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The Importance of an Holistic Approach to Healthy Plant-based Products

By Benjamin Voiry, Head of Marketing for Europe and Asia, Roquette’s Food Business Unit

The Importance of an Holistic Approach to Healthy Plant-based Products

Today, plant proteins are sticking out of the market. However, combining several plant-based ingredients is key to promote health and well-being on multiple fronts. “Focusing on protein alone means missing out on a raft of other benefits that can boost a product’s health appeal,” explained Benjamin Voiry, Head of Marketing for Europe and Asia of Roquette’s Food Business Unit. “Plant-based ingredients have a wider range of applications for food manufacturers than just replacing meat and can be targeted on other specific consumer needs.”

A holistic approach

Energy management, sugar reduction, fiber enrichment, and plant proteins are the four health and well-being topics that are key to the customers. That’s why when looking at one, manufacturers have to look to the others too.

With this in mind, Roquette takes a holistic approach with its customers. 

Rather than just being an ingredient supplier, Roquette brings solutions to its customers. Roquette’s customer technical service team works closely with them to understand their needs and all the ways in which the nutritional profile of their formulations can be improved while maintaining indulgence.

In Europe, one of the major challenges is reformulation to improve the nutritional quality of food products, particularly to increase the part of fruits and vegetables, fiber, protein, energy, sugar, saturated fatty acids, and sodium

Reformulation and the challenges of the specific consumer needs

In Europe, one of the major challenges is reformulation to improve the nutritional quality of food products, particularly to increase the part of fruits and vegetables, fiber, protein, energy, sugar, saturated fatty acids, and sodium. Manufacturers adopt a variety of strategies in response: reformulate their centmain brand along healthier lines, or keep the original but develop an alternative one offering a healthier alternative, for instance, 30 percent less sugar. In the end, the aim is to improve nutritional value while keeping product quality and enjoyment.

“It is really case by case. There is no one solution working for all situations if you want to preserve the texture or the taste.” Benjamin Voiry said. 

“When we discuss and understand the specification and what the customer wants to target, we can find the best approach to reduce the sugar content. To achieve an all-round better Nutri-Score for a mainstream food product, for example, a customer might boost protein content by adding in a Roquette NUTRALYS® plant protein, and use NUTRIOSE® soluble fiber to both reduce sugar and increase fiber content. NUTRIOSE® (from wheat, maize or pea) has the added benefits of low glycemic impact and prebiotic properties to promote growth of beneficial gut microbiota”.

Roquette’s newest product, pea starch LN 30, is another example of this reasoning in the arena of specialised and sports nutrition. It has been researched for its ability to offer steady energy release and its low impact on blood glucose response. It is particularly well suited for active nutrition applications like powder shakes and snack bars.

Roquette aims to be ahead of the curve on plant-based proteins. It also goes through the downstream. To continue to be a key player in the current global food revolution, Roquette has engaged in a huge investment program to ensure that the supply of plant protein is secure, safe, and sustainable. The company will open in late 2020 a new factory in Portage la Prairie, a Canada’s pulse-growing region of Manitoba, to better meet the growing demand for pea protein worldwide. This brand new plant will be the world’s largest pea protein facility to date in North America.

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