Alfalfa Protein Concentrate Touted as “Next Superfood”

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13 Apr 2017 --- L-RD (Luzerne-Research & Development) has developed an alfalfa protein concentrate, Luzixeen, based on 100% French alfalfa. The plant-based alternative to animal proteins has a protein content of 45 to 60% and can be sprinkled on salads, soups or yogurt, and used in the formulation of bars, beverages, food supplements, biscuits and protein shakes.

“What makes Luzixeen different to other plant-based proteins is its particular amino acid profile with the presence of essential amino acids such as valine, leucine, isoleucine, methionine, phenyl-alanine, tryptophan, threonine and lysine. Moreover, the chemical score of alfalfa protein is 108, with 100 [being] the maximum standard as defined by the WHO,” Valentine Claudon, Business Development Manager, L-RD, tells NutritionInsight.

“Regarding its digestibility, Luzixeen has a PDCAAS Index (Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score) between 0.8 and 0.9 (1 is the maximum). This is more than pea protein (0.7) or wheat proteins (0.4). In conclusion: alfalfa protein concentrate is a very high quality protein-rich ingredient,” Claudon adds.

The company has received the European Commission’s authorization to market Luzixeen as a Novel Food ingredient for dietary supplements.

According to the company, alfalfa has not only a high protein content, but also exceptional nutritional benefits (vitamins K, E, B9 & B6, beta-carotene, calcium, iron and Omega 3), which make it a “real superfood.” Thanks to alfalfa’s root system, this crop prevents soil erosion and "fixes" nitrogen, which limits the need for fertilizers and reduces nitrate leaching in the soil, making it an eco-friendly crop.

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