Three new proteins
In last year’s Future 100 report, we looked at algae, a protein substitute with game-changing potential. As the market for plant-based protein alternatives remains strong, these three under-the-radar protein sources could be the next to break into the mainstream.
Pea protein is sustainable and non-allergenic. It’s made from ground dried yellow peas with no added preservatives – exactly what the name implies. In 2016 health brands such as Bolthouse farms and Bob’s Red Mill began to feature peas. The real story however, is the Beyond Burger, the much-hyped burger alternative that even bleeds like real meat. It’s made from pea protein isolates and recently became available in the meat section at Whole Foods Market.
Move over, seaweed, there’s a new floating superfood in town. Duckweed is frequently cited by scientists as a potentially key food source of the future. It’s protein rich and boasts more amino acids than other plant-based proteins (including soy). Consumer awareness of duckweed is low, but Florida-based Parabel hopes to change this with the launch of Lentein, a duckweed-based protein powder tat won the 2015 innovations award at the institute of Food Technology. It should hit the shelves by 2017.
Shiitake mushrooms are already popular worldwide so why not explore their full potential? That’s the thinking behind MycoTechnology, a Colorado-based food technology company that has engineered a strain of the fungus which produces an above average protein load. The resulting Shiitake powder, called Pure Taste, has a neutral flavor that works in everything from breads and tortillas to sauces. Bonus: the powder has a lower carbon footprint than plant crops and contains 79% protein.
Why they’re interesting?
By 2050 the United Nations projects a global population of 10 billion which would push our current agricultural system to the limits. These companies are on the cutting edge of the battle for the sustainable protein of the future
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