FI Asia 2019

From yeast to protein: Lesaffre embarks on new research amid booming interest in plant-based protein

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Lesaffre has embarked on a project to develop yeast-based proteins. ©Getty Images
Lesaffre has embarked on a project to develop yeast-based proteins. ©Getty Images

Related tags Yeast Protein plant-based

Lesaffre is embarking on a research to develop yeast-based protein, in line with the growing interest in plant-based protein.

Speaking to FoodNavigator-Asia​ at the Food Ingredients Asia show in Bangkok, Joergen Lundgaard, MD of Lesaffre APAC, said that the move was to tap on the growing interest in plant-based protein.

“For us, we do a lot of yeast for baking applications, but now we also do research in yeast nutrition.

“This is similar to plant-based protein, just that it is based on yeast.

“This is made for those who are conscious about their nutrition intake, vegan, clean-label trend…These are the important trends that’s reflected in consumers’ preference,”​ Lundgaard said.

The firm is working with research agency ASTAR and polytechnics in Singapore, as well as its own research team in France.

It is now working with customers on product prototypes, and gathering further feedback.

“In terms of timeline, the first range of products are going to be available in the near future, and we will certainly launch more.”

Yeast as superfood

The firm also talked about the potential of yeast as a superfood and its use in supplements.

It uses saccharomyces cerevisiae ​as its nutritional yeast. It is a baker’s inactivated dried yeast, primary grown on a molasses-based medium.

One product, under the brand name “Lynside Nutri” contains 50% protein, 25% fibre, B vitamins, and minerals, and is GMO free.

It also comes in a range of formats, such as powder, coarse particles, and flakes.

On the other hand, the yeast can also be fortified to carry vitamins and minerals, such as selenium, iron, zinc, and chromium.   

“The yeast used in supplements, it can also come in the powder form, for gut health, microbiome, boosting the immune system, depending on the minerals and vitamins that we fortify the yeast with,” ​Lundgaard said.

Some examples of the nutrients present include fibres, B vitamins, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium and potassium.

The firm’s human nutrition portfolio is looked after by the business unit Gnosis.

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