InnovoPro launches chickpea-based egg white alternative that promises “strong, stable” structure
The dry-ingredient blend is based on InnovoPro’s proprietary chickpea protein, CP-Pro 70, and “perfectly mimics” the functionality of an egg white, including delivering a strong, stable structure, neutral taste and a pristine white appearance desired in whipped desserts, such as meringues, company CEO Taly Nechushtan told FoodNavigator-USA.
Created specifically for industrial bakers and food manufacturers, the blend is easy to use and stands up to the less-than-ideal conditions that accompany production at large scale, Nechushtan added.
“We know that [bakers and confectioners] are early risers. They need to come to the factories very early in the morning. So, any additional processes that make their lives tougher or make their hours longer – they don’t like. So, this is why we wanted to offer such a simple solution that will really shorten the time of preparation for them,” Nechushtan said.
She explained that making a meringue with CP-Foam 1001 is as easy as combining the dry ingredient blend with sugar, adding water and then whipping.
“Voila! You get the foam. It cannot get any simpler,” she said.
The launch also fills a gap in the marketplace, which doesn’t have many options currently and those that are available often fail to check all the same boxes as CP-Foam 1001, said InnovoPro vice president of business development Guy Manor.
He explained that unlike other options, like aquafaba – which is popular among home bakers – CP-Foam 1001 will hold its shape, structure, texture and taste at ambient temperature for hours in an industrial setting.
“Aquafaba is not very stable. If you have seen beautiful pictures of stiff peaks, they are usually in the mixer because after awhile the stability” is compromised and the meringue or foam “basically melts,” he said.
In addition to CP-Foam 1001’s functional benefits, the blend also offers a better nutritional profile than some competing products that rely on a combination of sugar and water to create structure, Nechushtan said. She explained that because InnovoPro’s option is based on its proprietary protein it adds some nutritional value, even though that is not its intended purpose.
Keeping costs down as inflation rises
InnovoPro’s CP-Foam 1001 also offers a price-sensitive option – an attribute that is gaining importance as inflation and supply chain challenges continue to drive up the cost of ingredients, including eggs, which according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics increased 29.3% in October 2021 to $1.82 per dozen over $1.41 the prior year.
While the price of eggs varies by country and on whether they are subsidized, Manor said InnovoPro’s CP-Foam 1001 on averages is on par with the cost of egg whites.
Likewise, Nechushtan assured the company has sufficient supply to meet demand.
A fast-growing segment
With the launch of CP-Foam 1001, InnovaPro also is tapping into a fast-growing, albeit niche, segment of the market.
According to Market and Forecast data published in April, the egg replacement ingredient market is worth about $1.4bn currently and is projected to reach $1.6bn by 2026 with a compound annual growth rate of 6%.
This growth is driven by a rising adoption of plant-based eating, concerns about egg allergies and a desire to eat healthier.
Within the egg replacement category, the demand for egg white alternatives for items like meringues is still relatively small, but it is also the fastest growing subset of the market, Nechushtan said.
According to Market and Forecast, sales of egg alternatives grew a whopping 168% to $27m, a growth rate which Nechushtan described as “amazingly high.”
Building a platform
The launch also underscores InnovaPro’s shift away from being only an ingredient supplier to becoming a platform company that offers complete chickpea-based solutions and systems, said Nechushtan.
“This launch emphasizes how InnovoPro is becoming a platform instead of an ingredient company, meaning at the beginning we were a one-product company offering only our CP-Pro 70 [protein], but now our vision is about using that ingredient to become a platform that offers not only chickpea ingredients, but also chickpea protein solutions or systems for very specific and very fast growing markets,” she explained.
Another example of how InnovoPro is using its protein to create solutions is the recent launch of its texturized vegetable protein, which blends and then extrudes its chickpea protein with pea protein to support the plant-based meat industry.
CP-Pro 70 also is being used in plant-based frozen desserts to create a creamy mouthfeel that mimics dairy proteins, she said.
Looking ahead, she added, InnovoPro will continue to innovate solutions and systems that support consumer needs.
“In 2022, we can expect our US customers that are now secretly using CP-Foam 1001 to launch interesting products,” showing that the ingredient is not just a concept but a proven solution, she added.
Finally, she noted, as InnovoPro builds out its platform, it is also building out its US team with plans to add more key account managers, food technologist and marketers to be based in the company’s new US office.