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8045 Zürich, Switzerland

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Nutrition & Health


13.07.2022

Improving Protein quality

Everybody is talking about proteins and their functions in the body. Consumer awareness is constantly increasing. They are caring more and more about whether the product ingredients are not only good for our planet but also good for our body’s needs. Therefore, those producers who also guarantee the “protein quality” of their plant-based products create a more positive image in their consumers’ eyes.


Protein quality 

Based on factors like digestibility, content of essential amino acids, and the ability to meet human health needs, proteins can be rated as having a certain “protein quality”. Animal proteins have always been regarded as “high value” proteins. They contain all essential amino acids in the amounts necessary for human health.

However, the trend is moving away from animal products and towards plant-based alternatives. This makes it all the more important to guarantee that even plant-based products offer the right protein quality.

Plant proteins are almost always lacking one or the other essential amino acid, if not several, which is why it is recommended to combine plant proteins together. Grains (barley or rice) can be combined, for example, with legumes (peas). Such complementary proteins not only increase the protein quality, but also fulfil important functions. Among other things, they improve the structure, texture, and elasticity of processed foods and often have good emulsion properties


Pea proteins

Soy and wheat proteins are the forerunners among plant-based proteins and are very well known.
However, with the growing global trend away from GMO- and allergen-containing products, pea protein is becoming increasingly important.

It can be used in a great many applications, such as breakfast products, food bars, snacks, and dairy alternatives. Pea proteins possess a high-quality combination of essential and nonessential amino acids.

The amino acid spectrum of pea protein offers an outstanding profile for complementing and raising protein quality. 


Hydrolysed rice proteins

Another protein, which is suitable for allergy sufferers and offers a balanced complement of amino acids, is rice protein. In its conventional form, like all other typical vegan proteins, it cannot be fully dissolved in liquids.

Through a unique enzymatic hydrolysis process, however, the protein powder becomes 100% water soluble without sedimentation.

Thanks to its balanced amino acid spectrum, hydrolysed rice protein is excellent for making sports drinks, shakes, and smoothies.
 

Example of practice:
A combination of pea and (hydrolysed) rice protein (30:70 ratio) is as a great way to augment the biological value of a whey protein for shakes.
The rice protein complements the lysine-rich pea protein with the amino acid methionine, which is required for synthesizing carnitine (key role in fat burning).
This increases the protein quality and, in this composition, presents the organism with all amino acids essential for the body, thereby guaranteeing the synthesis of the body’s own proteins.

Barley protein

Not only healthy, but also especially sustainable is our barley protein. It closes the loop of beer production, where the valuable spent grains are not used for animal feed but are instead physically separated into dietary fibre and proteins. 

At approximately 50% protein content, this protein is highly diverse in its use. Its applications range from protein enrichment of baked goods and pasta, to producing textured meat alternatives, through to boosting cornflakes.

Alongside the conventional variety, our organic barley protein is also available as 100% Swiss barley.


Various other protein sources can be found in the following overview: 

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