‘Emulsification without the grittiness’: Healy Group launches micronised pea proteins for clean label vegan innovation

By Katy Askew

- Last updated on GMT

Healy says its micronised proteins deliver 'superior suspension after 10 minutes' Pic: Healy Group
Healy says its micronised proteins deliver 'superior suspension after 10 minutes' Pic: Healy Group
Irish ingredient supplier Healy Group is launching a new line of PrimaPro micronised pea proteins in answer to some of the common emulsification challenges facing meat-free formulators.

The allergen-free ingredient has been applied successfully to plant-based and egg-free emulsified sauces. According to the company it delivers a number of functional benefits.

Getting rid of the grit

Gareth Healy, group sales director, explained that a ‘gritty mouthfeel’ is a common problem facing developers of vegan sources such as mayonnaise.

“For vegan emulsification, typically a vegetable protein source is used. However vegetable proteins are insoluble and have a gritty mouth feel. Our micronised proteins offer the emulsification without the associated grittiness.”

Healy said the PrimaPro emulsifiers also perform better than other vegetable proteins: “We also find that our proteins offer better emulsification properties against other standard vegetable proteins.”

This is because the micronised pea proteins are more thoroughly dispersed within the emulsified dressing, allowing smaller droplet formation, delivering a ‘full bodied texture’, ‘smoother mouth feel’ and a whiter product.

“The dosage level is similar to the egg yolk or egg powder that it replaces and the micronisation allows the proteins to be more homogenously distributed within the emulsion matrix, allowing for smaller oil droplets and giving the whiter product and creamier mouthfeel,”​ group technical director Paul Sheldrake explained.

Rising expectations in plant-based

Sales director Healy said that the ingredient would help food manufacturers meet higher consumer expectations in the plant-based category.

“Plant-based diets are popularising at a rapid rate and as the market grows, expectations on flavour, texture and mouthfeel will increase with it. PrimaPro offers formulators an excellent opportunity to answer that growing demand for better vegan or plant-based foods. This will be a key area for us in the future.

“We are also targeting the sports nutrition industry as base vegetable proteins are typically difficult to consume,”​ he added.

Sheldrake suggested that the PrimaPro line also has applications beyond emulsification in plant-based products.

Derived from European-sourced pea and rice proteins with over 80% protein content, PrimaPro is suited to applications including nutritional beverages, snacks and plant-based products.

“For non-emulsification opportunities, the addition of PrimaPro offers meat alternative producers the opportunity to add protein to give products a more meaty mouthfeel,”​ Sheldrake said.

PrimaPro is manufactured using a ‘unique milling process’ that again underlines its clean label status, Healy suggested.

“Our unique milling process is a physical process that allows for particle micronisation with minimal effect on the amino acid profile, making it a fully natural process producing a completely natural product, suitable for all consumers… They are clean label unlike modified starches that have been used in these type of vegan applications.”

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