ChickP taps into the dairy alternative market

ChickP, a foodTech startup developing innovative plant proteins, has launched a line of next-gen chickpea isolates designed for plant-based dairy alternative products. Developed by the faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, this plant protein uses patent-pending technology to extract up to 90% pure protein out of the chickpea seed.

The new chickpea isolates offer beneficial characteristics that help alternative dairy producers overcome challenges in processing as well as boosting consumer acceptance and fulfilling the demand for highly nutritious and tasty products. Thanks to its high solubility and smooth viscosity, ChickP forms an emulsion/gel that helps contribute to a firm finished product.

“We tested the chickpea ingredient across a range of parameters, including functionality, flavor, nutrition profile, and protein content,” said Ram Reifen, managing director, founder and CSO of ChickP.

“Sensory parameters such as taste, colour, and texture are the key factors for success in launching any new product in the marketplace. Plant-based milk alternatives that contain ChickP have been shown to mimic cow’s milk and yogurt better for taste, mouthfeel, and nutritional value.”

Taste: Many plant-based proteins can create bitter or off flavours that require masking by addition of sugar, artificial flavours, or other masking agents in the final product, ChickP protein has a neutral flavour, mitigating the need for sugar or flavour additives in the products.

Texture & functionality: plant-based proteins often possess sandy or chalky textures that negatively affect the overall sensory experience. ChickP protein was designed to provide a strong, smooth texture and emulsion stability, while having high solubility and smooth viscosity.

Nutritional profile: The nutritional content of dairy alternatives is usually lower than that cow’s milk when it comes to protein, and can also contain lower contents of other essential nutrients and are higher in sugar. ChickP powder contains 90% protein, ≤8.0 moisture (the drier the better), and less than 0.1% fat. The very low fat is important since high fat content decreases shelf life and can lead to off flavours.

Cleaner, shorter label: Dairy alternative products can contain artificial flavours, colouring, emulsifiers, masking ingredients, and other additives that help them mimic dairy. By mitigating the use of such ingredients, ChickP protein allows for shorter, cleaner labels.

Free-From: Dairy, soy, and tree nuts — the most common milk and milk alternative sources — are known allergens. Also, in some populations as many as 50% of consumers have lactose-intolerance. ChickP proteins are non-GMO, and do not contain phytoestrogens.

“We scaled up our processing production in October 2019 and we are set to market the ingredient to alternative dairy companies as well as to dairy companies that are seeking high-quality protein options,” added Ron Klein, CEO of ChickP.

“ChickP answers the current market needs for safe and nutritious dairy products without flavors, sugars, colourants, or artificial ingredients, while addressing environmental and ethical concerns.”

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