition, their addition should not compromise margins and could allow for more premium pricing as it boosts products’ nutritional profile, Bar-El said.

InnovoPro focuses first on bakery, dairy alternatives and plant-based

Given the wide breadth of the emulsifier space and the need for tailored, application-specific solutions, InnovoPro will first focus on three types of emulsification application – bringing forward blends in bakery, dairy alternative and plant-based, Nechushtan said.

She explained within bakery the company has developed three solutions – two for cakes and one for bread. Within the dairy alternatives category it has created solutions for yogurts and beverages, including a plant-based barista beverage with up to seven ingredients and excluding unwanted buffers and emulsifiers. The solutions also can be used in high-protein beverages and fruit shakes, the company added.  

“All of [emulsification blends] will be delivered to customers as a semi-finished product, meaning it will save them the workload and development in-house that they are doing today,” Nechushtan said. “The blends we developed will shorten the way to market and their own development time so they can introduce quite quickly to the market products that are healthier … and more clean label.”

Nechushtan said InnovoPro focused on these areas first in response to customer feedback and by looking at categories where there were no or limited natural emulsification options.

“We wanted to come with a solution that will bring added value,” she said.

She added the clean-label blends are a natural evolution for InnovoPro given research revealing 43% of consumers read product labels and actively prioritize natural, recognizable ingredients.

‘Plant-based is here to stay’

The company’s expansion beyond plant-based comes at a time when meat and dairy alternatives face increased scrutiny from consumers who are turned off by long lists of unfamiliar ingredients, including gums, gels and emulsifiers, and who are less willing to pay more for something they perceive as having an inferior taste, texture and overall experience compared to the animal-based counterparts.

While Nechushtan acknowledged consumer adoption of plant-based products “may be a slower journey than we were all expecting,” she said she believes “plant-based is here to stay.”

Like other categories, she explained, “the times for plant-based are sometimes high and sometimes less, but this is something that the world is going towards. We have only one Earth.”

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