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Plant Baked Protein: A Bright Future for Hemp Seed
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Plant Baked Protein: A Bright Future for Hemp Seed

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Protein plays a substantial role in baked goods. Beyond adding nutritional value, protein conditions dough, provides structure, retains moisture, and enhances texture. Therefore, as plant-based ingredients take the place of traditional animal proteins, formulation expectations must continue to evolve as well.

The opportunity for plant-based protein in baked goods is undeniable. Grocery sales of plant-based foods that directly replace animal products grew to over $7 billion in the past year (SPINS retail sales data, April 6, 2021). The astonishing 27% growth is a testament to the innovation in this space.

However, as food manufacturers continue to explore more diverse product applications, new ingredients must emerge to sustain the increase in demand.

The timing is perfect for hemp seed protein to penetrate the market. With its exceptional contribution to nutrition and digestibility and its advancements in sensory attributes, hemp seed protein​ is quickly becoming an attractive ingredient that many baked goods applications could benefit from.

Understanding the Recipe for Success

Baking involves a complex interplay between proteins, starches, fats, sugars, and leavening agents to create the delicious baked goods we all enjoy. Protein has several functions beyond just providing nutritional value. One of protein's most vital roles in baking is conditioning the dough. This helps the dough develop elasticity and strength as it binds with other ingredients to create a product that is not too dense or too crumbly.


Protein also provides structure to baked goods. When dough is mixed, the protein forms a network that holds everything together. This structure is what allows baked goods to rise properly and develop a light and fluffy texture.

In addition to conditioning the dough and providing structure, protein helps to retain moisture in baked goods. This is necessary because it prevents the product from becoming dry and stale. Without enough protein, baked goods can become tough and unpleasant to eat.

Finally, protein can enhance the texture of baked goods. Depending on the type of protein used, it can create a softer or chewier texture, or even add a slight crunch.


However, manufacturers must consider some unique challenges when it comes to using plant-based proteins in baked goods. Unlike animal-based proteins like eggs, casein, and whey, plant-based proteins behave differently and can affect a product's texture, taste, and appearance. Eliminating bitter, beany, or earthy flavors, achieving the right texture and density for different types of baked goods, and ensuring a high nutritional profile, particularly in protein bars, are all challenges that manufacturers need to address. Despite these challenges, plant-based ingredients like hemp seed are emerging as promising options, and ingredient technologies are rapidly advancing to address these issues.

The Tastiest ‘Plant Baked’ Protein, Comes From the Heart… The Hemp Heart

Hemp seeds are the ultimate nutritional powerhouse, packed with essential fatty acids, dietary fiber, and minerals like iron, magnesium, zinc, and potassium. Unlike many protein isolates, hemp seeds provide a complete protein that is highly digestible and contains all nine essential amino acids.

While sensory characteristics have been a hurdle for hemp seed adoption, ingredient manufacturer Applied Food Sciences has overcome this with their latest ingredient, PurHP-75​™ organic hemp seed protein. By removing the outer shell of the hemp seed, which contains bitter tannins and green pigment, and only processing the white inner 'hemp heart,' PurHP-75™ delivers a neutral flavor, smooth texture, and white color that pairs perfectly with common bakery flavors like chocolate, almonds, and vanilla.


PurHP-75™ boasts a high protein content of 75%, with a superior digestibility score (PDCAAS) and excellent mixing properties through its fine particle size and good dispersibility. Its good emulsifying capability and water-binding capacity make it a versatile ingredient for both soft-baked and hard-texture applications, while its oil-holding and binding capacities make it ideal for various product types.

With PurHP-75™, food manufacturers can elevate their baked goods to the next level with the superior nutrition, flavor, and functionality of hemp seed protein. Don't miss out on this game-changing ingredient that is sure to impress both health-conscious consumers and foodies alike.

About Applied Food Sciences

For over 20 years, Applied Food Sciences has manufactured functional ingredients for the natural products industry. PurHP-75™ is the latest example of the company's innovative and on-trend products. If you are developing a plant-based food, more information can be found on the companywebsite​, including a form you can fill out to request samples.

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