Use of plant protein and development of high-protein food

We see a high demand of high-protein foods and an increased awareness of global consumers towards its health benefits. The healthy eating millennials consider high-protein as its vital component. Additionally, plant proteins are attractive bearing in mind the issues like ill treatment of animals, saturated fats, red meat, food quality and over-farming.

Who consumes high protein products?

Healthy eating habits is an increasing priority, especially for millennials (18-34 year olds). It is not just the athletes who now seek the high-protein sports nutrition products, one in four everyday exercisers are consuming sports nutrition product. Mintel found that young people and higher earners are main consumers of high-protein products.

Do high-protein foods have health benefits?

The benefits of high-protein foods assort from being vital to every cell in the body to supporting brain function and learning. It builds the muscle and balances the hormones, also to aid digestion. It slows the aging process, promotes heart health and is important for growth and maintaining strong bones.

As a fitness product, it stabilizes our blood sugar levels and keeps our metabolism running at high energy levels. Proteins also make the consumer feel fuller and to consume less.

How to make claims when developing high-protein foods?

Your product can meet a very specific demand, when it is with high-protein and also combined with โ€˜low in fatโ€™ claim. Based on the amount of energy that the product derives from protein, you can make claims, namely โ€˜source of proteinโ€™ (if 12% of its energy is from protein), โ€˜high in proteinโ€™ (if 20% of its energy is from protein) and โ€˜meal replacementโ€™ (if 25% of its energy is from protein).

Why are people turning towards plant proteins?

Despite the prominent use of milk based protein (like whey), plant proteins are becoming popular as the market is moving away from allergens and embracing vegan and other โ€˜free from โ€ฆโ€™ diets or lifestyles.

Approximately, 3.2 % of adults in the world are vegetarian (Vegetarianism in America, 2008), however the steep rise has been of 360% in the last decade. Meat-eating consumers are also becoming more cautious and about 4 in 10 have drastically reduced their meat consumption. Particularly the UKโ€™s horse-meat scandal โ€œmade people concerned where their meat comes from and whatโ€™s in their meat productโ€

What are the available types of plant based protein?

โ€ข Legumes and beans such as lentils, chickpeas

โ€ข Plant-based milks (soy is the most protein-rich, also almond, hemp, rice)

โ€ข Nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, brazil nuts, pistachios)

โ€ข Seeds, particularly sunflower, flax, pumpkin sesame, poppy)

โ€ข Broccoli and Leafy green vegetables

โ€ข Quinoa

โ€ข Spirulina

โ€ข Tofu

โ€ข Nutritional yeast

How to decide which protein source to use?

While development phase, the following factors can help you decide which source to use and how to use them:

โ€ข The key health benefit that needs to be leveraged.

โ€ข Masking or balancing of protein flavours.

โ€ข Preserving of a good product texture and mouth feel.

โ€ข Considering the carbon footprint involved in sourcing the ingredients.


Based on these current trends, vegetarianism will grow rapidly and many consumers will shift to plant based and high-protein content food products. Leader of food industry need to embrace this consumer inclination and with the foresight, launch new products in the direction.


We are a team of experts in Food Technology, Business Management and Workforce Planning, with the passion to achieve results for our clients. We connect global expertise of food ingredient manufacturers with the best practices of food manufacturers. We offer various consultancy services to our client namely the management, strategic, new product development, marketing research, sales and business development, human resource planning and many more. For enquiries, please write to

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