Cargill and the future of protein

Food & Beverage Asia speaks with Elizabeth Gutschenritter, managing director of alternative protein at Cargill, to understand the company’s focus and vision for the fast-growing plant-based and emerging cultivated meat segment

From soy to peas, wheat to corn, Cargill has an extensive portfolio of plant-based solutions for manufacturers diving into alternative protein. Could you comment on Cargill’s contributions as a solutions provider for this sector thus far, and what the company hopes to achieve in the next five to ten years?

Gutschenritter: At Cargill, our role is to nourish the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. With this mission at our core, we have taken an inclusive approach to protein, exploring all the options and innovations, traditional and alternative alike, that can feed a growing world.

Our current ingredient portfolio includes plant proteins sourced from soybeans, yellow peas and wheat, available in both powdered and textured formats to support formulation into a wide array of plant-based products. Consumer interest in these solutions remains high and our team continues to work with customers on improved plant-based formulations, including Radipure, a pea protein developed and manufactured in Asia to support demand for plant-based proteins. At the same time, we are also enhancing our existing portfolio of ingredients that support plant-based formulation. This includes our partnership with CUBIQ FOODS to develop and commercialise “smart fats” such as Go!Drop, a patent-pending technology that creates a structured emulsion, stabilised with plant-based ingredients. As it includes vegetable oils, it reduces the amount of total fat, saturated fats and calories in Go!Drop as compared to traditional animal fats or tropical oils, while also closely replicating animal fat in terms of visual appearance, bite and mouthfeel.

We are also bringing improved plant-based products to the marketplace, through efforts such as the Scale It Up! Innovation Challenge, which aims to accelerate promising start-ups in the plant protein space. This programme, conducted in partnership with Bühler and Givaudan, provides mentorship and technical expertise, access to pilot facilities and product development help to challenge winners.

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