2017 Protein Trends & Technologies Seminar

Originally Published: August 10, 2017
Last Updated: February 4, 2021


On May 23-24, 2017, Global Food Forums® held its 5th annual Protein Trends & Technologies Seminar.

May 23: Pre-conference Program: Protein Business Strategies
This day’s program focused on the ever-changing factors impacting the global protein ingredient market. The information was crucial for anyone guiding their protein ingredient business or for those where the protein ingredient marketplace has significant impact on their business.

May 24: Technology Program: Formulating with Proteins
The program on this day will focus on providing R&D and application food scientists with practical, non-commerical advise on how to work with protein ingredients in a range of foods, beverages and nutritional products. Solutions will be suggested for protein formulation and labeling challenges and sensory (texture & taste) issues. Also see the 2017 New Protein Products Gallery. Most of these innovative, protein-centric foods, beverages and nutritional consumer were available for sampling during the Technical Program.



  • A New Look at the Changing Protein Category

Speaker: Scott Dicker, Nutritional Researcher, SPINS

SPINS identifies trends early through its proprietary retailer network, and the protein trend is one that it has been watching for several years. Join SPINS to hear more about the impact that the protein trend has had at retail including new categories in which protein-enhanced products have been appearing. Hear about the different sources of protein it has recently seen including the heightened interested in plant-based proteins and the types of claims that protein-focused manufacturers are emphasizing. The presentation will also spend time on the role protein has in sports-performance enhancing products. Come, learn and take away insights to help drive your protein product development and sales.

  • A Healthy Perspective: Protein Trends and the American Consumer

Speaker: Liz Sanders, MPH, RDN, Associate Director, Nutrition & Food Safety International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC)

Americans’ food values are shifting. With these changes comes a new importance for understanding where consumers stand on important food and nutrition issues. The IFIC Foundation Food & Health Survey provides over 10 years of insights into American protein trends and food values. Over this period, protein has grown in prominence as a key nutrient that American’s are aiming to consume. This presentation will uncover deeper insights into American’s perceptions, and misconceptions, about protein. We’ll also dive into new findings about consumer definitions of the term “healthy,” in-depth views on processed foods, and drivers of food purchasing.

  • Supply Chain Challenges: Organic and non-GMO Ingredients

Speaker: Nathan Clark, MSc., Director of Business Development, Mercaris

According to Nielsen, U.S. sales of foods labeled as non-GMO grew from $12.9 billion in 2012 to $21.2 billion in the year ended April 30, 2016. The OTA says a record $43.3 billion in organic product sales was reached in 2015, up 11% from 2014. As demand for these products moves mainstream, the finite supply of organic and non-GMO materials is stretched. This presentation will provide surprising insights into supply and demand factors and the unique attributes of the supply chain that impact raw material sourcing and sustainability. For companies developing non-GMO and/or organic products or who are impacted by this industry segment, understanding supply dynamics will be central to successful business development efforts.

  • How to Identify Trends to Stay Relevant with the Evolving Consumer Market

Speaker: Blake Mitchell, Partner and President, Interact On Shelf

What is a trend and how does one identify them? This presentation examines how and where to uncover trends. From farmers’ markets, food trucks, independent grocery stores and restaurants to retail concepts like juice bars as well as trade shows, crucial insights can be garnered through a strategic approach. The ability to identify movements among consumers and keep “hip to what is happening” in the world provides a competitive advantage for your own business and your customers as well.

  • The Food Industry’s Current and Future Regulatory Environment

Speaker: Jessica P. O’Connell, Special Counsel, Covington & Burling’s Food and Drug practice group

The new Presidential administration will likely lead to some changes in how FDA and USDA regulate food and food ingredients over the next few years and beyond. This presentation will explore the potential opportunities and challenges of the new political environment and discuss anticipated legislative and regulatory actions in the food space in the coming year. It will include FDA’s continued implementation of new nutrition labeling requirements and USDA’s implementation of the GE labeling law and will identify key considerations particularly for the protein industry in order to minimize risk and maximize marketing flexibility.

  • Microalgae as an Alternative Protein Source: A Developing Story

Speaker: Gary Brenner, MA, Owner, Brenner pharma/food Business Development Ltd.

Global population growth and emerging economies spur demand for large-scale production of foods from renewable resources. There is a need for nutritional foods, including rich plant-based proteins sources, that meet market expectations for volume, quality and price. Microalgae is forecast to become an important alternative protein source for a wide range of applications. While its technology is developing rapidly, production takes place on a small scale and costs are high. To overcome these hurdles, larger established food and agriculture players are working to provide the algae farming industry security of sales and improved cost structures with the goal of increasing consumption of foods perceived as healthy. This evolving case study on an emerging protein category will provide insights for all multi-national ingredient suppliers.


  • Body in Tune: How Consumer Demand for Healthier Food Impacts Protein Use in Foods & Beverages

Speaker: Kara Nielsen, Sales & Engagement Manager USA, Innova Market Insights

This presentation looks at how recent trends in the protein market have been influenced by consumer demands to lead a healthier lifestyle. Consumer sentiment about health will be explored and how the food and beverage industry has responded to consumer demand. The presentation will analyze where protein is as a fortifying ingredient today and where this trend will go in the future. Examples of innovative and interesting new products launched into the international market as well as the U.S. will be provided.

  • Proteins for Health: Issues, Updates and Opportunities

Speaker: Joanne L Slavin, Ph.D., RD, Professor, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota

As both a source of calories and essential nutrients, protein is the most important macronutrient. Most U.S. consumers have an adequate intake of protein, however trends such as the move towards plant proteins and an aging population means optimal dietary protein consumption should not be assumed for everyone. This presentation looks at protein’s nutritional functions and how various factors impact protein needs such as age, sex and health status. Sources of proteins, the role of individual amino acids and how protein-containing foods rate in regards to protein quality will be covered with a look at what population segments may need increased protein consumption.

  • Protein and Amino Acid Analysis in Relation to Nutrition Labeling and Protein Quality

Speaker: Sneh D. Bhandari, MPh.D., Director of Chemistry Research, Silliker Inc., Merieux NutriSciences

The need of accurate estimations of protein quantity and quality has gained further importance because of a new trend of development of protein enhanced products. Kjeldahl and combustion (Dumas) methods are widely accepted for total protein estimation but they lack selectivity and can’t rule out adulteration. Protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) is one of recognized option to evaluate protein’s quality. The method requires amino acid analysis to determine amino acid score and true digestibility value. Other options of protein quality evaluation will be reviewed.

  • Disruptive Ingredient Technologies: Characterizing Plant Proteins to Predict Optimal Food Matrix Use

Speaker: Denis Chéreau, Ph.D., General Manager, IMPROVE SAS

Plant proteins have incredible potential for innovation. Advances in plant breading and processing, such protein extraction and purification, have created ingredients with new functional properties. Inventive developments in protein texturing are being used to produce plant-based milks and cheese or create meat- and tofu-like products. This presentation reviews protein processing technologies, broadly categorized as wet or dry, and highlights their emerging benefits and uses. It looks at characteristics—such as solubility, gelling, emulsifying and digestibility—of new plant proteins entering the marketplace and discusses how these characteristics can be used to predict their most appropriate applications. This information will help product developers communicate and specify what they need in a protein ingredient.

  • Protein Flavoring Problems: The Whys, Wherefores & Possible Ways Ou​t

Speaker: Gary Reineccius, Ph.D., Professor and Past Department Head, Dept. of Food Science & Nutrition, University of Minnesota

From algae to whey, sources of proteins for use in foods and beverages continue to proliferate. Proteins are formulated into products for their nutritional and functional benefits, but final products must also meet consumers’ high expectations for taste. Flavoring any product with higher levels of protein can present unusual difficulties. An added challenge occurs due to the trend towards ​​unfamiliar plant-based proteins. Flavorings are often more heavily relied on to overcome innate plant flavors. This presentation looks at the food chemistry behind protein-flavoring interactions to help explain why “what you put in is not what you’ll get” and suggests tactics to minimize one of the ultimate flavoring challenges.

  • Protein Blends: Increasing Ingredient Flexibility

Speaker: Laurice Pouvreau, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, NIZO food research

The world demand for protein is expected to increase. Most traditional foods incorporate animal-derived proteins, and most ‘new source’ proteins do not yet perform to the same quality in application. Many consumer products bridge the gap by combining proteins from multiple sources, i.e. protein blends. Protein blends are used to optimize technical functionality, taste and cost leading a more flexible application of protein ingredients. This presentation focuses on the textural properties of protein blends in various formulations. Gelling and emulsifying properties of protein blends (dairy, animal, plant) will be discussed and related to the properties of the different proteins. Attendees will learn how to create synergistic effects and avoid typical product defects when incorporating proteins from multiple sources.

  • Milk proteins Ingredients: Functional Properties & How to Maximize Use in Formulating Foods

Speaker: Hasmukh Patel, Ph.D., Senior Principal Scientist and Section Manager, Dairy Foods Research and Development, Land O’Lakes.

Even as media buzzes with news on proteins from insects and an emerging array of plant materials, milk proteins remain at the cornerstone in many food and beverage applications. The main reasons include better flavor, nutrition and functionality. The milk proteins are highly complex and multi-functional components. The highest quality and economical finished products can be obtained when the right milk protein ingredients are chosen with the right functionality for product formulations. This presentation will focus on physicochemical and functional properties of milk proteins and offer practical advice on where and how they can most effectively be used. It also offers a peak at new developments in the area.