The global market for plant protein ingredients is estimated at $6.3 billion, with expectations to exceed $34 billion by 2020. Growth is largely driven by the increasing demand for functional foods in the food and beverage industry. At present, soy is the most common source of plant protein, capturing 77% of the plant protein ingredients market share. However, soy has some significant drawbacks: It contains allergens and anti-nutritional factors, has flavor issues and some of it is produced from GMO seeds. Despite its disadvantages, soy is the most popular plant protein source in the market thanks to its low production costs.
Pea protein which is already used in food applications such as bakery and snacks, has high nutritional values, does not contain allergens and is produced from non GMO seeds.
Equinom is breeding lines with enhanced levels of protein, a neutral savory flavor, and other nutritional benefits based on market needs. With significantly higher levels of protein produced per MT, we are helping food manufacturers and growers realize increased returns in the pea market.
Equinom’s pea varieties have reached:
- Protein levels of at least 30%, compared to 20% in existing varieties
- An amino acid score of 1 according to the FAO guidelines compared to only 0.81 in existing varieties
- Low anti-nutritional values
Cowpea (also known as black-eyed pea or Southern pea), an important grain legume in developing countries, has not been recognized yet by the food supply chain, despite its very high protein levels and unique set of characteristics. A study conducted by Equinom in 2016, concludes that cowpea is the most superior source of plant protein, with the highest potential to become a leading protein. We believe that it is only a question of time before cowpea becomes a significant player in the food ingredient market.
Equinom's cowpea varieties have reached:
- Protein levels of 38% compared to 24% in existing varieties
- An amino acid score of 1 according to the FAO regulations compared to only 0.9 in existing varieties
- Low glycemic index, high iron, zinc, calcium, and antioxidants content
Chickpea, an important pulse crop, which is mainly grown in semiarid regions all over the globe, is gaining appreciation as an alternative source of protein thanks to its high nutritional values and digestibility. Chickpea has high levels of protein, and higher levels of nutrients such as manganese, zinc, and phosphorous compared to other legumes.
While current varieties of chickpea seeds have variable protein content of 17– 22%, Equinom has already achieved up to 30% of protein in chickpeas. This allows us to introduce the market new economics: better yields, new applications and increased ROI.
Our Breeding Programs
Equinom’s technology enables us to develop varieties with a combination of traits (all previously existing in nature) and breed to spec with groundbreaking levels of accuracy, efficiency and cost-effectiveness. We have the technology and the existing variety lines to offer food companies and other industry players a clear advantage in producing high-quality proteins.