Plant proteins – Vegan foods

Pflanzensamen mit hohem Proteingehalt

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.

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.

Use our know-how to optimize your products!

Plant proteins as food ingredients

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. We continuously optimize processes for recovering plant proteins and for their modification and functionalization. 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. We customize the processing for different plant proteins.

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!


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 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. 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.