Cargill highlights its sustainable proteins for first-ever tasting in NYC

By Deniz Ataman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cargill alternative protein Protein Sustainability

Cargill showcased the breadth of its protein portfolio and sustainable sourcing partnerships in a multi-course tasting earlier this month in New York City.

The narrative dinner was led by Cargill’s chef and protein culinary directors, Pete Geoghegan and Stephen Giunta, who designed each dish to feature products and ingredients sustainably sourced and produced by Cargill and its customers.

“We’re hoping to give you a real experience about the sustainability of our company, primarily form farm to fork, so bringing sustainable ingredients and sustainable solutions … and telling the story of our farmers, ranchers and partners … by doing things like regenerative agriculture, reducing the use of natural resources, such as water and increasing food production,” Pilar Cruz, Cargill’s corporate VP and chief sustainability officer, explained to FoodNavigator-USA.

Guests were invited to experience cocktails and mocktails, appetizers and interactive stations that showcased Cargill’s products.

One station featured “chicken” Caesar salad made with Enough’s ABUNDA mycoprotein for which Cargill provides feed source to grow the fungi-based protein.

Produced via fermentation, the fungi is fed a sugar from a sustainable grain, “and we can use all of what comes out, so 100% of the biomass is used for the product,” explained Elizabeth Gutschenritter, managing director – alternative protein at Cargill.

Gutschenritter emphasized mycoprotein’s impact on waste reduction, explaining that because of fermentation, “we’re able to recycle the water that gets utilized. It’s a zero waste process. So we think the future opportunity for mycoprotein is really great when we look at the alternative protein category and the need to create more cost effective, better eating experiences.”

Cargill also featured its EverSweet stevia solution, “where we basically worked from the stevia leaf backwards,” by isolating the leaf’s sweet compounds and constructing “the right sweetener that drives a sugar reduction in the end product,” before using precision fermentation to produce it, explained David VandenEinde, VP food ingredients Americas, Cargill.

VandenEinde added that 10 million cans of soda would take 177 acres of stevia leaf to drive the same outcome; whereas “when we work from fermentation, we can grow 7.4 acres of corn, feed it to the microorganisms that produce the product.”

On the indulgent side, Cargill featured its sustainable palm oil and its Rainforest Alliance-certified cocoa powder in cookie and truffle applications. John Satumba,  indulgence R&D leader – food solutions, North America, Cargill, explained that consumers will continue to seek indulgent products in confectionery, baked goods and ice cream, but they also want better-for-you.

“What we’re hearing from consumers is that they want sustainable solutions where they can have a story to tell as they’re enjoying that indulgent ingredient or product. They see value in being able to tell a story. So, for us that translates to delivering the solution that they’re looking for,” he explained.

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