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Pea isolate: the protein alternative: during the past few years, plant proteins such as those derived from peas have gained significant consumer interest. The Belgian company, Cosucra Groupe Warcoing, a pioneer in the processing of pea ingredients that has been working with pea proteins for 20 years, reviews the principal assets of the pea protein isolate.

Clean-Label Solution

The yellow pea is a legume and has been known for centuries to be a healthy vegetable food product. It has always been part of a balanced diet, thanks to its lack of lipids and its high protein, starch and fibre content. As such, it is, and has been, incorporated into a wide range of food preparations. The Pisane pea protein is extracted from the yellow pea (Pisum sativum) using a gentle physical process that does not involve any chemical solvents. The peas are naturally selected (none are obtained by chemical or physical mutation), so Pisane is a non-GMO protein that is naturally sourced, offering clean labelling.

Indeed, unlike other common protein sources such as milk, soy or wheat proteins, Pisane is not on the list of potential allergens that have to be clearly mentioned on food labels. Egg, milk, peanuts and other nuts, wheat (gluten) and soy proteins are responsible for about 90% of food allergies. The allergenic potential of pea protein is far below that of many other proteins, which means it can be used as part of the formulation of "free from" products. Such products are gathering more popularity on the supermarket shelves (Figure 1). Pea protein is one of the few vegetable protein sources that comes without allergy, labelling or GM issues. In addition, it's more widely tolerated than either soy or wheat.

A Well-Balanced Source of Protein

Proteins comprise a source of amino acids. Some of these amino acids are essential, which means that we cannot synthesize them ourselves and that their supplementation by nutrition is crucial. The requirements for these essential amino acids, established for infants from 2 to 5 years of age (FAO/WHO, 1989), are the basis for the calculation of a protein's amino acid score (AAS). This score is a method of evaluating protein quality based on the amino acid requirements of humans and is the percentage of the most limiting amino acid; it enables us to tell whether a protein is close to the ideal profile or not. The amino acid profile of Pisane is very well balanced, with a score of 0.84. This pea protein isolate is characterized by its richness in arginine and lysine (mostly deficient in vegetable protein sources), as well as branched amino acids. With 8.7 g per 100 g of protein, Pisane is the protein source with the highest level of arginine available. Arginine is required for muscle metabolism and facilitates body mass increase while reducing body fat. Lysine, with 7.2 g per 100 g of protein, is needed to build muscle protein and assists in the maintenance of lean body mass. Therefore, its particular amino acid profile makes Pisane a very valuable protein for sport nutrition and weight control foods. Also, Pisane has a high digestibility (98%), which is as high as milk protein.




Calorie Intake Management

Vegetable proteins have been used for years in the dietetic food sector in weight control snacks and meal substitutes. They are not stored as fat in the body and are not associated with cholesterol metabolism. Moreover, many clinical studies have shown that high-protein foods have a positive impact on satiety by enhancing the feeling of fullness and by increasing the delay until the next food intake. High-protein foods also lead to reduced energy intake during the next meal. In addition to all the scientific background on proteins and satiety, a recent study conducted by Leatherhead Food International has specifically demonstrated that Pisane pea protein has a significant effect on satiety.

Functional and Cost-Effective

Proteins are great ingredients: they emulsify, stabilize and add texture to food. As such, it is becoming increasingly important to have all the latest information on alternative proteins, especially when they can replace animal-based proteins. Protein replacement is not easy; a good match has to be found and the resulting influence on functionality and flavour cannot be significant. Cosucra Groupe Warcoing has developed a series of applications whereby recipes can be optimized in terms of cost. In many food products, pea protein isolate can replace 10-100% of the animal proteins used, offering a significant cost impact without impacting on colour, taste or texture. Significant recipe cost reductions can be obtained in, for example, milkshakes, fudge bars or savoury products. In addition, because of its notable emulsifying properties and its medium viscosity, Pisane is a protein of choice for the meat industry. It can be used in cold emulsified meat products (such as meat or poultry sausages), as well as in restructured applications (nuggets, Kievs, hamburgers) and/or in hot emulsified products (pates, vegetable spreads). It helps to stabilize the recipes, improve yields and increase protein levels at low cost.


Broad Range of Applications

To conclude, Pisane is a high purity pea protein. It is a clean-label, non-GMO, low allergenic, consumer-friendly ingredient, extracted without chemical solvents from a reliable vegetable source. It can be used beneficially in food products for numerous applications:

* Protein enrichment for dietetic food such as slimming products, meal replacers, clinical nutrition and sports food

* The formulation of low allergenic and non-GMO products without lactose, gluten and other proteins included in the list of potential allergens is possible with pea protein, such as non-dairy ice cream or desserts without lactose, biscuits or pasta without gluten and beverages and other food products without soy products

* The improvement of the surface colour of certain foodstuffs because of its high lysine levels; Pisane can also be used as an egg-wash for biscuits and pastries and as a browning agent for roasted poultry products

* Protein correction in meat products, for example, when the protein level needs to correspond to legal requirements or to buffer the variable protein content in meat

* The stability of emulsions: owing to its good emulsifying properties and its increased viscosity, Pisane is commonly used in meat-based applications such as sausages, liver pate and restructured products where it stabilizes the product and gives it the desired texture; Pisane can also stabilize low fat products

* The reduction or complete substitution of high cost animal proteins (milk, egg) in milkshakes, bars and meat products, for example.

About Cosucra Groupe Warcoing

Cosucra Groupe Warcoing, a pioneer in the production of chicory inulin and pea protein, believes that food products should be adapted to the nutritional needs and concerns of every age group, using the appropriate dosage of health promoting ingredients and with the right communication. Therefore, Cosucra offers value-adding technical, marketing, nutritional, regulatory and quality services to the food industry. Visit for more information.
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Title Annotation:NBT promotion
Publication:Nutraceutical Business & Technology
Date:Mar 1, 2009
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