Protein transition

Strawberry ice cream made from broad beans

Cosun Protein, a new emerging business unit at Cosun, produces plant-based proteins that can be used in food products and beverages. In doing so, the company is helping to accelerate the protein transition, a shift in the consumption of animal proteins to plant-based alternatives.
26 July 2022

Marcel van der Vaart explains, “By consuming plant-based foods, we can reduce our climate impact and promote animal welfare. Many studies also show that plant-based proteins have a positive effect on health. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of this.”

How does Cosun Protein distinguish itself in this rapidly growing market?
“We focus on functional proteins, which are proteins that not only have nutritional value, such as promoting muscle development, but also improve the characteristics of a food product. For example, some proteins can be used to make a gel or foam, while others are good emulsifiers.”

How are these proteins produced?
“We extract Fava Protein Isolate from broad beans. This protein is an excellent emulsifier with a neutral flavour and is highly soluble. It can be used, for example, to replace the egg yolk normally needed for mayonnaise or the milk protein used in ice cream. No other additives are needed, such as gums or stabilisers – which is often the case nowadays with many vegan products.”

Do plant-based proteins taste different than animal ones?
“Consumers will notice little difference. Considering the neutral taste of our protein, you won’t have to resort to any additives, such as in vegan ice cream, in order to create a good neutral product with our Fava Protein Isolate. The manufacturer only has to add vanilla or strawberry for a perfect product.”

What are your plans for the future?
“Apart from Fava, we also produce RuBisCo from beet leaves. This protein can form the gel structure needed to produce meat substitutes. Chicken egg protein is often used for this. In coming years, we plan to further expand our portfolio, so that we can offer a protein for every type of functionality that can be used by manufacturers without quality loss.”

Marcel van der Vaart
The manufacturer only has to add vanilla or strawberry for a perfect product”
Marcel van der Vaart
Business Development Manager Cosun Protein