Food products need to be adapted to meet ever-changing consumer demands. Natural, clean-label, sustainable, low salt, low fat, low sugar, and what will be next? With our extensive, trend-independent protein and ingredient knowledge we help you to increase your flexibility in meeting these demands. Whether you are searching for ingredients from new sources, with a lower cost in use, or with a cleaner label, we can help. We extract proteins and optimize the functionality of protein isolates in your formulations to deliver the desired result.

Proteins have to be extracted from their source before they can be applied in a product. Every source (dairy, animal or plant) has its own protein extraction method. At NIZO, we have protein extraction protocols at lab scale which can be scaled up into economically feasible processes using our unique food-grade Processing Centre facilities. Understanding the required functionality, we develop or optimize the procedures for isolating the protein, and its fractionation and processing, so as to maintain or enhance that the protein’s functionality.

The next step is the characterization of the protein isolate:

  • Functionality
  • Solubility
  • Particle size
  • Chemical composition
  • Peptide profile
  • Bioactivity tests
  • Establish secondary and tertiary structures

All this information will help you in the next step of the product application trajectory!

To be successful in delivering the desired quality in the protein ingredient market, your ingredient must compete on cost, flavour and functionality. We are your partner for optimizing your processes to maintain maximal functionality and limit off-flavour formation. Our extensive protein benchmarking library shows you how your ingredient performs against market standards. Our Process ScanTM provides direct input into optimizing your manufacturing process for effective runtimes, less fouling or higher yields/outputs, while maintaining optimal product properties.

Protein hydrolysis technology to improve protein functionality

One of the techniques to improve the functionality of proteins is hydrolysis; it improves proteins’ solubility and digestibility. Moreover, hydrolysis can reduce allergic reactions and create bioactivity. At NIZO, we have over 50 years of experience in protein hydrolysis to support the industry: from design and process development to full-scale production of protein isolates and hydrolysates. We use our hands-on experience in protein isolates, combined with extensive laboratory and pilot scale facilities, as well as modelling tools, to support you with:

• Understanding and improvement of flavour and taste of hydrolysates
• High-throughput screening to define optimal hydrolysis conditions
• Computer-aided design of the products, selecting the right enzymes and substrates
• Process design: upscaling, downstream processing, process validation
• Production of products for clinical studies and test marketing
• Front-line research to characterize products combined with data analyses to ensure product quality and consistency

Cost-effective production of plant proteins

Our experience in applied protein technology originates from our heritage in dairy technology, understanding the functionality of casein micelles and whey proteins in dairy products and milk protein ingredients. In the last 20 years we have expanded our expertise to include native proteins to support the growing demand for proteins. Today we support the industry with knowledge on dairy proteins, animal proteins (meat, blood, egg, gelatin) and plant proteins, including soy, corn, pea, rice, lupin and duckweed. Our unique position as a partner for companies throughout the value chain enables cross-category learning and implementation of best practice industry-wide.

Plant proteins have traditionally been side-streams from oil production, like soya, or starch production, like potatoes and rice. The problem with many plant derived proteins is that during protein extraction and further processing, they lose functionality: the flavour deteriorates and they lose their solubility due to denaturation. Therefore, they unfortunately end up being used for animal feed.

NIZO has applied its in-depth understanding of protein behaviour, to find a way to keep the plant proteins in their native state. This is not done by using new and expensive drying techniques, but by adapting critical conventional steps used during extraction and spray drying. Cost-effective production of native proteins is a major breakthrough as these nutritious plant proteins show a huge potential for application in foods for human consumption. Plant protein ingredients achieve a much higher added value particularly because they are cheaper and much more sustainable than their animal alternatives.

NIZO’s technology can be applied to produce easily-dissolved powders from a range of plant sources. By selecting the right source, NIZO can prepare protein ingredients with desirable functionalities for a large variety of applications. A few recent examples, include for instance, high-volume foams for non-dairy cappuccinos, stable emulsions such as dressings, and soft gels, like desserts.
NIZO invites you to join the great leap forward in alternative protein extraction!

Track record

• Protein extraction of high-functional protein isolates of plant origin
• Advice on a protein isolate application based on benchmarking of technical functionality
• (Toll) Manufacturing of protein isolates and hydrolysates for application in infant formula, sport nutrition, nutraceuticals, food, pet food, and other applications.
• Protein-based clean label solutions.

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Any questions?

José Escher is happy to answer all your questions.

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