Israeli FoodTech start-up launches next-gen native chickpea starch that takes baked goods and extruded snacks to another level

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

ChickP's Native Starch is a non-GMO clean label native starch. Pic: GettyImages/KucherAV
ChickP's Native Starch is a non-GMO clean label native starch. Pic: GettyImages/KucherAV

Related tags: ChickP, chickpeas, native starch, Protein, Clean label, Non gmo, gluten free bakery, vegetarian, extruded snacks

Rehovot-based ChickP Protein Ltd has launched a clean label non-GMO native chickpea starch that contains more than 98% starch content and has a uniquely high amylose to amylopectin ratio.

The launch of ChickP Native Starch follows the introduction of the company’s line of innovative chickpea isolates last year. The native starch is a co-product of the ChickP protein process using proprietary technology, thus eliminating food waste during processing and ensuring a sustainable ingredient.

The start-up’s cutting-edge ability to separate and purify the solid components of the chickpea allows manufacturers significant flexibility to incorporate other ingredients into their existing formulas to add nutritional and functional properties. This is  accomplished by eliminating impurities such as oil (which leads to rapid oxidation and decreased shelf life), fibres (which can impart an ‘unwanted’ textures in some food applications), and other micronutrients that negatively impact flavour and colour.

According to ChickP, its Native Starch has a uniquely high amylose to amylopectin ratio, with neutral taste and no aroma.

It also provides better gelling and thickening properties than pea and potato starches, due to its narrow granules size distribution. As a result, it can be used as a binding agent in baked goods; as an anti-caking agent for powdered blends like premixes and extruded snacks; as well as a thickening agent in applications like soups, sauces and dairy.

Additionally, chickpeas come with a complete protein profile that offer producers a new tool to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Clean label starches

The use of specifically identified starches in new product developments (NPDs) is growing in popularity, thanks to their clean label claims.

Data from Innova Market Insights notes new launches with starches have grown 7% year-over-year, with bakery launches (27%) leading the pack in 2019. Corn starch was the most used starch that year.

The leading claims for NPDs in 2019 were ‘no additives/preservatives’ (17%), ‘gluten free’ (15%) and ‘vegetarian’ (9%).

“The inspiration for developing a native chickpea starch was to offer another purified fraction from chickpea – similar to ChickP’s isolated protein, which contains 90% protein,”​ said Ram Reifen, founder, MD and CSO of ChickP.

“We’ve extended the purity approach by introducing our pure native chickpea starch, with more than 98% starch content.”

ChickP’s CEO Ron Klein added, “The ChickP technical team currently is developing food applications using our Native chickpea starch. We invite companies to collaborate with us to create new plant-based products that meet all the demands of today’s informed consumers.”

ChickP was founded in 2016 on the basis of a patented technology developed after 20 years of research conducted at the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environment at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Yissum – the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University – invested in the project via the Agrinnovation Fund, setting up the company as part of its activities.

In 2019, ChickP received another financial boost from Growthwell Group, a Singapore based alternative protein manufacturer.

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