3 Brands Using Innovative Ingredients in the Food Industry
Learn about our new-found love for lupin proteins, edible algae, cacao-fibre spoons.
Yearning to taste some of the most innovative ingredients circulating the food industry today? Learn about our new-found love for Made with LUVE’s lupin proteins, take a bite out of Algamar’s edible algae snacks, and treat yourself to a scoop of Spoontainable’s cacao-fibre ice cream spoons.
Made with LUVE: Protein’s flowery future
In 2015, backed by a team of award-winning researchers, German food start-up Prolupin GmbH announced their official launch of Made with LUVE—a unique range of naturally dairy-free yoghurts, ice creams, spreads, drinks, and desserts.1 Made with LUVE utilises protein from sweet lupines as a key ingredient in its foods. The brand artfully promotes the flowers as the “protein supplier of the future” and the “secret star amongst the plant-based alternatives”. Thus, German consumers are now able to indulge in a regional alternative to soy, rice, almond, and coconut-based products. To win the protein from the lupine flower, the seeds are removed, hulled, and pressed into flakes. These flakes are then soaked to extract the protein along with unwanted flavours and fats. Any left-over lupine oil is saved for further use in baked goods. Made with LUVE’s production process remains patented by Fraunhofer IVV in Freising.
Since their founding, Prolupin GmbH and Made with LUVE have been accredited with a series of awards for their innovative contributions to the food industry, including the prestigious “German Future Prize” (2014), the reputable quality seal “Innovativ durch Forschung” (2015), as well as being named by Cleantech Group as one of the up-and-coming players in the global market on the “100 Ones to Watch” (2015) list. It is no secret in the industry that Prolupin has successfully touched on two of the most significant trends of our times. In 2019, ZEIT.de accredited the rising demand for regional foods to “consumer-patriotism”.2 Citing a study conducted by business consultancy A.T. Kearny, it claims that the attribute “regional” surpassed “organic” in consumer appeal a whopping five years ago. Furthermore, US-based premixed nutrient manufacturer and supplier Watson Inc. recently reviewed a study by Innova Market Insights.3 Their findings showed that that plant-based proteins, such as pea, lupine and water lentil proteins, are steadily making their way into mainstream markets. According to this research, this surge is being driven by consumers of all ages for a range of different reasons. “Innova Market Insights found that younger people’s interest in plant-based products is driven by health, sustainability, and animal welfare concerns, while older people are choosing plant-based primarily for health reasons.” In line with this trend, at foodcircle will continue to expand our portfolio of plant-based protein powders in the future.4
Algamar: Wild algae snacks
Another food industry trend we have been watching unfold is the supply and demand for edible algae. Aquatic-farmed plants are prized the world over for their high iron, protein, and Vitamin C content. Seaweed has been a staple in east-Asian cuisines for centuries. At the heart of this movement lies Japan, where it is estimated that the likes of nori and wakame make up an average of 10% of people’s diets.5 Today, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) names the European Union’s import market as the second-largest in the world.6 FAO estimates that 180,000 tonnes of algae valued at 316 million USD are being imported to member states annually. The facts mentioned above relating to the rising demand for regional products coupled with these figures are indicators of a potentially lucrative market for local seaweed farms, producers, and distributors in the EU.
Algamar’s wild organic algae are harvested by hand off the coast of Galicia in what they claim are Spain’s cleanest Atlantic waters.7 The algae are then dried at up to 42°C to preserve their nutritional value and prolong their shelf life before being processed further and packaged. From algae for salad and sushi to seaweed pasta and spreads, Algamar’s product portfolio features a delectable, one-of-a-kind range of foods, snacks, and ingredients. Since founding their farm in 1996, brothers and co-founders Clemente und Fermín Fernández Sáa have been highly invested in maintaining sustainable farming practices and ensuring fair working conditions. In 2009, they received the prestigious “Premio Biodiversidad” award by the BBVA Foundation Awards for the Conservation of Biodiversity. In 2014, business partners José María Ordeix and Stephan Mante teamed founded Algamar’s distributor in Germany, bioalegria.8 Their vision is to educate consumers about the benefits of eating edible algae while bringing into German supermarkets and kitchens. Follow their journey on @algamardeutschland.
Spoontainable: Plastic-free ice cream spoons
More than 360 million plastic ice cream spoons are produced in Germany every year. Our oceans are drowning in synthetic waste and the European Union only recently banned single-use plastics—Spoontainable’s cacao fibre spoons very much capture the Zeitgeist of this day and age. In 2018, with the help of a Startnext crowdfunding campaign, the Stuttgart-based start-up successfully secured €10,000 in funding to kick off their business and produce their plastic-free ice cream spoons.9,10,11 Six prototypes later, their 100% edible vegan and gluten-free spoons were ready to hit the shelves. The ingenuity behind this product lies in cacao fibre’s natural strength and flavour. Not only do the cacao fibres not melt, but they provide customers with a delicious aftertaste. Pioneering the industry with slogans such as “Don’t waste it. Taste it” and “Be sustainable. Eat Spoontainable.”, their Spoonies are sweeping through ice cream parlours across the country. At foodcircle, our team specialises in the import of high-quality organic cocoa ingredients. Thus, we would welcome the opportunity to partner with food industry players that are utilising elements of the cacao plant in such innovative ways. If you are interested in working with us, please get in touch with our sales team here.
As the EU gears up for its 2021 ban on single-use plastics, we look forward to seeing more technological innovations of this nature in the food industry in the months and years to come. On that note, if this topic is of special interest to you, we also recommend heading over to LOLIWARE’s seaweed straws and MAGNUS leaf dinnerware.12,13