The flexitarian trend is not abating. According to research, it is flexitarians – those wanting to reduce their consumption of meat and dairy – driving the plant-based food category. The same research project found that 36% of flexitarians say they intend to consume more plant-based dairy products.
However, according to Israel-based ChickP Protein Ltd., not all plant-based dairy products are up to scratch. While more than 30% of flexitarians eat plant-based ice cream or sorbet at least 1-3 times per month, the start-up sees room for product improvement. “There are plant-based ice creams on the market, but they lack the true, creamy texture of dairy ice cream,” noted the company.
In response, ChickP has developed a chickpea protein isolate for plant-based ice cream. According to the company, it makes for a ‘tasty plant-based frozen dessert’ with a ‘creamy’ mouthfeel ‘just like dairy ice cream’.
“Our ChickP Isolate ingredient answers consumers’ growing demand for vegan products with a dairy-like experience,” said Liat Lachish Levy, CEO of ChickP. “Consumers, especially flexitarians, have become much pickier when choosing a frozen indulgence and will not compromise on flavour or mouthfeel.”
The company’s ‘biggest challenge’ was to develop a solution that would offer the ‘full sensory experience’ of real ice cream. The result is an ingredient that can even allow for the creation of a ‘mascarpone-like texture’ in vegan ice cream, said Maor Dahan, application manager for ChickP. “We were able to imitate the exact rich, uniquely creamy taste and texture of mascarpone.”
Importantly, ChickP’s protein isolate provides the functionalities required for ice cream production, including emulsion stability, prevention of icing and crystallisation, and the required melting profile. The company also claims it has ‘exceptional’ whipping capabilities, with a neutral taste to allow for different flavours.
The plant-based ice cream prototype was developed in collaboration with Vaniglia, Ltd., in Israel. CEO Assaf Blank agreed the result hit the mark in terms of delivering a dairy-like experience: “It has a truly creamy and rich texture similar to dairy ice cream.”