PURIS to debut pea-based alternative to gelatin for gummies

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

PURIS to debut pea-based alternative to gelatin for gummies
Addressing a perceived market need, PURIS will debut a plant-derived alternative to gelatin for gummies at the upcoming Supply Side West trade show.

The new product is a form of pea starch, which is derived from PURIS’ core product, a proprietary strain of peas optimized for good taste for the extracted protein.  PURIS has had enough success with the development of that product that it attracted the attention of food giant Cargill.  The pair announced a joint venture earlier this year to ramp up production​ of the company’s signature ingredient.

New value from an established source

With that increased production came increased opportunity for product offshoots.  It’s an old story in the ingredients business to find new value in otherwise ‘waste’ streams from the production of other ingredients, and PURIS is no different in this regard, said Tyler Lorenzen, president of PURIS, which is based in Minneapolis, MN. 

“We have been investing in our production capacity.  With our second new spray drier installed, we have about four times the capacity we had when we started,”​ Lorenzen told NutraIngredients-USA.

“Pea starch has an interesting functionality.  We have shown that it could replace the gelatin in a gummi; we’ve shown that before. Now we have shown that we can replace the pectin used in gummies as well,” he​ said.

Lorenzen said one of the early bonuses noted in the product development has been a pleasing flavor profile. Gummies are, after all, mostly about taste.

“With pea starch we’ve noticed you get a nice flavor pop,”​ he said. “Some corn starches can mute or tone down flavors.”

The basic work on producing a pea starch-based gummi has been done, Lorenzen said.  Now the company is working on proving out which bioactives could work best in this delivery mode.

“We are partnering with FutureCeuticals testing some of their bioactives in these gummies,” ​Lorenzen said.  “By the time of SupplySide West, we will have a better idea about that.” 

Fava bean protein

Another new product that will debut at SupplySide West is a protein derived from fava beans.  Lorenzen said this has been on the back burner for a while.  But development of this product had to wait while the pea protein supply bottleneck was sorted out.  

Research from Cargill has shown that dairy alternatives are making inroads in markets around the world​. Demand for PURIS’s pea protein has been consistently outstripping supply, especially in its organic offerings.

“One of the big things about our company is the organic story,”​ Lorenzen said.  “We have been in an interesting spot in our capacity constraints in recent years.  We’ve fixed that now.

“We have been getting asked about fava bean protein for years.  But we felt that it would irresponsible to launch a new protein when we were already so capacity constrained,”​ he said.

Lorenzen said the fava bean protein is new enough that the company is still developing the messaging around it.  But he said it could offer an interesting alternative to other more established plant proteins.

“We’re still learning a lot about it.  It’s an interesting source;  fava beans are as much as 80% protein. In our early work we have found that it will be good for foaming applications,”​ he said.

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