Protein prices rising

Protein prices rising

From milk proteins to plant proteins, the market is getting tighter and the prices are rising. Here's the scoop.

From milk proteins to plant proteins, the market is getting tighter and the prices are rising. The industry was hoping for more stable price development after the latest increases, but thanks to Asia this does not seem to be happening. 

Based on several industry sources, the market for proteins is getting tighter and the prices are rising. After the steady rise in the past several months, the industry was hoping for more stable price levels, but mainly thanks to Asia, the international powder markets continue to be strong.

Milk proteins, being by far the biggest of the powder proteins, have the main effect on the global protein prices. The market for milk proteins continues to be strong and rising. The current price for whey protein concentrate (WPC 80) is above € 7. 00/kg and there is an expectation that the price will further increase due to demand in Asia.

The increasing price and the fear of actual lack of material in the future are pushing the large milk protein users in sports and infant nutrition to look for other options to replace preferred proteins, even if only partly. This has resulted in increased use of vegetable proteins in the sports nutrition segments over the last years. Suppliers of vegetable proteins are working hard to overcome the technical and organoleptic challenges these proteins have and companies are getting much better incorporating vegetable proteins into new consumer products.

The price for pea protein concentrate has gone up with 30 percent in the last months reaching prices above € 5. 00/kg. It is mainly the lack of material of European source that is pushing prices up. Also the price for the rice protein has increased due to increased demand; even infant food producers are starting to consider rice protein as a possibility. The price for rice protein concentrate is starting from € 5. 50/kg. The overall development seems also to have an impact on soy protein and it could be the next one to following the overall trend.

Karsten Lindved, the CEO for Upfront Chromatography, can confirm this trend. “We have had many inquiries in the last months for our technology.” Upfront Chromatography is the leading global provider of industrial scale chromatographic extraction technology. “With our technology producers can isolate soluble proteins from various origins. The concentration of the proteins in the starting material can be very low and we’ll still be able to produce a protein isolate with over 95 percent concentration. The protein will have a neutral taste making the application work less challenging. With the increasing protein prices many producers are re-evaluating their current production flow and trying to identify possibilities for improvements.”

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