Beyond Beef arrives on Australian shores

Plant-based mince that looks, cooks and tastes just like beef? Enter: Beyond Beef. The US-founded plant-based meat brand, Beyond Meat, has upped their product ante with this new addition – which will offer a versatile alternative protein choice to add to the weekly shop.

Whether you’re a vegetarian, vegan or meat-eater, the plant-based “beef” mince tastes as near as the real deal and offers consumers the choice to transform the mince into a meaty, plant-based masterpiece – think stuffed mushrooms, bolognaise, tacos and burgers.

Each pack of Beyond Beef contains more than four Beyond Burgers’ worth of mince and is now available to purchase at selected Coles stores.

Beyond Beef consists of plant-based pea protein and has no cholesterol, GMOs, soy or gluten. It packs more protein and iron than beef but with less saturated and total fat.
With many Australians recognising the health benefits of a predominantly plant-based diet, the demand for meat free products with high nutritional value has soared.

Plant-based food distributor Future Farm Co is responsible for bringing Beyond Meat to Australian and New Zealand shores and is focused on bringing the benefits of plant-based products to the mainstream.

Future Farm Co anticipates a positive response to the launch of Beyond Beef thanks to the already huge fanbase that exists in the Australian market for Beyond Meat’s range – the new mince product is set to elevate the plant-based offering available to Aussie consumers.
According to Future Farm Co, Aussie consumers of Beyond Meat® products are typically existing meat shoppers – who are looking for veggie substitutions a few times a week – and the addition of Beyond Beef is set to amplify this trend and encourage healthier and more sustainable alternatives.

Beyond Beef is more pricey than beef coming in at a RRP of $18 per 500g pack.

v2food plant-based protein startup closes $35M Series A round  

v2food, Australia’s newest plant-based protein startup, today announced that it has raised a $35 million Series A funding round led by Main Sequence Ventures, manager of CSIRO’s Innovation Fund, and Horizons Ventures.

The round also includes Fairfax Family investment fund Marinya Capital & leading venture capital firm Sequoia Capital China. These new investors will add significant scale and build an impressive partnership alongside existing seed investors Main Sequence Ventures, CSIRO and Jack Cowin’s Competitive Foods Australia.

The Series A financing continues an exceptional few months for v2food that saw the company officially launch in October and release its first product in partnership with Hungry Jack’s Australia, the Rebel Whopper. Funding will be used to expand R&D efforts including building a new research and production facility, planning to begin operation in regional Australia in 2020.

The company worked with Australia’s national science agency CSIRO to create products that look like meat, cook like meat and taste like meat. Co-founded by former Masterfoods and PepsiCo Research Director, Nick Hazell, v2food’s mission is to develop delicious food that is good for people and good for the planet, revolutionising the way we produce and consume food.

“This is an important step towards v2food’s goal of transforming the way the world produces food.  There is a big shortfall between the amount of meat we produce today and the amount needed to feed the growing global population. There will be nearly 10 billion people on Earth by 2050. Our mission is clear — to provide everyday people with plant-based meat that tastes great and is good for the environment. It’s imperative that we scale quickly because these global issues need immediate solutions and we are fortunate to have secured these outstanding global partners to help propel us forward,”said Nick Hazell v2food founder and CEO.

As demand is currently outstripping supply, v2food also plans to use the funds to expand its footprint in Australia and develop a supply chain that is highly scalable enabling accelerated growth.

“Main Sequence Ventures’ mission is to help transform inspiring Australian research into epic global companies. v2food is an outstanding example of an innovative startup committed to solving a global problem. The team has demonstrated what can be achieved when science and industry collaborate,” said Phil Morle, Partner of Main Sequence Ventures.

With an oversubscribed round, the investors were selected due to their global networks, and their support will help the company to expand its sales and marketing efforts offshore. Leveraging the global ties of Horizons Ventures and Sequoia Capital will enable v2food to enter the next phase of growth throughout the Asia-Pacific region with the support of investors with long histories of backing sector-defining businesses.

“The v2food team has created a truly world-class product in an area that is seeing massive growth and demand. We’re incredibly excited to back this home-grown startup to help bring v2food not only to consumers across Australia but the world,” said Nicholas Fairfax, managing Ddrector of Marinya Capital.

v2food plans to continue to launch new products in outlets across Australia in the next few months.

Finnish startup makes alternative protein from carbon dioxide

An innovative startup company from Finland has piloted a new alternative protein product made out of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This meat alternative has the potential to address the environmental evils of both the agriculture industry and climate change.

The startup is confident it will be able to get the product on grocery store shelves by 2021.

The product, named Solein, will likely be sold first as a liquid protein source via shakes or yogurt. This is different than alternative meat competitors, now including conventional meat giants like Tyson, that primarily sell alternative proteins as nuggets or burgers.

According to Solar Foods, Solein is “100 times more climate friendly” than all other animal- and plant-based proteins. In fact, the company also claims it is 10 times more efficient than soy production in terms of carbon footprint.

How does it work? The company says it mixes water molecules with nutrients like potassium and sodium and then feeds the solution plus carbon to microbes. The microbes consume the nutrients and produce an edible substance that looks like flour and is 50 percent protein.

Lab-grown meats are an expanding industry, but Solar Foods captures carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to feed to microbes instead of using sugar like most other companies.

“Producing Solein is entirely free from agriculture — it doesn’t require arable land or irrigation and isn’t limited by climate conditions,” a Solar Foods representative told Dezeen. “It can be produced anywhere around the world, even in areas where conventional protein production has never been possible.”

The company has big ambitions and believes that if the alternative meat industry is indeed going to overtake the conventional meat industry as predicted, leading corporations like Impossible Meat and Beyond Meat are going to need to experiment with and use innovative sources of protein beyond pea-based products.


Emerging dairy trends to look out for

Essentially, high-fat dairy-enriched diets are in and low-fat diets are old news. However, today’s consumer expects more bang for their dairy buck, which has driven innovation in this category. Here’s your guide to the top dairy trends which will be hitting the menus and dairy aisles this year.

Gourmet-flavoured butters are here to stay
It’s not “just” butter anymore, flavoured butters will really gain momentum in 2019. We’re not talking about the ‘brown butter’ trend, that’s yesterday’s news… Think sweet and savoury flavoured butters such as honey, pistachio, jalapeno, lemon zest, pumpkin seed and even seaweed-flavoured butters. Chefs have been taking butter to new flavour places for a while now, but in 2019 we’ll see food companies answering consumer demands and providing packaged flavoured butters sold at retail for convenience.

“How do you take your coffee? With cheese please.”
Believe it or not, that’s what people will be hearing in coffee shops around the nation this year. First it was butter coffee, commonly referred to as “bulletproof coffee”; now cheese coffee is the latest fad that baristas all over the world are catching on to. Cheese in coffee has a similar texture to marshmallows in hot chocolate: the cubes of cheese float to the top and absorb the coffee, developing a squeaky texture. It doesn’t stop there, though; cheese tea is also a trend which we expect will become mainstream by the end of the year. The cheese tea trend started in Asia, then moved to the United States, and it will finally hit Aussie shores in a big way this year. Cheese tea is usually served with either green or black tea topped with a thick layer of salted cream cheese. As the cheese melts on top, it forms a similar texture to melted ice cream with a salty tang.

Protein, protein, protein
The protein trend has taken many food categories by storm, but we believe the dairy category presents numerous opportunities to satisfy these protein savvy customers. Once just a trend amongst the health-obsessed millennials, this trend has extended to families with children as well as senior couples who are also putting high-protein foods into their shopping trolleys.

We’re now seeing high protein yoghurts, ice cream and convenient snack products which fit into the “on-the-go lifestyle” of so many consumers these days. New dairy proteins make formulating protein-fortified products even easier. We’re now seeing a completely new category for protein emerging because a form of whey protein which can function in clear beverages is now available. Consequently, “Protein Waters” is  a category that is growing at a rapid rate.

Furthermore, consumers are becoming more aware of the importance of gut health and the benefits of the fermentation process. Nutritional ingredient companies have been quick to respond to this trend and are now offering a whey protein isolate with prebiotic-promoting properties, tapping into the interest in the gut microbiome.
By Dustin Boughton, Procurement, Maxum Foods

Burcon to build $70 million pea and canola protein production plant

Burcon NutraScience Corporation, a company that specialises in developing functionally and nutritionally valuable plant-proteins, has announced that it has entered into a joint venture partnership with an investor group to build a new $70 million pea-protein and canola-protein commercial production facility in Western Canada. The protein production facility, which is planned to initially process approximately 20,000 tonnes of peas per year starting in mid-2020, will produce Burcon’s Peazazz and Peazac pea proteins, as well as Burcon’s Supertein, Puratein and Nutratein canola proteins.

“Today’s announcements constitute a truly transformative event for Burcon, and a new chapter in Burcon’s development focused on bringing the company’s unique plant proteins to market directly as a producer.” said Johann F. Tergesen, Burcon’s president and chief executive officer.  “Having the capacity to produce both our unique pea proteins, as well as our canola proteins, in our own production facility is a key pillar of our differentiation strategy. The ability to blend our pea and canola proteins to create nutritionally unparalleled plant protein combinations, while preserving the highly desirable functional properties the proteins naturally possess, will give us a true competitive advantage.  We look forward to offering our pea and canola protein products to customers and consumers in Canada, North America and worldwide.”

Features of the agreement include:

  • Establishes a joint venture to build and operate a $65 million plant protein production facility.
  • JV partner investor group has extensive operations expertise in production facility design and startup, as well as considerable expertise in the manufacturing and sale of plant proteins.
  • JV partner investor group to invest up to $16 million in capital contributions in joint venture partnership.
  • Enters into 20-year exclusive license agreement for Burcon’s pea and canola protein technologies.
  • Plant protein production facility designed to produce Burcon’s Peazazz® and Peazac™ pea proteins, as well as Burcon’s Supertein®, Puratein® and Nutratein® canola proteins.
  • World’s only commercial-scale food-grade canola protein production facility.
  • Phase 1 production processing capacity of 20,000 tonnes per year.
  • Funding structure provides significant equity position for Burcon.
  • Ability to produce plant protein blends with exceptional nutritional value.
  • Advanced state of readiness: completion projected in mid-2020.
  • Production plant design incorporates ability to efficiently expand processing capacity in the future.
  • Advanced state of product development discussions with fast-moving consumer goods companies.

Changing dietary preferences and industry focus could see the pea protein market explode

The global  pea protein market size was 11.5 kilo tons in the year 2015 and is expected to go beyond 33 kilo tons until 2023 with a CAGR of 13.5 per cent between the years 2026 to 2023 as per the study done by Global Market Insights.

These rising figures are due to increasing awareness about healthy diets and this is going to expedite the market trend in the coming years. Because of diversity in countries, meat protein is not acceptable by all the customers, and hence for them this natural protein is the best replacement. It is easily digestible and very few people are allergic to it.

This healthy ingredient market has crossed 40% of overall share in the year 2015 and is predicted to lead in future. It is anticipated to rise at an annual rate of 13.9% to exceed 14.5 kilo tons till 2023. This product has wide utility in beverage and food sectors because of their non-allergic and emulsifying properties. Textured pea market is widely adopted in dietary supplements because of its high fiber and resemblance with meat texture. It is predicted that the revenue of this market will go beyond USD 35 million till 2023.


A new pea product named P-Pro Plus is launched in the market. It is a product with appealing taste which deals with the trouble faced by most of the manufacturers while coming up with beverages, or other dietary supplements made up of pea protein. A product is manufactured by two companies working in partnership namely GLG Life Tech Corp, and MycoTechnology Corp.

Pea protein is becoming a preferred choice in sports supplements. Market of sports supplements is expected to rise at a CAGR of 13.6% between the years 2016 to 2023. Energy drinks, beverages, and nutrition bars blended with these proteins are extensively used for development of body. These products comprise of lysine and glutamine which help in maintaining nitrogen level at the time of workout.

Region wise study of this market shows that Asia Pacific areas especially India and China are predicted to enjoy a good growth of 16.9% in future. This growth is expected because of vegetarian food demand, advanced technique for extraction and R & D done by various industries. The U.S. market is going to boom because of requirement of sustainable and nutritious diet with better taste and texture. North America is supposed to witness 30% of overall generation of revenue in near future.

It can be concluded here, that this plant-based product will capture the significant portion of market in future.

NZ well positioned to be global player in alternative protein market

Eco conscious millennial consumers are reshaping demand for alternative sources of protein according to the country’s largest manufacturer of vegetarian foods.

Mark Roper spokesperson for Life Health Foods – which makes plant based Bean Supreme and recently launched Alternative Meat Co. products, says growing concern for the environment is leading this demographic to seek out other options to integrate into their diet.

A nationwide survey commissioned by the company has found that millennials aged 18-34 are the most likely demographic to adopt a mostly meat-free lifestyle in the next decade.

“Among this age group, factors such as concern for animal welfare and the environment were some of the most important drivers of purchase choice; whereas if you look at older consumers, health considerations and cost of meat were the primary reasons for choosing vegetarian foods,” he says.

Roper says New Zealand is well positioned to take advantage of this emerging trend – which has seen accelerated growth in the global meat substitute market.

“Our research is showing that many consumers are not completely replacing meat in their diet – instead, they are integrating more meat-free options throughout the week. This makes development of a plant protein market complementary to our existing agricultural exports,” says Roper.

He says the new consumer driven trend is something that farmers should not fear, but rather capitalise on.

“As a producer we are looking at this growth as a promising future market. As well as a growth industry locally, there is increasing demand for these products in the more well-established markets of the US and Europe where there are potentially large export opportunities for us,” he says.

Roper says at the same time, New Zealand is well positioned as a producer nation to capitalise on millennial’s demand for plant based products.

“As a country, we have a strong agricultural research base, we are great at growing crops here, and the development of a more environmentally friendly, alternative protein market will potentially enhance the ‘pure NZ’ brand equity.

“With demand for meat alternatives expected to grow significantly in the coming years, we are looking at other sources of protein that have similar texture and taste to meat and that can be developed into added value products for the domestic and export markets.

“Plants like pea, soy, mushrooms and even seaweed can be made into products with similar properties to meat and food companies around the world are investing millions of dollars to be at the forefront of this,” he says.

Roper says the local market for vegetarian food is developing quickly with category growth exceeding 20 percent per annum.

He says sales of their recently launched Alternative Meat Co. have exceeded initial volume expectations in this market and they have expanded production to accommodate.

“Currently around 80% of our added value vegetarian products that are sold in NZ are made here. With increased demand locally and globally, greater volumes of ingredients will be required from suppliers to meet this opportunity,” he says.

The protein gap – nutritional science’s biggest error

In the three decades following World War II it became an almost universal belief of nutritional scientists that protein deficiency was the most serious and widespread dietary deficiency in the world. Improving protein nutrition became a high priority for UN agencies, such as the Food and Agriculture Organisation. The Conversation

This problem was perceived to be so serious and widespread that in many developing countries most children were thought to suffer some degree of protein malnutrition – a condition the medical establishment called “kwashiorkor”. (Kwashiorkor is a word from the Ga language of West Africa that means “the disease of the deposed child”.)

For several decades, protein was a major teaching and research focus in human nutrition. This focus on protein and protein deficiency has persisted in many minds, even though official recommended daily allowances (RDA) suggest that deficiency is very unlikely. Some foods, including eggs, milk (especially skimmed milk) mushrooms, lentils and Quorn are still prized and afforded “superfood” status as rich sources of high-quality protein.

As late as 1972, Hugues Gounelle de Pontanel, later the president of the French National Academy of Medicine, made the following claim in his opening address at a scientific conference on the generation of protein from oil in France:

Every doctor, nutritionist or political leader concerned with the problem of world hunger has now concluded that the major problem is one of protein malnutrition.

When estimates of world protein needs were made using official estimates of protein requirements, there appeared to be a huge and rapidly increasing shortfall in supplies that was termed the “protein gap”. The low quality of many vegetable proteins and uneven worldwide distribution of protein amplified the problem. The protein gap seemed unbridgeable unless alternative – and previously untapped – sources of high-quality protein could be found.

Billions of pounds at today’s prices were invested in measures to try and close this protein gap. Some of the efforts included:

• Developing high-protein strains of cereals or adding synthetic amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) to increase the quality of wheat protein.

• Making so-called single-cell protein from micro-organisms (Quorn is one such product produced from a microscopic fungus and now marketed as a meat substitute for vegetarians).

• Mass producing palatable high-protein foods from products such as cotton seeds, sesame seeds, fish meal and soya beans.

The Protein Advisory Group, a UN agency, was established in 1955 to advise on the “safety and suitability” of these new protein-rich foods.

An emperor’s new clothes moment

However, the protein gap was finally exposed as a myth in 1974 when Donald McLaren, of the American University in Beirut, published a paper in The Lancet titled: “The great protein fiasco”. In a 2011 interview, reflecting on his life and career, McLaren described the belief in the protein gap as “one of the greatest errors committed in the name of nutrition science in the past half-century”.

A year after McLaren’s paper appeared in The Lancet, John Waterlow and Philip Payne from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine published an analysis of diets of children in developing countries. Their analysis revealed that protein deficiency was rare, and when it occurred it was caused by a simple lack of food, rather than the low-protein content of food. Even diets based on low-protein staples, such as yams and cassava, contain enough protein for human needs. Waterlow and Payne concluded that neither the protein-gap theory nor the diagnosis of kwashiorkor as a disease caused by protein deficiency remained tenable. It is still unclear why some malnourished children develop kwashiorkor.

Sources of protein.
Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Fake crisis

Three major factors led to the false belief in a world protein crisis: exaggerated official estimates of human protein requirements, especially those of growing children; overemphasis of the importance of the protein quality of individual foods; and the assumption that kwashiorkor was caused by protein deficiency and was the most common worldwide manifestation of malnutrition in children.

In 1943, the US RDA for protein for a two-year-old child was 40g a day. It is now only 18g a day. Using the 1943 RDA, protein deficiency would have seemed almost inevitable for children in many developing countries and a distinct possibility even in developed countries. The adult male RDA has fallen from 65g a day in 1943 to 55.5g a day now.

Back in 1959, Dr Mark Hegsted of the Harvard School of Public Health warned that estimated human protein requirements were excessively reliant on animal studies. Rats double their birth weight in four to six days and baby rats need five times more protein than adults when allowance is made for size differences. Breastfed human babies may take four to six months to double their birth weight, so their extra protein needs for growth are much more modest than those of a baby rat. Rat milk also has seven times as much protein as breastmilk, so animal comparisons tended to exaggerate the extra protein needs of a growing child.

Despite the fact that the protein gap theory has been thoroughly debunked, the focus on protein deficiency still persists in many minds. As recently as 2015, the Times of India ran an article with the headline: “Nine out of ten Indians lack proper protein intake”.

Sometimes bad ideas simply refuse to die.

Geoff Webb, Senior Lecturer, University of East London

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Prolactal makes more out of organic milk at Biofach 2016

Prolactal inspires innovation with organic dairy foods.

Prolactal, part of the ICL Food Specialties business unit of ICL Coproration, is a leader in providing un-paralleled knowledge and expertise in the fractionation of organic milk and whey for use in a variety of dairy products.

Prolactal will display its organic protein expertise at the joint stand of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce at the upcoming Biofach trade show.

According to Global Lead of ICL Food Specialties, Rene Krebs, the organic dairy protein market continues to grow rapidly across the globe. There are few manufacturers that can reliabily supply these ingredients with organic quality.

"As a full-service provider using advance membrane filtration technology, Prolactal is getting the best out of organic milk," Krebs said.

Prolactal's core competency is delivering customized ingredient solutions in diverse applications and ever-changing market trends four our customers.

Prolactal leverages the benefits of a unqiue captive milk fractionation process separation organic milk and whey to deliver ground-breaking ingredient and protein solutions.

In 2015 Proactal became part of ICL Food Specialties bringing expanded ingredient systems and application expertise to the food and beverage industry.

The result is superior texture and stability solutions for organic and high-protein applications.

Functional  knowledge of protein behaviour allows for innovative ingredient systems that satisfy currently trending applications such as high protein organic yoghurts and beverages.

In addition, there is also an increasing demand for egg replacement solutions in organic vegetarian baked goods and mayonnaise.

Access to a global network of application specialists allows us to work in partnership with customers to find the right solution for each application.

Prolactal's new line of organic proteins is free from additives or coloring, making it suitable for further processing in certified organic products.

Prolactal holds an FSCC 22000 certificate, among many others, for its production of spray -and roller-dried milk and whey products. 

New high protein milk hits shelves with support from the AIS

The Australian Institute of Sport has backed an all-natural, high protein milk with a partnership with The Complete Dairy company.

Protein is an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet and ideally should be spread across the day to form part of each meal. 

According to statistics from the ABS National Nutrition Survey 2011-2012 CSIRO Secondary Analysis, Australians are only getting 15 per cent of their total daily protein intake at breakfast time.

The Complete Dairy has 15g of whole dairy protein in every 250mL glass, or approximately 30 per cent of an average adult's recommended daily intake of protein. 

The new milk offers Australians an easy way to get more protein throughout the day, with nothing artificial and no powders.

According to Head of Sports Nutrition at the Australian Institute of Sport, Louise Burke, there should be a focus on consuming adequate amounts of protein throughout the day as part of a healthy diet, particularly in the 24 hours after an exercise training session to help stimulate muscle growth and repair.

"The latest research shows protein goals -for general health or sports performancev-are best met by spreading our intake of high quality protein into a regular pattern of meals and snacks over the day," Burke said. 

The cold-filtration technology used to make The Complete Dairy is an all-natural process that increases protein and reduces lactose content, without any additives. The result is a delicious, all-natural milk that’s higher in protein than other white milk.

Duckweed key to solving global food production issues

$100,000 worth of funding has been given to Team Exatio, made up of QUT post-graduate students, for a plan to double global food production by harvesting the aquatic plant duckweed.

Provided by leading food facilities design and engineering company Wiley as part of the 2015 Global Business Challenge, the prize provides professional support to assist the team in progressing their idea to the next stage.

According to Team Exatio member David Martin, Lemna known as duckweed, is an alternative plant-based protein solution that can be used as feedstock for animals.

“Every year around the world we are losing 120 million hectares of arable land to grow animal feedstocks. So by using non-arable land to grow new feedstocks like duckweed, we can save that arable land to grow food that people need,” Martin said.

Indicating positive news for meeting the demands of global food supply, the protein-rich plant can duplicate every two to three days –encouraging the team to further develop the concept as a sustainable food source for intensive animal farming.

By taking the new approach to processing food for farming, Team Exatio hoped to address a number of key challenges facing global food production including water quality and land availability. 

Process turns waste whey into profitable products

An innovative method of extracting protein from whey has the potential to turn a waste product of cheese making into a valuable by-product which can help make baby formula, baked goods or feed for fish farms or piggeries.

The process won the Innovation in Health Sciences prize at Curtin University’s Innovation Commercialisation awards recently.

It involves using biopolymers (polymers made by living organisms) to cause the protein to precipitate, or sink, to the bottom of the whey and be collected.

“The pH and the amount of biopolymer is critical. You can add those and nothing will happen because you want to optimise the conditions,” Curtin University food engineer Dr Tuna Dincer says.

"If you don’t get the pH right of the addition, nothing will happen.

Disposing of whey—which is 94 per cent water—can be a headache for some cheese makers, with a kilo of cheese resulting in up to nine kilos of whey as a by-product.

World-wide, 62 billion litres of whey are produced each year, while in Australia cheese makers discard 280 million litres of whey every year.

The Curtin research team’s one-step extraction process has been designed for small to medium-size cheese producers.

Large cheese makers often have equipment to process the whey, but in many cases, smaller cheese makers pay to truck whey to farms where it is spread into the soil under supervision.

Trucking whey from factory to farm can cost cheese makers three to four cents a litre.

"We targeted small/boutique to medium manufacturers who do not have the money to invest in equipment," Dr Dincer says.

"We wanted to design something so simple it does not require extra equipment.”

The Curtin research team includes Dr Tuna Dincer, Dr Corinne Vallet and Professor Vijay Jayasena (now with the University of Sydney), with the work funded by Dairy Innovation Australia.

The team, which is involved with Curtin’s Zero Waste Food group, is seeking further research funding and ultimately commercialisation.

“We have done proof of concept at the lab scale, with a maximum of five litres,” Dr Dincer says.

“At the moment we are applying for research funding to do pilot scale trials and we need to do feeding trials as well.”

Reprinted fromScienceNetwork WA …see original article here-