Meripro 711 is one of the latest so-called 'value-added' ingredients from the London-based firm's portfolio that includes starches, soluble wheat proteins and the successful sugar replacer Splenda.
Claiming to be the "world's leading producer of wheat proteins" based on an approximate 20 per cent of the global market share, Tate & Lyle will look to gain growth in the wheat protein market, bumping along at 2 per cent growth a year, by identifying the potential wheat proteins hold as functional ingredients.
"Our emulsifying protein offers stable pricing and a lasting economical environment compared to the volatile prices of caseinates," says Caroline Sanders, product manager proteins at Tate & Lyle.
Sanders tells FoodNavigator.com that Meripro 711 prices are currently "slightly less than half" that of caseinates.
With industry observers pitching caseinate prices in Europe at about €6.50 a kilo, food makers opting to use Tate & Lyle's emulsifier could see significant savings.
The firm claims that its new emulsifying product would replace caseinates "at the same levels of magnitude": caseinates in coffee creamers, for example, represent about 2 to 3 per cent of the total formulations.
Emulsifiers are used by food makers to reduce the surface tension between two immiscible phases at their interface - such as two liquids, a liquid and a gas, or a liquid and a solid - allowing them to mix.
"Meripro 711 can emulsify about 950 grammes of oil per gramme of product before the emulsion breaks, as well as allowing for an emulsion with a very fine droplet size, which gives a good whitening effect", claims Tate & Lyle.
In food production caseinates provide a source of protein and function as emulsifiers, water binders and whipping aids. Applications include processed meats, whipped toppings coffee whiteners, egg substitutes, and diet foods.
Salts of casein are produced by neutralising acid casein to pH 6.7 with calcium or sodium hydroxide, producing the most common forms - calcium caseinate or sodium caseinate - as well as potassium and ammonium caseinate.
Tate & Lyle's emulsifier joins a raft of caseinate alternative options already on the market, that target different application zones.
Dutch firm Arla Foods Ingredients, for instance, recently launched a new milk protein on the competitive dairy protein market, positioned as an alternative to caseinates in salami formulations.
Like Tate & Lyle, the firms claims its new functional product, Nutrilac SA-5505, can compete on the price stakes compared to the more expensive, and commonly used, caseinates.
Produced at facilities in Belgium, Tate & Lyle's emulsifier with total solubility above pH5.3, has 77 per cent protein per weight, compared to soya isolates and caseinates that boast 90 per cent.
"The food industry looks at functionality per weight, not protein," says Sanders.
Tate & Lyle will compete in the mature European protein market, acutely influenced by raw material supplies, worth €153 million in 2004, according to fresh data from analysts Frost & Sullivan.
And in the US, plant proteins made up 47 per cent of total revenue in the €2 billion market with the balance coming from animal proteins.
Soy protein accounted for approximately 76 per cent of the plant protein side of the market, and milk proteins came in as the dominant animal protein.