Pea protein hits one out of the park

Pea protein hits one out of the park

Even the New York Mets aren't afraid to sink tooth into burgers made with pea protein.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported on the New York Mets undertaking an unusual pregame warm-up. According to the newspaper, the ballplayers agreed to be “taste-testers for a new plant-based protein burger.”

The burgers were made with pea protein and other non-meat ingredients, the creation of California-based Beyond Meat. And A&B Ingredients Managing Partner Gil Bakal sees this not as a novelty, but rather a continuing trend among American consumers for more protein products and less red meat.

The Wall Street Journal notes that “Total U.S. sales of frozen and refrigerated meat substitutes generated $394 million in 2013, up 0.5 percent compared with the previous year, according to retail sales tracking firm IRI.”

A fact that Bakal echoes, “We have seen the continuing growth in nutrition products, especially with respect to sports nutrition and weight loss. As the trend continues to expand, it is no longer geared toward athletes alone, but rather reaching out to a broader audience to include individuals who now lead a more active lifestyle. The message is clear, consumers demand more natural food products.”

A&B Ingredients, which is a major marketer of pea protein under the trade name Pisane, notes its pea protein is specifically designed for use as an extremely viable alternative protein source containing high levels of branched chain amino acids—leucine, isoleucine, valine—arginine and lysine.

Pisane is a non-genetically modified (GMO) pea protein isolate that has excellent digestibility — 98 percent — and a well-balanced amino acid profile. Manufactured by Cosucra, Pisane contains 88 percent to 90 percent protein. It is both gluten free and exhibits low incidents of allergens.

“It is an excellent protein source for foods or supplements that meet the needs of today’s individuals who seek natural alternatives,” says Bakal. He further notes, “The level of branched chain amino acids in Pisane pea protein is higher than other vegetable proteins and is comparable to those found in milk and egg protein.”

Pisane’s arginine content is the highest of all commercially available proteins and contributes to enhanced immune responses. The lysine content of pea protein helps with the building of muscle protein and which is required for growth and bone development.

Another plus for Pisane, notes Bakal, is the ever-growing move toward all-natural, clean-label ingredients. Pea protein has proven to be one of the most tolerated and accepted protein sources without labeling or high allergy issues.

Other benefits of Pisane include:

  • Nondairy
  • Lactose free
  • Low levels of anti-nutritional factors
  • Kosher and Halal certified
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