Tell us about the reasons for developing Springer Proteissimo™ 101. Where were you seeing demand for an ingredient like this?
“Protein enrichment and vegan formulation are two major trends of this year and because yeast is naturally rich in protein, developing a yeast-based protein for food applications was obvious for us. For example, 53 % of German adults and 71 % of Spanish adults said they increasingly incorporate plant ingredients in their diet last year.
There are many sources of vegan proteins, but they can present challenges of off-notes, often characterized as earthy, gritty, beany or bitter, depending on the source. Resulting to several years of research to perfect a protein with more than 75 % protein but without off-notes, we finally launched Springer Proteissimo™ 101 in October 2020, a protein derived from fermentation, a common and well-known processing technique that consumers are familiar and comfortable with.”
What can you tell about the research and innovation process behind Proteissimo™?
“With 49 % protein on a dry matter basis, yeast is a good source of protein, by concentrating these protein content, we obtain a powder with more than 75 % of protein. Our R&D department knows very well this microorganism because we have been dedicated to yeast ingredients for more than a century but we needed to find a new manufacturing process to separate and concentrate the protein content. This project mobilised Biospringer, but also Lesaffre R&D departments and our innovative technology is now protected with a patent.”
What benefits does Proteissimo™ deliver to formulators?
“Our main target consumers are food processors and especially those who produce ready meals, snacks, meat analogues and cheese substitutes. Springer Proteissimo™ 101’s most revolutionary characteristic is its lack of troublesome off-flavours. Its neutral taste makes it a highly malleable and easy to use building block for high-protein food, meat or dairy substitutes in particular.
In cheese substitutes, our customers report that Springer Proteissimo™ 101 provides good melting properties and maintains a creamy texture. In a vegan burger, Springer Proteissimo™ 101 improves chewability, offers minimal colour impact and improves the meaty perception due to its clean flavour profile.”
What key emerging consumer trends do you think Proteissimo™ taps into?
“With a third of global consumers are limiting their meat intake, the growing trend of vegan, vegetarian, and flexitarian diets is undeniable. Growing consumer awareness about the health benefits of protein and the drawbacks of meat have consumers hungry for proteinaceous meat-replacers. A huge range of products, from meat and dairy analogues to alternative protein snacks and even high-protein ready meals are emerging to meet the demand for foods that respond to these consumer needs. Protein is a key building block ingredient in meat alternatives and vegan cheese because it can give texture and provides all the essential amino acids that the body requires.
There are many motivations explaining the increasing demand for plant-based foods: human health and weight concerns, the ethics of animal consumption, environmental issues, the economic imperative to save money, discovering new flavours ... “
Where do you see Proteissimo™ in a few years from now, in terms of market penetration and consumer acceptance?
“Yeast is not a new ingredient. In fact, yeast has been used for thousands of years in various food applications (in beer, wine or bread, for example). But yeast protein is a new way to focus on the value of this microorganism and is not widely known by consumers yet. We can rely on the fact that this natural origin ingredient comes from fermentation, which is very trendy today, minimally processed and benefits from good consumer perception.”