Most Important Ingredient Characteristics

Originally Published: August 7, 2015
Last Updated: March 2, 2021
Whey protein shake with chocolate flavor for fitness athletes.
Most Important Ingredient Characteristics

(Chicago, March 12, 2015) From algae to whey, protein ingredients are obtained from a wide variety of sources and differ from each other in key characteristics. During the design of a new food, beverage or nutritional product, product formulators choose which proteins they will use based on these characteristics.

During Global Food Forums’ 2014 Protein Trends & Technologies Seminar, attendees whose responsibilities included product formulation were asked: “What are the most important characteristics of a protein ingredient in order to be considered for use?” They were instructed to choose three of eight options provided.

Just released results from the 2014 R&D Protein Trends Survey found that 70% of the “Protein Knowledgeable”* R&D/product development respondents identified a protein’s “nutritional aspects” as one of the top-three most important characteristics to consider. This was followed closely by “functionality (physiochemical properties),” identified by 68% of the technical respondents. “Price per pound” was checked off by 60% of those surveyed. (See infographic.)

The next five characteristics chosen trailed noticeably in importance. They included “consumer popularity,” “allergenicity” and “reliability of supply”—selected by 38, 35 and 23% of the respondents, respectively. The final two characteristics listed on the survey, “familiarity in how to use it” and “ease of substitution with alternatives,” fell last with only 8 and 5% of Protein Knowledgeable respondents indicating they were the most important characteristics.

“These results are unusually significant, due to the nature of those surveyed” says Claudia O’Donnell, Co-owner of Global Food Forums, Inc. “The 78 survey respondents are not casual observers of industry trends. We are calling them *‘Protein Knowledgeable’ due to the amount of time and money they had dedicated to learning about protein ingredients, and their use in food, beverage and nutritional products by attending the 2014 Protein Trends & Technologies Seminars’ Technical Program: Formulating with Proteins.”

About Global Food Forums, Inc. The 2015 Protein Trends & Technologies Seminar is a Global Food Forums, Inc. event. Other events include the Clean Label Conference and Formulating for Value Conference. Global Food Forums is the entrepreneurial concept conceived by two food industry veterans who are the firm’s co-owners: Peter N. Havens, senior publishing executive long-associated with the food industry; and Claudia D. O’Donnell, MSc, MBA, formerly technical editor with trade publications, as well as R&D/QC director of several food manufacturing companies. Together, they have more than 75 years of experience in food and beverage products, R&D, food media and conference management.