Not all sources of nutrients are the same. The human body absorbs rich sources of certain essential nutrients from animal-based foods like milk or meat more easily than the same nutrients when they are plant-derived.
Many factors can affect nutrient bioavailability (the proportion of a nutrient absorbed from the diet), anti-nutrients like oxalates, phytates, and tannins can block digestive enzymes from reaching parts of food to be digested.
A food biotechnology company has developed a Protein Extraction Platform Technology that consists of pre-treatment technology, fermentation and extraction using ceramic membrane technology and hollow fibre membrane technology.
The extracted clean proteins can be used to substitute chemical and synthetic emulsifiers, gelling and foaming agents in consumer products. The food industry would also benefit from protein alternatives that are lower in cost, have a neutral taste and odour, and has a more complete amino acid profile.
The core proprietary technology is a pre-treatment process that increases the release and extractability of plant-based nutrients and in turn, increases yield and nutrient bioavailability.
The technology can process oilseeds (patent-pending technology) and non-oil seeds (proprietary technology) at the pre-treatment stage. Oilseeds have more than 20% oil content, while non-oil seeds have little or less than 10%. Mainly intended for plant-based ingredients, the technology involves three main steps:
1. Pre-treatment: Removal of compounds present in plant foods that inhibit nutrient absorption (anti-nutrients), and the locked nutrients are released from the whole foods.
2. Fermentation: The bioactivity of the released nutrients is increased with the use of food-grade microbes, such as bacteria, yeasts, fungi and enzymes. These microbes compliment the gap of essential vitamins and protein missing in plant ingredients.
3. Extraction: Development of various product formats that contain easily absorbable and active nutrients to manufacture ready-to-eat (RTE) foods and ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages, or functional/non-functional proteins.
In post processing, the fungi can be compressed, shaped or moulded to enable a fibrous meat-like texture, and be an alternative to meat, soy, pea, rice and potato protein. The extruded protein can be combined with in-house fractions of starch, fibre and protein to optimise the texture.
The technology is intended mainly for plant-based food ingredients such as beans, nuts, grains, and cocoa. The enhanced ingredients can be used manufacture various RTE and RTD products, such as:
The extracted protein can be used for the following:
The technology can potentially be used to develop nutraceuticals.
The human nutrition market is expected to reach US$465.4 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 6.6% during the forecast period of 2019 to 2025, according to Meticulous Research.
Drivers of growth:
The technology increases the extraction efficiency of proteins, minerals, and nutrients, reducing costs due to the higher yield obtained.
The anti-nutrient removal technology offers these benefits:
The protein extraction technology offers these benefits: