A while ago my business partner, Peter Havens, and I were discussing what would be a hot topic for a conference theme. We settled on proteins. The one-day seminar (plus an opening reception the preceding evening) will be held April 10, 2013. It is entitled “Protein Trends & Technologies.” Indications from consumer packaged food company surveys to data on consumer “hot buttons” to world food trends all point to proteins as a subject of high and on-going interest. See below, for example, the report on whey proteins trending up.
The word “proteins” covers a broad range of concepts. In the foodservice industry “proteins” usually refers to center-of-plate type components like steak, fish and poultry. Food scientists often work with proteins at the fundamental level. That is, protein molecules, whether from beef or milk, soybeans or peas have many characteristics in common. Our developing schedule of speakers all excel in their fields. For example, Dr. Erika Smith, leader of the protein program at General Mills, Inc. and Dr. Rene Floris with NIZO in The Netherland are presenting information on the use of various types of protein ingredients to solve technical formulation problems in foods and beverages.
One protein category, whey proteins, has been of much interest to the food and nutritional products industries for many years. Whey proteins are incorporated into foods and beverages for their functional characteristics such as ability to form gels to their nutritional benefits. A recent report by 3A Consulting “Global Opportunities for Whey and Lactose Ingredients 2010-2014” shows their popularity continues. The report predicts that the global market for whey powder, whey proteins and whey protein fractions will experience a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4 percent, reaching US$ 6.4 billion in 2014. The 3A Consulting report notes that high-value protein products with a high protein levels and further processing – WPC80, isolates and hydrolysates – are growing by double digit figures driven by sports and energy nutrition products. The growth of whey proteins with lower protein levels is more static. I can promise you that there is more to come on THIS topic.