Plant proteins – Vegan foods

Pflanzensamen mit hohem Proteingehalt

Tailor-made functional plant proteins

Vegan and vegetarian foods are becoming ever more popular. Their market share is increasing and this is opening new growth opportunities for the food sector. Many vegan food products utilize plant proteins. Key quality criteria of plant proteins are their biological value and digestibility. These parameters are a measure of the efficiency of conversion of the dietary protein into body protein. The digestibility and biological value of food proteins and hence the quality of vegan foods can be enhanced using special production processes and customized combinations of plant proteins.

Improve with plant proteins the taste, the shelf life and the quality of your food products

We offer you the opportunity to use our knowledge of plant proteins and their properties and applications for your product development work. For ingredient manufacture we have expertise in protein recovery and the modification of proteins. The latter enables us to adapt the technofunctional and nutriphysiological properties of the proteins to meet your specific requirements. In the area of food manufacture our R&D work focuses on the taste, shelf-life, and quality of food products.

Plant proteins as food ingredients

Recovery and fractionation of vegetable proteins

Food proteins can be recovered from a wide range of raw materials. Leguminous plants such as lupines, peas, field beans, and soy beans have a particularly high protein content. However, other plants such as sunflowers, cereals, nuts, and pseudo-cereals have sufficient protein to be used as raw materials.

After grinding the protein seeds and the protein extraction, we carry out different purification steps (e.g. ultrafiltration) and drying processes (e.g. spray drying) depending on the starting product, in order to obtain protein flours, protein concentrates and protein isolates.

Process for the extraction and processing of vegetable raw materials

As a research focus, we continuously optimize processes for the production of plant food proteins as well as processes for modification and functionalization.

Modification of plant proteins for targeted functional properties

Proteins can be modified by thermal, physical, and enzymatic means in order to change their sensory and technofunctional properties. The way plant proteins are treated during their manufacture determines their properties. For example, enzymatic hydrolysis can be used to improve the solubility, emulsifying properties, and foaming activity of a protein ingredient. Even the allergenicity of vegetable proteins can be influenced by modification. Depending on the protein plant and the intended application, we adapt the process engineering processes to suit the specific requirements.

Functionalization and modification of plant raw materials

The quality of vegetable proteins depends on the respective raw material

Commercially available plant proteins differ in their quality and hence in their potential applications. Key quality criteria are not only the shelf-life, taste, and odor but also, for example, their viscosity properties and purity, as measured by the amount of byproducts that are present.

In 2014 our research on protein recovery from lupines was awarded the German Future Prize for Technology and Innovation. The great innovation here was to alter the natural bitter bean-like flavor of lupine protein to allow the manufacture of tasty vegan foods. Utilize our technical knowledge and use high-quality plant proteins as food ingredients!

Use our know-how to optimize your products!

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Food product development with plant proteins

We test plant proteins in a wide range of food products. Successes to date include the market introduction of vegan products as alternatives to dairy products and also vegetarian meat surrogates. The main reason for this is our technological lead in

Extrusion technology

Fermentation technology

The ingredients of each food product must have specific technofunctional properties. Plant proteins can be used as gelling agents, emulsifiers, foaming agents, fat substitutes, or merely to replace animal protein sources such as eggs, milk, and meat. Plant proteins can replace synthetic food ingredients so facilitate so-called clean labeling.

The various protein preparations have different properties depending on the raw material and manufacturing process. Sensory optimization of foods containing plant proteins is a major challenge. The taste, texture, and mouth-feel can be controlled by the manufacturing process and further processing. Our in-house sensor experts support every product development.

Sensory analysis of foods

We test the minimum shelf life and storability of food products in special storage tests.

Identification of product-specific spoiling processes

For an optimal product development, consumer studies are undertaken in collaboration with the Technical University of Munich.

We can help you develop vegan food products

Your questions



Taste of vegan food products

  • How can the taste, texture, and mouth-feel of vegan foods be improved

Properties of plant proteins

  • Which protein extracts are the best fat substitutes, emulsifiers, gelling agents, and foam stabilizers?

Quality of protein extracts

  • How can the quality of plant proteins be evaluated?

Our answers



Taste of vegan food products

  • The taste and texture are influenced by the raw material selection and the manufacturing process

Properties of plant proteins

  • The recovery processes determine the technofunctional properties

Quality of protein extracts

  • We develop simplified analytical methods for evaluating the quality of protein preparations

Food pilot plant

Utilize our food pilot plant facilities for your product development! We have state-of-the-art equipment for the production of sample products.