Developing vegetable protein fibres

At the start of this year a collaboration was launched between NIZO food research and Ruitenberg Ingredients. At Ruitenberg, we are using technology developed by NIZO in order to bring a new ingredient to the market: fibrous plant proteins.

The collaboration is based on Ruitenberg’s years of experience in the meat and bakery products field and NIZO Food Research’s world-leading expertise in the field of protein. At Ruitenberg, we also have our own production facilities.

Fibrous plant proteins are of increasing interest to producers of healthy foods. NIZO has developed the technology to make proteins usable, functional and tasty. The proteins have proven very suitable for inclusion in vegetarian products, fish substitutes and savoury bakery products. The taste and texture (mouthfeel) match those of meat, with an optimal ‘juiciness’ and ‘bite’.

Fred van de Velde, expert at NIZO, said: “We understand the complex interaction of texture and taste in proteins. We also understand how protein functions and how it reacts when undergoing processing. This is where we have a head start on the rest of the world.”

Ruitenberg is a pioneer in finding creative and innovative solutions for the food industry. The development of an industrial process for this protein fibre is provided by Ruitenberg’s subsidiary Food Research in Pieze. Maintaining the proteins’ functionality and efficacy requires specific treatment methods that can be developed on an industrial scale.
Ward van der Kaaij, managing director at Ruitenberg, explained: “We are seeing a sharp rise in the demand for meat alternatives and we are keen to expand our role in the vegetarian segment. We know we can build on the knowledge and expertise we have acquired in the meat and bakery industry. NIZO’s technology for producing high-quality vegetable protein fibre fits perfectly in with this strategy.”

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