Proteins are the most important building material for the human body and represent an essential part of our nutrition. Our body needs proteins for building and regeneration, among other things. There is currently a strong trend on the market towards a growing supply of proteins from sustainable sources. These are alternatives to conventional protein sources such as meat, poultry or fish.

Different types of proteins

Proteins for industrial use derive from vegetable and animal sources. There are traditional types like soya and wheat commonly known and used over decades but the market looks for alternatives. Thus a whole spectrum of plant-based proteins with a traditional source exists such as rice, pea or potato proteins. We also see coming up plant-based proteins being recognized as Novel Food such as hemp, sacha inchi, water lentil, fava bean and algae. Even if the plant trend is strongly booming, animal proteins are still being used thanks to their unique nutritional value and properties. Products like gelatin and collagen, dairy proteins or egg proteins play an important role to build proper recipes and value for the consumer.

For many consumers alternative sources of proteins like plant proteins, pulses, nuts or seeds became already part of the daily diet but more and more new sources of proteins like algae, fungi or insects come to common usage in food industry.

Functionality of proteins in final food product

In the food industry various proteins apart from the nutrient function play important technological roles as substances which help to improve texture, consistency, yield, mouth feel and the overall quality of processed foods. The specific functionality of a protein is strictly determined by its molecular structure – defined by source and processing during the production of a protein.

Proteins thanks to their multi functionalities like solubility, viscosity, water binding, emulsifying, gelation, cohesion, foaming and elasticity bring a specific impact to food systems. They are used in vegetarian and vegan formulations, sport nutrition, baked goods, beverages, processed meat and fish, soups and sauces, dressings, toppings, and many other food formulations. Food producers can benefit from using various proteins for the improvement of texture, stability, shelf life, appearance, taste and smell.

Nutrition aspects of proteins are important to provide energy and building blocks for our bodies, for growth, repair and the maintenance of good health. Animal proteins and some plant proteins like soya provide the full spectrum of amino acids needed by our organisms to maintain life, recover and build body tissue.

If you want to learn more about proteins and the solutions we can offer you, please contact Brenntag Food & Nutrition. Our Food experts can support you in finding the right protein for your product.


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