With over seven billion mouths to feed globally, the demand for protein continues to rise, according to new data.
The hunt for protein alternatives is gathering pace. Intellectual property development and patent activity is on the rise, according to new data to be presented by Innova Market Insights at this year’s IFT Food Expo in Las Vegas.
The market researcher found that the US accounted for over 40% of recent alternative protein patent activity (1980-2011). Traditional areas like soy wheat, lupin and chickpeas are being examined again as healthy and sustainable solutions.
While soy continues to dominate in terms of vegetable proteins, a range of new products is starting to appear, based on other beans, as well as nuts, seeds, grains and vegetables.
New techniques are also being developed to enhance the texture, juiciness and flavour of meat analogs and proteins.
Lu Ann Williams, director of innovation at Innova Market Insights, said: “We see the emergence of a flexible vegetarian or ‘flexetarian.’ These consumers enjoy meat, but occasionally opt out due to their concerns about health and the environmental impact of heavy meat consumption.”
Proteins, such as soy, are also being marketed on a health platform, functioning as part of the solution to tackle the obesity epidemic.
Innova Market Insights report that over one-third of the tracked launches marketed on an 'added protein' platform in the 12 month period to the end of March 2012 contained soy.
Source: Innova Market Insights
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