Parabel USA, a sustainable protein company that converts water lentils to powder protein for food, feed, and pets has now successfully produced an alternative milk product for its functional food line.
Duckweed, also known as water lentils, is a flower-like substance that grows on the surface of ponds and has a similar appearance to small green lentils. The company manufactures ‘Lentein’, which is a powder that derives from the aqua plant, and is rich in amino acids and protein.The plant also doubles in size every 16 to 32 hours making it an abundant food source that can be harvested daily.
This functional ingredient can be added into snacks, drinks and other food items and is made up of 65 percent protein and fiber. The company has been working towards de-greening the substance to match the profile of other food sources and looks to have found a breakthrough with its latest non-dairy milk creation.
“We are all elated to have achieved this breakthrough innovation. Our lentil milk is similar in color to regular milk and captures the extraordinary, high-quality protein and mineral benefits of water lentils while containing no allergens,” says Peter Sherlock, Parabel’s CTO. “The milk froths and foams effectively. This innovative addition also retains the same high level of sustainability as the rest of our product range.”
The plant-based protein company is wise to gravitate towards the alternative dairy market, as both the domestic and global outlook for this alternative food category looks promising.
According to Report Buyer, non-dairy products are expected to reach global revenue of more than 38 billion by 2024 with a compound annual growth rate of 14 percent between 2018-2024.
In addition, the US non-dairy market grew by 50 percent in 2018 and currently represents 15 percent of the overall dairy market.
The modern generation seems to be shifting towards healthier and more sustainable food sources, creating an exciting time for innovators in the food space, allowing them to reach mainstream clientele like never before.
The aquatic plant is easy to produce as it only needs a water tank to grow in. As a result, the company is based in Flordia, claiming the state provides the perfect weather conditions for their hydroponic ponds to grow water lentils in.
Sustainability is the main focus of the plant-based protein line, which was officially launched onto the food scene back in 2015 to help compensate with the rising protein deficit.
This has been a growing concern for many the food industry, and in 2013 a UN report recommended insect protein as a future incentive to food security. Other companies like harrier wilder, have also invested in ingredients from crickets to black soldier fly for animal food.
Lentein is both hypoallergenic, vegan-friendly and received a ‘no objection letter’ from the FDA in 2018.
As food security weighs heavy on the minds of many companies in the industry, we may see more manufacturers partner with alternative food brands to amp up their products nutritional profile through sustainable ingredients. Currently, there is no set date when the non-dairy water lentil product will be on the market, but the future looks bright as unconventional products grow in popularity.