IFT 2018: Blue Diamond launches almond protein powder

IFT 2018: Blue Diamond launches almond protein powder

27 Jul 2018 --- At IFT 2018 in Chicago, Blue Diamond presented Almond Protein Powder, its newest innovation in almond ingredients. The product is claimed to set a new industry standard for clean, healthy, plant-based products that add value across multiple food categories. The significance of almond protein as a value-added inclusion in products spanning a wide range of food categories will not be lost on consumers. Among ready-to-drink (RTD) protein shake, bar and smoothie users, almond protein had significantly higher purchase intent than whey, soy, or pea protein. 

Studies show that almonds are an excellent source of protein, dietary fiber, calcium, potassium and magnesium. They have a healthy fat profile and are cholesterol-free and gluten-free. These very nutritious attributes convey a positive, consumer-affirmed, health-halo for all almond ingredients, especially almond protein powder.

Click to EnlargeBlue Diamond Protein Powder is a source of fiber, magnesium, phosphorous, manganese and copper, as well as potassium and calcium. Because it is non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free, the company says it allows manufacturers more versatility in formulating healthy, “free-from,” protein-rich foods.

NutritionInsight spoke with Stephanie Daen of Blue Diamond at IFT 2018, where the company showcased a number of applications featuring the new ingredient.

“[Almond protein powder] can be used in different applications. At IFT we are showcasing it in a brownie, as it works well in baked applications,” Daen says. “We also have it in a beverage, up against a number of other plant-based proteins to showcase its clean tasting [profile].”

“Almond protein is special because it is a naturally based, minimally processed plant-based protein that is very clean tasting, unlike some other plant-based proteins, which can have some after tastes.”

Speaking about protein quality, Daen says: “Like many other plant-based proteins, it does not have the complete set of amino acids, although it does contain all the amino acids. You can supplement it with other plant-based proteins or use it on its own. It has a PDCAAS score of around 0.44, which is typical for an almond product.”

Click to Enlarge
Blue Diamond at the
IFT Food Expo 2018 in Chicago.

“This is an important step in adding functional ingredients to our product offerings,” says Bill Morecraft, Senior Vice President for Blue Diamond Almonds Global Ingredients Division. “Maximizing the superfood potential of almonds in a powder allows manufacturers to capitalize on the latest consumer trends and formulate high-protein, all-natural, plant-based foods and beverages.”

Blue Diamond Almond Protein Powder is touted as having a fine texture, smooth mouthfeel and a neutral flavor, making it ideal for protein smoothies, shakes and bars. Unlike other protein sources, formulators need not deal with masking agents to neutralize unwanted taste and flavors. 

In the industry as a whole, plant-based innovation is flourishing. Growing consumer interest in health, sustainability and ethics is driving plant-derived ingredients and products into high popularity. Innova Market Insights reports that plant-based product claims increased by 62 percent globally (CAGR, 2013-2017) with growth occurring on platforms such as plant proteins, active botanicals, sweeteners, herbs & seasonings and coloring foodstuffs.

“In the move to offer something new, we are starting to see an increasing variety of non-soy plant-based ingredients, including cereals such as rice, oats and barley,” says Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights. “We also noticed an increase in nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, walnuts and macadamias, as well as coconut and more unusual options such as lupin, hemp and flaxseed.”

You can view the video interview here.

By Lucy Gunn & Robin Wyers

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