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High grade PROteins innovatively processed into VEGetal FLAKEs from plant sources with enhanced nutritional benefits

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ProVegFlake (High grade PROteins innovatively processed into VEGetal FLAKEs from plant sources with enhanced nutritional benefits)

Reporting period: 2016-03-01 to 2016-08-31

The increase in per capita consumption of meat in developing countries and a new trend of food consumption of consumers in developed countries to reduce the consumption of animal products and to intensify the use of healthy bio plant products for the nutrition has led to a dramatic increase in the demand for vegetable proteins and chronic problems in the global supply.

Vegetarians and vegans may need to eat 10–20% more protein than recommended in order to compensate for the lower digestibility of plant-based protein. Soybean remains the major source of vegetable protein, but its supply is unbalanced: Argentina, Brazil and the USA account for more than 80 percent of global production, while China remains a massive consumer and imports from these three countries. Europe, because it inherited GATT policies, does not currently produce enough vegetal protein to meet its needs for animal production and vegetarian protein demands. This formation makes the market for vegetal proteins to become a major market in the agribusiness industry. Especially in Europe, the consumption of vegetal proteins for the direct use in vegetarian food products is increasing.

Even though there are few offers of Protein-Extrudates on the market (protein muesli “Seitenbacher”, flakes containing soy products, different crispies for the food industry, convenience products in the refrigerated displays of supermarkets being in most cases vegetarian and from wheat or egg-protein), after passing sensory studies and compositional analysis, they don’t show good nor acceptable results from a consumer point of view. The retail looks urgently for alternatives.

With the “free of allergens” positioning, our protein products contrast particularly compared with soy products, wheat protein-products or egg-protein. However, these IGV products are not suited for generally substitute nor for totally excluding soy products, neither from the price nor from the positioning point of view for the customer. Goal is to position independent products for a new product-segment, having a clear message. They also correspond to a certain mainstream – a lifestyle positioning. Extracts from microalgae find a broader application range to be used as ingredients applied in food formulations. The proteins and special amino acid ratios obtained from algae still have a future potential which remained up to now partially disregarded, but IGV complemented its pea-based protein ingredients with tailored amino acid fractions from microalgae, offering thus a complete protein product for different consumer groups.
In the first step of the project, we have evaluated preliminary market, end-users and consumer surveys, to identify potential competitors, new target consumer segments and consumer trends. This should result in an elaboration of commercialization strategies and finally in a proliferation of the applicability of our company`s own pea-based protein products.

At a second stage we performed a technology feasibility assessment including an Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) to identify areas of strengths and weakness and to consider how the extraction and extrusion procedures can be optimized.

With an economic and social feasibility study we have forecasted the positive economic and social benefits to our company with a cost/ benefits analysis in order to improve strategic decisions. This was followed by a partner portfolio consolidation, which established collaborations with food, feed, beverage, cosmetics companies, supermarkets and specific stakeholders (organic raw material suppliers, Vegan/Vegetarian Consumer Associations, Beverage Industry) through further LOI-Ds (letters of intent to deliver) and LOI-Ps (letters of intent to purchase).

Finally we have elaborated a detailed Business Plan and a partially finalized Commercialization Strategy with relevant and up-to-date supporting details and concrete figures on market entrance stages to highlight the necessary investments for the implementation of the production site.

The basic idea was to establish within our production programme a relatively low base depth – consisting of a maximum of 3 to 4 basic protein products similar to a modular principle. Private label customers and major stakeholders can produce based on these basic products their final products for immediate consumption or for delivery into the retail. System products (premixes for proteins products, supplements with algae extracts as recipe ingredients) complete the product range.

The basic products are applicable very differently in the end products. For example, the ProteinFLAKES can be used for mueslis as well as in the meat surrogates. At the end, you have the final products “high-protein-muesli” or “roasted meatballs”, “Burger-Patty”, “cooked meatballs” or readily prepared premix for home cooking meatballs. They may be used also in the milk industry in the yoghurt segment, as cereal substitutes.
The major industrial benefit relies in the 12-monthly storage without cooling (low residual moisture in the product). The HACCP standard requirements in the production, storage and logistics are substantially lower. The production costs thereby are sinking in comparison with the traditional meat production (when applying in meat substitute products). The biological value (vitamin B12 content) becomes much more enhanced by addition of microalgae extracts compared with animal products.
The market opportunities for IGV GmbH lies in the implementation of the global nutrition trends, when producing physiologically well-compiled nutritional food. The Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is especially reflected by our clear quality profiles (texture, chewiness, lack of bitterness, excellent water absorption) and vegan extracts with functional qualities, technological leadership in the protein extrusion and extraction, natural products without synthetic additives (Clean label).

1. Exclusive application of pea protein enriched with microalgae extracts (Vitamin B-complex, including vit. B12)
2. Absolutely vegan
3. Allergen-free, Free of GMO, Gluten-free
4. Good digestion (low ATI content due to extrusion technology)
5. Full meat substitute with higher biological value than whey protein
6. Nutritional claim: „high protein content“, according to EC (No.) 1924/2006)
7. 12 months shelf-life: storage without cooling (microbiological stability)

For its efforts in obtaining real and feasible protein alternatives, and as a direct result of financing obtained via ProVegFlake, IGV has received an important award: „Brandenburg innovation award FOOD INDUSTRY in 2016“ (original: „Brandenburger Innovationspreis ERNÄHRUNGSWIRTSCHAFT 2016“),äger-2016.html

IGV's Vegetal Proteins were furthermore shortlisted and ranked among the best 3 emerging global products under the "Most Novel Protein Ingredients" Award Category at the 9th Protein Summit in Lille, France.