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.
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