Start-up’s chickpea-based protein isolate boosts protein content in dairy-free cheese

By Augustus Bambridge-Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

The company's 90% chickpea protein isolate can be incorporated into plant-based cheese analogs. Image Source; ChickP
The company's 90% chickpea protein isolate can be incorporated into plant-based cheese analogs. Image Source; ChickP

Related tags Chickpea chickpea protein Food ingredients europe

Israel-headquartered plant-based ingredients start-up ChickP has developed a chickpea-based protein isolate that can be incorporated into a range of cheese substitutes.

The chickpea protein isolate has 90% pure chickpea protein content. ChickP utilises all components of the chickpea without waste, and the product can be incorporated into plant-based cheese products.

ChickP specializes in producing chickpea isolate, with 90% pure chickpea protein content,”​ Liat Lachish Levy, CEO of ChickP, told FoodNavigator.

This high protein content not only sets ChickP apart but also makes it an ideal choice seamless integration into manufacturer’s recipes, which elevate taste and texture of dairy analogs, particularly cheese.​”

The production process

At ChickP, we tailor our product applications to the cheese analog market, primarily using established industry methods​.” Maor Dahan, ChickP’s Head of Applications and Development, told FoodNavigator. “In the cheese analog production process, we incorporate fermentation to enhance the final product's quality and abundance​.

In certain cases, we also develop specific recipes to facilitate the seamless incorporation of our chickpea 90% isolate into cheese analog production​.”

As well as producing the protein isolate, the start-up helps other companies incorporate it into their products. “We provide guidance to ensure they make the most of the chickpea isolate they are integrating into their cheese analogs​.”

Taste and texture

The analog provides an abundance of protein to a cheese substitute but, according to CEO Levy, also maintains the taste and texture of any plant-based dairy product it is incorporated into.

When incorporated into cheese analogs, ChickP's isolate seamlessly integrates into recipes without compromising the desired taste and texture​,” she told us.

This is particularly important because traditional protein alternatives often alter the sensory qualities of the final product. Chickpea protein isolate is the winning solution to include in cheeses analogs​.”

The company has focused primarily on using the isolate in cheddar and cream cheese analogs but aims to develop the use of the product in substitutes for more cheeses in the future.

We are helping to develop solutions for feta, parmesan, brie, and continuously exploring other possibilities. Our aim is to address the current protein deficiency in many cheese analogs by fortifying them with our chickpea-based 90% isolate​.”

So far, ChickP has found positive feedback on both the taste and texture of the products which incorporate its protein isolate.

We have already sampled to several large dairy and non-dairy companies both in Europe as well as in the US​,” Levy told us, “and the feedback is amazing: they said that both the texture as well as the flavour compared to other plant based protein vegan cheeses samples are unlike any other that have tasted, they were very impressed with the results​.” 

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