FoodTech start-up ChickP Protein, Ltd. has announced full commercial production of its 90 percent chickpea isolate. The company is simultaneously expanding its global activities, having kicked-off a venture in the US by sealing a joint market development agreement with Socius Ingredients, Inc.
ChickP revved up consistent, stable production capacity to 20 metric tons per day, equating to more than 5,000 metric tons annually of its uniquely concentrated non-GMO, allergen-free chickpea protein isolate. The ingredient is designed to provide protein-infused functionality and a nutritional boost to an array of food and supplement applications, including dairy alternatives, baked products, and gluten-free foods. The company also is actively seeking new opportunities in the plant-based alternatives industry, especially in the thriving US market.
“We have established a modern, BRC certified food facility, where we have applied proprietary technology for the production of high-value, clean-label chickpea protein,” explains Ron Klein, CEO of ChickP. “We’ve already attracted considerable interest from major food brands, and this month alone welcomed a number of production commitments from several new customers.”
ChickP is currently partnering with several food companies on specialized projects to develop the North American market for plant-based innovations. “Socius has exemplary protein application expertise and, with a state-of-the-art technical center in Chicago, boasts strong connections to manufacturers of plant-based products,” explains Klein. “We’re strategizing with Socius to explore the many creative possibilities for producing chickpea protein-based prototypes.”
“ChickP’s offering sets a new standard for pure protein solutions through multiple beneficial attributes, including a dense nutritional profile, neutral flavor, and distinguished functional properties,” says Conor Buckley, vice president of Socius. “These render it an excellent candidate for integration into a full spectrum of dairy analogs, including beverages, desserts, creamers, and more. We look forward to working with the ChickP team to bring the organoleptic and nutritional potential of chickpea to our customers.”
ChickP has appointed Itay Dana as VP of sales and business development to lead these activities. With nearly 15 years of experience in the food, supplement, agrotech, and life science industries, with a focus on plant-based proteins, Dana is a veteran in food engineering and biotechnology. He formerly served as the VP of marketing and business development at Equinom, director of new technologies for Lycored Ltd., and was head of food innovation at Galam, Ltd.
The Good Food Institute (GFI) reports a booming plant-based foods industry in the US, and pulses are galvanizing alternative protein innovation. New SPINS retail sales data released March 3, 2020, show that US grocery sales of plant-based foods that directly replace animal products have grown by nearly a third in the past two years, reaching US$5 billion in sales.
“The US is fast emerging as a key global player in meat and dairy alternatives,” notes Dana. “This market already is familiar with soy and pea proteins. However, these sources still cannot meet all the desired specifications for the broader spectrum of applications. Food companies are demonstrating an openness to try new plant-sourced protein contenders and the mighty chickpea is now gaining its due recognition and momentum.”