Givaudan and Berkeley unveil new research on efficiency in alternative protein

The new white paper outlines 10 pathways to more affordable and sustainable plant-based products

In their fifth annual collaboration, Givaudan and the University of California Berkeley have released transformative research on enhancing efficiency in alternative protein. The latest white paper, “10 Alternative Protein Pathways: Opportunities for Greater Efficiency” outlines the challenges and opportunities on the journey to co-create alt-protein experiences. 

With more consumers expected to explore plant-based protein, opportunities abound for food producers and retailers to develop sustainable, healthy alternatives that deliver diverse food experiences. With its industry knowledge, Givaudan has once again teamed up with the University of California Berkeley product development programme to provide practical steps on how industry players can create delicious and affordable alternative protein products. 

Sudhir Joshi, professor, board member, and product development programme coach at the University of California Berkeley, said: “Alternative proteins can significantly reduce environmental impact and improve human health. Our findings identified four key areas where producers can focus on improving efficiencies and reducing costs for alternative protein products. These were further divided into specific steps companies can take to mitigate risk, while still making tasty, healthy, and cost-effective products.”

The research explores the key challenges the industry faces, such as supply chain issues, resource consumption, production scale-up, and competitive pricing. It also offers 10 clear and actionable pathways that address these hurdles and maximise efficiency. This includes identifying ingredient combinations that ensure the best quality and value for both food innovators and consumers, and outlining ways to optimise the use of energy, water, and other natural resources. The end goal is to enable the industry to create alternative protein experiences that are good for both people and the planet. 

Flavio Garofalo, global director of culinary and plant attitude at Givaudan, said: “In today’s dynamic environment, the key to gaining a competitive edge lies in strategic partnerships. Companies that team up with others to pool their knowledge, expertise and resources will be better placed to spot market opportunities, unlock efficiencies, and scale innovations more quickly. Every year, we join forces with the University of California Berkeley to investigate key topics related to alternative protein. Why do we do it? Because it helps us look at alternative protein in a more holistic way, which puts us in a better position to support our customers.”

To bring the insights from its new research to life, Givaudan is also launching a start-up challenge. The company will select five start-ups from around the world to reduce the costs of a standard recipe using the pathways outlined in the white paper, including raw material optimisation, hybrid products, process optimisation, and new technology and innovations. 

Givaudan’s global protein network includes four hubs dedicated to developing holistic alternative and plant-based food experiences. These hubs enable Givaudan customers to co-create products that meet consumer preferences in their markets. They also offer access to an entire ecosystem of experts in plant-based dairy and savoury products, along with the relevant products, knowledge and technical equipment.