Plant baked protein: A bright future for hemp seed
Protein has a substantial role in baking. Beyond the Nutrition Facts, protein plays a big part in conditioning dough by providing structure, retaining moisture, adding texture, and so on. But as plant-based ingredients take the place of traditional animal proteins, the formulation expectations also change. For formulators that solve these challenges, the market opportunity is undeniable, as grocery sales of plant-based foods that directly replace animal products grew to over $7 billion in the past year (SPINS retail sales data, April 6, 2021). The astonishing 27% growth is a testament to the innovation and R&D in this space. Yet new ingredients must emerge in this growing category for plant proteins to sustain this trend in supporting more diverse product applications. And of the emerging ingredients, hemp heart protein may be the most exciting of them all.Understanding the recipe for success
Let's appreciate the chemistry of baking for a moment. Proteins perform along with starches, fats, sugars, and leavening agents in a delicate balance that can make baking a success... or not. Plant protein will undoubtedly influence the end product's texture, taste, and appearance differently from animal proteins such as casein, whey, and eggs. So whether a baked good is a bar, pancake, extruded snack, or tortilla, it is important to recognize that plant-based ingredients have some notable hurdles to overcome.
But how do these functions change with the nuances of keto-driven, plant-based diets? Ozan Kahraman, R&D Food Process Engineer with Applied Food Sciences (AFS), explains.
"Casein, whey, and egg proteins are exceptional at enhancing viscosity and stabilization in various food matrixes," remarks Ozan. "Therefore, some of the most formidable challenges food manufacturers face when replacing egg and dairy-based proteins with plant-based ingredients include the loss of these structural properties, which are crucial for baking applications. In addition, the foaming capabilities of proteins also carry high importance for bakery products. But perhaps the most common problems that food manufacturers and formulators face using plant proteins are off-flavors, unsatisfactory pigment, and undesirable mouthfeel in finished products."
New ingredients: hemp heart protein - the best baking protein comes from the heart
Hemp seeds are a nutritional powerhouse. Unique to hemp seeds is the fatty acid profile combined with high-quality, digestible edestin and albumin protein. Unlike many protein isolates, hemp seeds net a concentrated protein that includes a good amount of dietary fibers (more than 8%) and a large spectrum of valuable fatty acids with a beneficial balance ratio between omega-6 and omega-3. They are especially rich in arginine (14.5%) and glutamic acid (17.9%). Hemp seeds also contain all nine essential amino acids, antioxidants, and mineral content. Not only is the nutritional profile prominent, but the functional properties of hemp seed, such as foaming, emulsifying, and gelling, make hemp protein a fantastic ingredient that can support a diverse range of baking applications.
With V-70™, food manufacturers can benefit from the nutrition of hemp protein in a clean presentation that is white in color, neutral in flavor, and has a perfectly smooth texture for baking applications.
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