29th July 2021 Product update: newprotein staff writer
Branston Is Building the First Potato Protein Production Facility in the UK
One of the great things about food technology is that it can take a quintessential high-carb food like potatoes and transform it into a high-quality plant-based protein source for human and animal nutrition.
The small group of companies that already have potato proteins in their catalogue (you can check the list and get in touch with them here), are now joined by Branston, a leading potato grower in the UK.
The company (not to be confused with the famous brand of pickles and baked beans) started the construction of a £6m facility - the first one of its kind in the UK - at their site in Lincolnshire for the extraction of high-grade protein and starch from low-value potatoes.
This is just the latest milestone of a company that started in 1968 as a co-operative of a group of Lincoln farmers and now operates two more sites, in Somerset and Scotland, and a Prepared Foods division.
This new facility will not only add a new line of products but will also help Branston improve utilisation of potato crops that don't meet the standards to be sold as raw produce.
For this project, Branston is working alongside agri-tech R&D company B-hive Innovations. The construction of the new facility started off after B-Hive finalized the protein extraction process. This result was also made possible by funding from Innovate UK, United Kingdom's innovation agency.
For consumers looking to add more high-quality plant-based proteins to their diet, potatoes are a great option. Their potential as a source of good-quality protein has been studied for many years, but it wasn't until recently that technology advancements made extraction commercially viable.
As one research study points out, potato protein content is fairly low but has an excellent biological value of 90–100, much similar to that of whole egg protein (100) and higher than that of soybeans (84) and legumes (73). Biological value measures bioavailability of proteins, or how well they are digested and absorbed by the human body.
“Consumers are aware of the healthy fibre and starch content in potatoes, but they don’t always consider the protein fraction. Market research revealed there was a growing demand for UK-grown, clean-label, 100% plant-based ingredients, highlighting a commercial need that fitted perfectly with Branston’s drive to utilise all harvested crop," says Alison Wright, R&D project manager at B-hive Innovations.
The construction of the new facility is managed by Richard Fell, managing director of the Branston’s Prepared Foods division. Once the project is complete, says Fell, "we will have the potential to meet the growing requirements from food manufacturers for 100% plant-based protein that is free from allergens and is fully traceable from our UK grown crops.”
Learn more about Branston: https://www.branston.com/
Date Published: 29th July 2021
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Note: This content has been edited by a newprotein.net staff writer for style and content.