Pea, canola, oat and other plant proteins poised for rapid growth

Plant-based protein production has grown dramatically in order to meet the increasing demand coming from the swelling global population, expected to reach 10 billion by 2050. In the new report Plant Proteins: Present and Future Lux Research evaluates 24 crops and their attractiveness as plant protein sources.

Lux analysed 24 different plant protein sources on crop production factors globally and for three major regions: North America, Europe, and Asia. Overall, Lux identified soy, wheat, and rice as the top three “staple” crops for plant protein, with pea, canola, oat, and chickpea as the “alternative” up-and-comers.

For North America and Europe, soy and wheat are the No. 1 plant protein sources, respectively, but given their extensive nonfood uses, along with the general diversification of plant proteins, pea, oat, and canola are more attractive opportunities within these regions going forward. Oat and canola are particularly appealing, as numerous companies are already scaling up pea protein production, investing nearly half a billion dollars in facility construction since 2017.

Asia is in a unique position given that the region has a near monopoly on several crops. Two of these are rice and chickpea, with Asia responsible for 90 per cent and 75 per cent of global production, respectively. These are not as widely used for protein ingredients as the other short-listed crops, which highlights their untapped potential.

Three instances are having an impact on the plant protein space: the rise of insurgents like Beyond Meat; the proliferation of product launches from large multinational corporations (MNCs) like Tyson; and the onset of trade uncertainty from events like the U.S.-China trade war.

“The storylines signal the need for the diversity of protein sources as both startups and MNCs move beyond soy, and for those sources to be capable of not only supporting the increasing supply requirements of these companies but also regional self-sufficiency to mitigate trade risk,” said Lux research analyst and lead author of the report Thomas Hayes.

“Technology innovation will play an important role in unlocking new plant-based protein opportunities, especially when combined with sources that are affordable, accessible, and abundant,”  he said.

Gene editing or advanced breeding approaches will increase protein content in crops, while innovative extraction methods will enable new crops as sources of protein isolates and concentrates. Lux also predicts that novel processing technologies and ingredients will improve the sensory and nutritional qualities of plant-based proteins. Such innovations will allow growers to demand a premium, defray protein extraction costs downstream, further broaden the consumer appeal of plant-based products, and more.

Soy foods may benefit breast cancer patients

Oestrogen-like compounds found mainly in soy foods may decrease mortality rates in women with some breast cancers, according to new research.

Researchers at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, led by Dr Fang Fang Zhang analysed data from more than 6,000 American and Canadian women with breast cancer.

They found that post-diagnosis consumption of foods containing the compounds called isoflavones was associated with a 21 percent decrease in all-cause mortality.

This decrease was seen only in women with hormone-receptor-negative tumors, and in women who were not treated with endocrine therapy such as tamoxifen.

“At the population level, we see an association between isoflavone consumption and reduced risk of death in certain groups of women with breast cancer. Our results suggest, in specific circumstances, there may be a potential benefit to eating more soy foods as part of an overall healthy diet and lifestyle,” said Zhang in a statement.

As News.com.au and AAP report, there have previously been fears that, because of its oestrogen-like properties, the consumption of soy may reduce the effectiveness of breast cancer treatment.

Kathy Chapman, chair of the nutrition and physical activity committee at Cancer Council Australia said women should still be cautious about soy supplements.

“Soy foods are usually good for people to be consuming but the advice is not to take this study as meaning it’s OK to for breast cancer survivors to take the large doses you would get in a soy supplement,” she said.

New sustainable, non-GMO and healthy RTD launched

Komplete by Kate Farms is an organic, soy-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, hypoallergenic, vegan and plant protein shake designed for everyone including vegans; vegetarians, celiacs, those with dairy intolerance or people prone to food allergies. 

Kate Farms -Komplete was developed by the parents of Kate Laver, who was born with the Cerebral Palsy and unable to consume solid food. 

Australian- born Richard Laver, cousin of tennis great, Rod Laver, and his wife Michelle developed Komplete as a nutritious meal replacement alternative for their daughter after she developed health complications from the sugar and dairy-rich, whey-based meal replacement formulas prescribed to her. She was diagnosed at three year-of-age as ‘failing to thrive’.

The Lavers went about an inspired journey starting in their kitchen developing the world’s first dairy-free; gluten-free; and soy-free; ready-to-drink wellness shake. The result was a shelf-stable combination of the highest quality, freshest ingredients such as acai; mangosteen; black currants; raspberries; and green tea extract, blended to be the best tasting, most nutritious health shake on the market.

“We saw the need to create great tasting, and whole food drinks made from the heart. Where all-natural vegan products not only taste delicious but are good for you. Our passion for healthy foods and belief in taking care of one another is the reason we are here,” says founder and CEO of Kate Farms, Richard Laver.

After Kate switched to her parents’ new formula, her condition improved radically. The bottle rot she had developed on the other formulas completed healed. She no longer needed her breathing treatment for sleep apnea and her ongoing complications with digestion vanished.

Since its launch in the US in 2013, Kate Farms – Komplete is now the leading Ready-to-Drink in the United States. 

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