When it comes to protein, consumers never seem to get enough. Add plant-based to that, and interest grows even more as people seek alternatives to animal protein. While much of the buzz around plant-based protein is in meat alternatives, bakers looking to replace their dairy and egg proteins with plant-sourced ingredients can ride some of this momentum.

“We find more consumers are looking for baked goods that contain health-signaling ingredients like protein and fiber to support their holistic wellness goals,” said Paula Labine, marketing director, baking, milling and starch, ADM. “As people learn more about healthier food and beverage options, they are starting to reach for bakery and snack items containing recognizable, plant-based ingredients.”

Bakers have many reasons to add plant-based protein to their products, and the solutions available are constantly expanding to provide formulators with more function and nutrition than ever. These protein sources can veganize a bakery product, and there is growing support for that among consumers. Plant-based fats and oils can create replacements for popular dairy ingredients that complement baked goods.

“We are seeing more and more plant-based ingredients being used in the bakery segment that tend to be more on trend with plant-based cheeses, cheese spreads, butter and sausages, turning traditional bakery items into more trendy plant-based options,” said Vineet Jindal, PhD, customer innovations manager, plant-based food, AAK USA, Inc.

These ingredients enable bakers to remove dairy and egg allergens while still providing functionality and nutrition. They catch the eye of health-conscious consumers who are reading labels before purchasing a product. And protein suppliers are innovating all the time with the latest sources and processing technologies to meet a plethora of bakers’ needs.

“More plant-based protein ingredient offerings are entering the market to provide consumers with variety and choice but also to achieve specific market claims on nutritional content, sustainability and more,” said Jaclyn Shingara, director of product strategic management, plant-based nutrition, Glanbia Nutritionals.

There are several new protein concentrates, she said, including pulses, hemp, pumpkin, sunflower and flax. The latest advancements, however, Ms. Shingara explained, provide differentiation through maximum protein claims, flavor masking, hydrolysis for added functionality and custom blends.

This article is an excerpt from the November 2020 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on plant-based proteins, click here.