TECH OFFER

High Yield Extraction Technology for Plant Proteins

KEY INFORMATION

TECHNOLOGY CATEGORY:
Foods - Ingredients
Foods - Processes
TECHNOLOGY READINESS LEVEL (TRL):
LOCATION:
Singapore
ID NUMBER:
TO174138

TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW

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.

TECHNOLOGY FEATURES & SPECIFICATIONS

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.

POTENTIAL APPLICATIONS

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: 

  • Breakfast cereals 
  • Snacks
  • Beverages, such as milk and tea

 

The extracted protein can be used for the following: 

  • Functional proteins that serve as clean emulsifiers to replace traditional chemical additives and emulsifiers, gelling and foaming agents
  • Non-functional proteins
  • Egg white substitute
  • Water-based food products 
  • Fat-based food products in the snacks, confectionary, chocolate and ice cream markets

 

The technology can potentially be used to develop nutraceuticals. 

Market Trends & Opportunities

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:

  • Expanding middleclass population in emerging economies with demand for nutrition
  • Emergence of developing countries as strong consumers for human nutrition
  • The growing health consciousness and rise in incidences of chronic diseases across the globe
  • Hectic lifestyle adopted by people results in a number of diseases due to improper nutrition
  • Rising health and wellness trend

Benefits

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: 

  • Satisfies consumer requirements for enhanced health and wellness benefits from various RTE and RTD products.
  • Resultant food products can be used as a viable therapeutic and preventive food supplement for healthcare and medical interventions.
  • Higher nutrient bioaccessibility and bioavailability: Maximise nutrient absorption from plant-based foods and to overcome the key challenge that affects the adoption of plant-based ingredients in the RTE and RTD segments.
  • Allows tailoring of products to cater to the varying nutritional needs and requirements of different demographics.
  • Close the gap of nutrient deficiencies with lesser food resources.
  • Reduce indigestibility, bloatedness and flatulence.  

The protein extraction technology offers these benefits: 

  • Increases the release and extractability of proteins.
  • Functional proteins can be clean label emulsifiers.
  • Lower in cost, neutral taste and odour, and more complete amino acid profile.
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