Americans are prioritising plant-based nutrition more than ever before, with a recent consumer survey on behalf of Beneo revealing that 42% would seriously consider adopting the lifestyle.
The survey revealed 10% already identify as vegans or vegetarians, while 22% identify as flexitarians (meaning they limit their meat and dairy consumption) – opening vast opportunities for producers of plant-based foods.
But to capitalise on this, producers need high quality ingredients that will allow them to get creative with products that will tick the consumers’ box.
The rise of faba beans
According to Mintel GNPD, pulses like faba bean are the rising stars, with a 20% increase in product launches over the past five years - with even bigger growth predicted.
Faba beans have a creamy texture and a mild taste, and are suitable for vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian lifestyless.
Beneo’s faba bean protein concentrate can replace animal protein (milk, eggs), as well as soy protein in certain applications. It has an excellent amino acid profile and shows high solubility and good emulsifying properties.
The company’s faba bean starch-rich flour is naturally high in protein, and easily swapped out for regular wheat flour to boost the protein content in cereal bars, pasta, snacks and baked goods.
“It’s clear that plant-based proteins are future-proof proteins that contribute to public health as well as the earth’s wellbeing,” said Jon Peters, Beneo’s sales director, Americas.
“In April, we announced a $54 million investment into a new pulse processing plant in Offstein, Germany. This investment underscores Beneo’s commitment to providing ingredients with innovative technological properties to enable food and drink manufacturers in the development of exciting plant-based options.
“In addition, faba bean ingredients contribute to Beneo’s sustainability goals along the entire supply chain.”
Faba beans fix nitrogen from the air for themselves and subsequent plants, which reduces fertilizer requirements and helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) at the farm level. As such, Beneo only sources beans at Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) Gold level from German farmers.
To manufacture the protein concentrate and starch-rich flour, and hulls for both food and animal feed, the crop is fully used and completely valorised to create Beneo’s protein concentrate and starch-rich flour, and the hulls relegated to animal feed.
The two faba bean ingredients are available to customers around the world, currently being produced in an intermediate facility until the scheduled completion of the Offstein plant in the second half of 2024.
Beneo was established in 2007 to develop plant-based ingredients for the food, feed and pharmaceutical sectors, and today is active in over 80 countries. The company’s portfolio includes functional carbohydrates from sugar beet, prebiotic chicory root fibre, plant-based proteins and speciality ingredients from rice.