Kerry’s ProDiem Refresh, which it exhibited at this year’s Vitafoods Europe in Geneva, is a low pH-stable vegan protein that is soluble in water for sports drink applications.
Maurice O’Sullivan, a member of Kerry’s research and development team for proteins, told FoodBev’s Alex Clere that the company saw demand for dairy-free drinks and opted to use pea protein in place of soya protein as it was not on allergen lists.
“Normally, plant proteins are used in products that are a neutral pH, but when you look at a low pH they’re not compatible. They have a lot of functionality issues around solubility, pH stability and taste,” O’Sullivan explained. “If you take a normal, standard plant protein, to put it into a beverage – even a neutral beverage – you have to add stabilisers to bring up the viscosity to hold it in suspension. This product: it’s completely soluble, it’s clear in solution, you don’t need any stabilisers, it’s shelf-stable ready to mix or ready to drink. It’ll sit on the shelf. Even some of the dairy-based products will settle out over time; this product is completely soluble.”
He continued that pea protein had good nutrition, is well-received in the market and in this case boasted an improved taste over other pea protein offerings.
O’Sullivan added: “The consumer is always looking for something new. When you look at the traditional protein beverages, they’re very viscous, they’re very creamy; they’re nutritious but they’re not refreshing. You take them as a meal replacement. You’re not going to take them in the middle of exercise, or you take them after you’re working out. [ProDiem Refresh] brings no real viscosity to the product, you hardly realise you’re taking protein. So it’s like drinking water but you’re taking in a lot of protein with the beverage, and it’s completely different to the traditional products you see on the market based around plant protein.”
Presented and edited by: Alex Clere
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