Meeting consumer demand with the help of plant-based protein alternatives

When it comes to alternative proteins, consumers are always looking for a replacement that can mimic the textures, taste, and appearance of animal protein. Plant-based options like textured wheat proteins can offer the solution that producers are looking for.

By Christian Philippsen, managing director, BENEO, Asia Pacific

The pandemic has created a shift in food preferences, pivoting consumers towards more sustainable, plant-based options. Research has shown that environmental concerns were heightened as a result of COVID-19, with 60% of consumers now more attentive to the impact their food and drink consumption has on the environment1. As more mainstream consumers make changes to their diets to improve their long-term health and reduce their impact on the planet due to COVID-19, there has been a corresponding upsurge in shoppers (20%) planning to include more plant-based foods in their diets2. In particular, meat alternatives are gaining traction in Asia-Pacific. Investments in protein alternatives have almost doubled in the region, reaching US$312 million, 60% more than the amount globally3.

Meat replacements becoming a more popular alternative

For those who are incorporating more plant-based ingredients into their diet, meat alternatives have become a sought-after choice. Many consumers perceive plant proteins as natural, healthy ingredients that are more sustainable than meat in their production. These proteins also have specific benefits such as being low in cholesterol, saturated fats and sugars, making them a popular choice for a growing range of plant-based applications.

With a wide variety of plant proteins available, manufacturers must choose high-quality ingredients that can offer convincing technical benefits. The popularity of wheat protein is due to the wide variety of textures it can create. In addition, wheat protein is a source of many amino acids, such as cysteine, methionine, phenylalanine, tyrosine and tryptophan.

The full article is available in the latest edition of Food & Beverage Asia August/September 2022 issue. To continue reading, click here.