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Alternative meat producers struggle to secure supply of yellow peas as demand for plant-based burger skyrockets

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Image: Facebook/Beyond Meat
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

The soaring popularity of plant-based meat substitutes has shone a spotlight on a new star ingredient: the humble pea.

From Beyond Meat, which has seen its shares rocket after a flotation in May, to US meat producer Tyson and Nestlé of Switzerland, food companies are turning to protein from the yellow pea as the key ingredient for plant-based foods …

The rush to introduce products amid a spike in demand from consumers has led to a scramble to secure supplies. The squeeze has not been caused by the availability of the yellow pea itself …. but a lack of processing capacity to produce the protein powder extracted from the legume. Producers have simply not kept pace.

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While soya is the most abundant and cheapest source of plant-based protein, it is also an allergen, and often genetically modified in the US …. leading to fears of adverse health effects among some consumers.

“There’s been a consumer desire for having proteins that are ‘clean label’, meaning non-GMO and in some cases organic,” said Tyler Lorenzen, chief executive of Puris of Minneapolis, the largest US producer. “We’ve seen exponential growth.”

Read full, original article: Plant-based ‘meat’ craze drives demand for yellow peas

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