After the launch last year of its line of next-generation chickpea isolates which aim to capitalise on growing demand for plant-based dairy and protein alternatives, ChickP has unveiled a line of next-generation native starch products developed from chickpea for food and beverage applications.
Demand for specifically identified starches in food and beverage launches is rising globally. According to Innova Market Insights, specifically identified starches in food and beverage were up 7% year-over-year in 2019 launches. The top category of global product launches tracked with starches was bakery (27%), with corn starch being the leading ingredient among the starches tracked. The top positionings of global product launches tracked with starches in 2019 were no additives/preservatives (17%), gluten-free (15%), and vegetarian (9%).
ChickP wants to tap into this growth market through its new chickpea-based ingredient. According to the company, the non-GMO ingredient has a uniquely high amylose to amylopectin ratio, indicating a low glycemic index.
Gelling and thickening qualities
Due to its narrow granules size distribution compared to pea and potato starches, ChickP’s starch provides better gelling and thickening properties. This, combined with a neutral taste and no aroma means it can be used as a thickening/binding agent in a variety of food applications, including soups, sauces, confectionery, dairy, baked goods, desserts, meat, and plant-based meat analogues. It can also be used as a raw material for production of extruded snack products and can be deployed as an anti-caking agent for powdered blends, such as instant soups, spices, and premixes, the company said.
“The inspiration for developing a native chickpea starch was to offer another purified fraction from chickpea – similar to ChickP’s isolated protein, which contains 90% protein,” explained Ram Reifen, MD, founder and CSO of ChickP. “We’ve extended the purity approach by introducing our pure native chickpea starch, with more than 98% starch content.”
As a by-product of the ChickP protein product, the chickpea starch eliminates food waste during processing and ensures a sustainable, clean ingredient, the company told FoodNavigator.
“The development of ChickP Native Starch allows ChickP to utilize one more component from the whole chickpea to be used as a food ingredient rather than dispose it for waste treatment or use it as animal feed – the starch fraction is about 40-45% from the whole chickpea and therefore this development provides a much more sustainable process,” explained Reifen. “In addition, by offering another food ingredient, our main product- the isolated ChickP protein- is not only the most functional, purified and bland in flavour, but now also the most valuable chickpea protein offered in the market in terms of value per protein unit.”
'A pure, high-value, functional ingredient'
Reifen is a paediatric gastroenterologist and a professor of human nutrition, as well as the director of the Centre for Nutrigenomics and Functional Foods at Hebrew University. He has served as committee member for WHO and the European Union on issues related to food, nutrition and health. He said the start-up’s cutting-edge ability to separate and purify the solid components of the chickpea (protein, starch, and fibers) allows it to offer food manufacturers ‘pure, high-value, functional ingredients’ that bring significant flexibility to incorporate other ingredients into the formula based on targeted nutritional and functional properties.
“This can be accomplished without compromise due to existing impurities, such as oil which leads to rapid oxidation and decreased shelf life, fibers that can impart rough textures in some food applications, and other micronutrients that negatively impact flavour and colour.”
ChickP was founded in 2016. The company developed and manufactured its products in pilot scale in various plants. It began scale-up operations in 2019 and produces several types of chickpea isolates, targeting companies that are seeking high-quality proteins.
“The ChickP technical team currently is developing food applications using our native chickpea starch,” added Ron Klein, CEO of ChickP. “We invite companies to collaborate with us to create new plant-based products that meet all the demands of today’s informed consumers.”