Protein functionality

A successful product requires good taste, stability and shelf life. To achieve this, the functional properties of proteins (dairy, animal and plant), such as structure, texture, taste, stability and flavour, are essential. Our expertise in protein functionality combined with the ability to understand which taste and texture properties of the final product the consumer prefers, enables you to develop a functional protein ingredient and a tasty product.

At NIZO we have developed methods to obtain high protein foods, to increase the use of plant proteins and to improve the functionality of animal proteins. High protein foods (sport and nutritional products) are gaining interest because of their health benefits and consumer demands for highly nutritional foods. Technological challenges need to be overcome to get high enough levels of protein into the product and at the same time have a satisfying sensory quality. In recent years, interest in plant proteins has grown as they are sustainable and cost effective. At NIZO, we have developed a series of solutions to increase the solubility of these proteins and methods to work around the negative flavours associated with them.

Our understanding of proteins within each step of the chain from source to benefit means that we can control the properties of protein ingredients as well as the quality and perception (mouth feel and flavour) of the final consumer product. We develop or optimize the extraction, fractionation and processing in such a way that the protein functionality is maintained or enhanced. We understand the interactions between proteins and other ingredients in the food product, as well as the impact of processing. All these aspects are monitored using state-of-the-art analytical equipment, which, together with our expertise, will guarantee the optimal combination of protein manufacturing and the application in the final product. We serve the dairy, ingredient, infant, sport and clinical nutrition, food and beverage, pet food and feed markets with solutions for dairy, animal and plant proteins.

Working together in consortia

  • PULSE protein
  • PCC protein competence centre
  • Chickpea


  • van de Velde Protein Transition: How Feasible are the Alternatives? The World of Food Ingredients 2016 (April/May) 44-4
  • van de Velde, E.H.A. de Hoog, A. Oosterveld, R.H. Tromp Protein-polysaccharide interactions to alter texture Annual Review of Food Science and Technology 6 (2015) 371-388
  • Pouvreau, F. van de Velde Tuning plant protein functionality: from extraction to application The World of Food Ingredients 2015 (April/May) 46-49
  • Urbonaite, S. van der Kaaij, H.H.J. de Jongh, E. Scholten, K. Ako, E. van der Linden, L. Pouvreau
  • Relation between gel stiffness and water holding for coarse and fine-stranded protein gels Original Research Article Food Hydrocolloids, Volume 56, May 2016, Pages 334-343
  • Mixing whey and soy proteins: Consequences for the gel mechanical response and water holdingOriginal Research Article Food Hydrocolloids, Volume 60, October 2016, Pages 216-224 Jissy Jose, Laurice Pouvreau, Anneke H. Martin