Alt-protein collaboration to enhance efficiency

Monday, 04 December, 2023

Alt-protein collaboration to enhance efficiency

In their fifth annual collaboration, Givaudan and the University of California, Berkeley have released research paving the way for enhanced efficiency in alternative protein. The latest white paper, titled ‘10 Alternative Protein Pathways: Opportunities for Greater Efficiency’, outlines challenges and opportunities on the journey to co-create nutritious alt-protein experiences.

With demand rising for plant-based protein, there are many opportunities for food producers and retailers to develop sustainable, healthy alternatives that deliver diverse food experiences. With its industry knowledge, Givaudan has teamed up with the University of California, Berkeley Product Development Program to provide practical steps on how industry players can create affordable protein products.

Sudhir Joshi, Professor, Board Member and Product Development Program Coach at the University of California, Berkeley, said, “Alternative proteins can significantly reduce environmental impact and improve human health. Our findings identified four key areas where producers can focus on improving efficiencies and reducing costs for alternative protein products. These were further divided into specific steps companies can take to mitigate risk, while still making tasty, healthy and cost-effective products.”

The research explores challenges the industry faces, such as supply chain issues, resource consumption, production scale-up and competitive pricing. It also offers 10 pathways to help alt-protein producers address these hurdles and maximise efficiency. This includes identifying ingredient combinations that ensure quality and value for both food innovators and consumers and outlining ways to optimise the use of energy, water and other natural resources.

Flavio Garfalo, Givaudan Global Director, Culinary & Plant Attitude, said, “In today’s dynamic environment, the key to gaining a competitive edge lies in strategic partnerships. Companies that team up with others to pool their knowledge, expertise and resources will be better placed to spot market opportunities, unlock efficiencies and scale innovations more quickly. Every year, we join forces with the University of California, Berkeley to investigate key topics related to alternative protein. Why do we do it? Because it helps us look at alternative protein in a more holistic way, which puts us in a better position to support our customers.”

Givaudan is also launching a Start-Up Challenge to bring the insights from its new research to life. The company will select five start-ups from around the world to reduce the costs of a standard recipe using the pathways outlined in the white paper, including raw material optimisation, hybrid products, process optimisation and new technology and innovations.

The company started its alternative protein journey over a decade ago, with the knowledge that these products are pivotal to a sustainable food future. Its global protein network includes four hubs dedicated to developing holistic alternative and plant-based food experiences. The hubs enable Givaudan customers to create products that have the right taste, mouthfeel, colour, visual appeal and nutrition to meet consumer preferences in their markets. The hubs also offer access to an ecosystem of experts in plant-based products, along with specialised products, knowledge and technical equipment.

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