Exploring the satiety potential of pea protein

Proteins are effective food ingredients to trigger feelings of satiety, either fast or slowly. There is little chance of  predicting the satiety potential of a protein by merely examining its amino acid composition. Therefore, French ingredient companyRoquette turned to us to benchmark their novel ingredient Nutralys®, a pea protein isolated from the yellow pea.

Benchmark Nutralis (c)

Effects of Nutralys® were compared with two dairy proteins with known efficacy: the slowly digestible casein and the fast-digestible whey protein.

Method of testing

NIZO and Roquette agreed to test Nutralys’ properties in vitro using SIMPHYD, a unique model of gastric digestion developed by NIZO, as well as in vivo.


The SIMPHYD tests revealed that pea protein in the stomach agglomerates at its iso-electric point but does not form a network like casein. Digestion speed of the pea protein was intermediate between the slow casein, which curdles in the acidic stomach environment with slow onset of satiation, and the fast whey protein, which remains in solution in the stomach and is therefore absorbed rapidly.

To understand the implications for real-life situations, Nutralys ® and whey protein were also tested in vivo, embedded in complex, mixed-nutrient meals.

Although the patterns of gut-hormone responses showed subtle differences, their overall intensity was the same after Nutralys® and whey-protein meals. This means good news for those who wish to watch their weight, and look for ingredients from a sustainable, non-animal source. Pea protein can be expected to trigger satiety as effectively as the gold standard of whey.

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