The consumption of plant-based products is on the rise and many companies are looking to fill this consumer demand. Plant-based lipid powders are an ingredient that can be used to formulate these plant-based products. These lipid powders have a fat encapsulated by ingredients such as pea protein, chickpea protein, starch, or acacia gum. They can be formulated into many items such as nutritional beverages, baked goods, soups, sauces, bars, snack seasoning coatings, and even ice cream – any product that needs an extra fat source for mouthfeel or nutrition.
As many people in the food industry know, formulating with plant-based ingredients can present many challenges. Challenges can include off notes such as earthy or beany notes, inferior or even a chalky mouthfeel, and a darker color impact. Pea protein lipid powders are notorious for often having many of these challenges, but the added fat helps to smooth out some of these downfalls compared to using pea protein alone. Chickpea protein lipid powders often have a milder beany note and less of a darkening color impact than pea, but the chalky mouthfeel associated with pea protein is often still there. If pea protein or chickpea protein are desired, formulations can be adjusted to cover up some of these “beany” notes and chalky mouthfeel.
Starch lipid powders offer a cleaner flavor and mouthfeel than pea and chickpea protein although still not as full of a mouthfeel as the “king” dairy lipid powders. Some “starchy” notes can be detected depending on usage level and application. For plant-based applications, they may be an improvement over pea or chickpea protein. Darkening color impact is often minimized and in fact can help to whiten products.
If starch lipid powders are not desirable for the product application, acacia gum lipid powder may be used. Acacia does have its own distinct flavor, but it has a smoother mouthfeel and doesn’t have the beany notes seen in pea and chickpea proteins. It does, however, give a light brown color impact. To note, there are some restrictions around the maximum usage level of acacia gum in some finished products.
Application and target customer can play a big role in which plant-based lipid powder would work best. Let us tell you more about our new product line, VitalBlendTM plant-based lipid powders with protein. Contact us today to understand which of our offerings can enhance your products!