In recent years, we have seen an increase in meat consumption per capita in developing countries and a new trend in reducing meat consumption in industrialized countries, leading to a growing demand for plant-derived proteins and foods. About 5% of the population in the EU and around 10% of the German population practice a vegetarian lifestyle. Besides these discrete vegetarians, there is a dynamically growing group of health-conscious consumers with reduced meat consumption.
Decreasing meat consumption needs to be replaced by a high-protein diet based on plant proteins, resulting in a growing market for new products, a major source of protein-rich foods being legumes. The best-known type is soybean, which has long been used universally in animal nutrition as well as in the food industry. The allergenic potential as well as the fear that GMO soy products could be imported have unsettled many European consumers. Therefore, a renewed search for other regionally produced legumes is emerging.
Yellow pea, which is allergen-free and gluten-free, has been established as raw material for many new foods. This legume is a solution for vegetarian, vegan and health-conscious consumers and will meet their daily protein without supplements and without "sins" (many vegetarians make one exception: "fish once a week or per month"). Innovative technological approaches are designed to efficiently meet the demand for high quality vegetable proteins and to develop new product innovations.
IGV GmbH has several years of experience in the processing of protein rich vegetable foods. As a developer and producer in the field of vegetarian, allergen and gluten-free products, peas are the main resource for us, but also lentils, beans and lupines are tested and used as alternative protein sources. As a starting material peas are extremely useful for high protein products such as pasta, snacks and so-called meat analogues (products that are similar to meat, but with a vegetarian or even vegan character). A main development of IGV for this market is a pea protein-based product family.
The main technology that is used for this product family, which is suitable for various applications, is called extrusion. For example, AMINO-FLAKES can be used in protein-rich cereals or as an additive in chocolate bars and other snacks. AMINO-CRISPIES and AMINO-NUGGETS are successfully tested as meat replacement ingredients for sports nutrition products and as the basis for vegan meatballs, burger patties, cooked meatballs or Bolognese sauce.
Within the TRUE project, IGV undertakes the fractionation of various legumes in a company-owned pilot plant for the production of protein-enriched products. These are "new resources" for new products. Another important part of the work carried out in the last months was the characterisation of the processing properties of protein-rich legume flours for extrusion. For these raw materials, no experience for their optimal processing was available before. After a few experiments, first initial correlations could be shown, highlighting the way in which certain raw material parameters influence the process parameters of extrusion.
 European Vegetarian Union EVU e.V.; VEBU Vegetarierbund Deutschland e.V.; www.statista.com
 Petrusan J., Huschek G., Rawel, H.M (2016): Protein-rich vegetal sources and trends in human nutrition. A Review, International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, Vol. 17, p 1-19