When developing a product with proteins we must be aware that the guidelines for protein enrichment and claims are a bit different.  A product that is to be claimed ‘a source of protein’ should get minimally 12 % of it’s energy from protein sources. As however 1 gram of fat gives 9 Kcal, ethanol (alcohol) gives 7 Kcal, Carbohydrates and protein give 4 Kcal per gram. If therefore 1 gram of fat, carbohydrates and protein are present; we have 1/3 of fat, carbohydrates and protein. This results in 300 Kcal coming from fat and the remaining 267 Kcal come from combined protein and carbohydrates. 52,9% of the energy is therefore coming from fats and proteins and carbohydrates deliver each 23,5% of the energy.

In most products we don’t have however such a high amount of protein. More carbohydrates and same or lower amounts of fat. Posing in real-life challenges: you see that 23,5% of the energy comes from 33,3% of dosage weight in the example in the image above. So math here is important.

In a next step we need to decide what our target audience desires:
  • Are they focussing on sport recovery, muscle gain
  • Are they focussing on satiety
  • Are they focussing on sustainability
  • Are they vegan
  • Are they looking just to increase protein consumption
  • Are they looking to increase essential amino acids
  • What are they willing to pay

These decisions partly direct us towards the kind of protein sources we can consider doing these kind of developments. With these choices come sometimes side materials in the form of starches, fat, fibers, etc. this can result in both positive and negative effects:

  • Flavour
  • Colour
  • Texture
  • Structure
  • Shelf life
  • Eating qualities on short and longer term
Results of protein enriched biscuits.

Pumpkin for example has very little functionality in the sense of binding, emulsifying, etc. But gives a lot of colour. Where as Rice Protein gives sufficient binding, but lacks colouring effects and Pea Proteins give a lot of binding, flavouring (earthy) and sometimes colouring. Within peas more and more differences are occurring and now also peas are there with less pronounced flavours and colour. Whey gives clearly more colour, but in biscuits texture can become a bit more crunchy (upon using Isolates).

A good method to determine what effects you can except from a dough handling perspective is to prepare solutions of 20 grams and see what happens when dissolving this in 200 ml water or in another trial oil. Also the estimate of what is required minimally to bring some viscosity in the dough: e.g. 20 gram of whey protein isolate requires 8 gram of water to become a semifluid paste.

Doughs with a minimal amount of moisture (e.g. biscuits, crackers) in them, require as well protein sources with not too much moisture absorption. Higher desired amounts of protein (rich in protein; 20% of energy comes from protein) have similar effects in higher moisture products (e.g. bread, cakes).

In the case of high colouring effects: it is wise to adjust baking profiles as well (either shorter bake, but probably lower temperatures with a slightly extended time). In certain cases protein sources can be complentairy to each other: resulting in better product and process handling. This is in many cases also happening in their amino acid profiles: pea and wheat proteins can compensate the lack of the other protein source in certain type(s) of amino acids; making them ‘complete’ again.






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