The environmental effect of plant proteins is lower than that of animal proteins, and plant-based nutrients (including fibre, zinc, and vitamin C) offer their health advantages. Plant-based diets may also align with personal ethical or food safety preferences more than animal-based diets. Plant based protein powder is becoming more popular due to the increasing need for protein. Several causes have contributed to this expansion, including consumers’ interest in taking more active roles in their health and wellness and the availability of vegetarian and vegan options. These considerations might appeal to a wide range of customers, indicating that demand for plant protein is not limited to the growing number of vegetarians and vegans.
The term “flexitarian” is a strategy for eating in which animal products (meat, eggs, and dairy) are limited. At the same time, other plant-based protein sources, such as tofu and beans, are emphasised. Pea, pulse, nut and seed, quinoa, rice, hemp, potato, and oat proteins, among others, have become more popular as people look for dairy-free and soy-free options.
What Distinguishes Plant-Based Protein From That Found In Animals?
Fundamental Building Blocks: Amino Acids
To understand the answer, consider the amino acids, the fundamental building elements of proteins. The human body may utilise 20 amino acids to synthesise proteins. Amino acids may be best known for their role in the development of muscle tissue, but they are required by every single cell in the body. It is possible to divide amino acids into essential and non-essential. Essential amino acids are those our bodies need but cannot produce on their own. However, our systems can synthesise non-essential amino acids, making it unnecessary to consume them.
Like a home, your bodies function best when they have all the necessary amino acids in the appropriate proportions, just as it’s essential to have all the right building supplies in the right amounts. Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy products are all examples of animal protein sources that are considered “complete” because they usually include all of the necessary amino acids in enough quantities to fulfil the body’s requirements. Cereals, legumes, and nuts are all examples of plant-based proteins, although they lack one or more of the nine necessary amino acids. Non-essential amino acids such as arginine, glycine, alanine, and serine are more abundant, whereas methionine, lysine, and tryptophan are in little supply. It is true of beans, nuts, seeds, and cereals like wheat.
Proteins in plants are often more challenging to digest than those in animals. Plant fibres and other plant components inhibit the ability of digestive enzymes to break down and absorb protein. The good news is that this same plant characteristic may help in areas like heart health and blood sugar control by reducing the body’s ability to absorb carbs and cholesterol. Plant proteins may be made more digestible by a variety of processing methods.
It, coupled with the requirement to balance the amino acid profiles of various plant proteins to provide a complete protein supply, must be considered by the food and beverage industries to satisfy customers’ demands effectively. Delivering the advantages of plant based protein powder in a manner that meets the taste expectations of customers is attainable via the use of processing technologies to increase the texture and the selection of applications that match the flavour of plant proteins. Possibilities include packaged snacks, non-dairy beverages, veggies, and meat substitutes.