Some of the food trends named in the top 10 list for 2018 — as compiled by Datassential, a supplier of trends, analysis and concept testing for the food industry — aren’t likely to become staples in food manufacturers’ formulations anytime soon. Persimmon in your pudding? Rose water in your Ravioli?
Maybe not. But one of the noted top trends can be easily sourced at reasonable costs, and can also be effectively formulated into a food manufacturer’s existing applications or included as part of new product development.
Whey protein was selected as a top 10 food trend for 2018, and innovative manufacturers and top chefs alike are adding it to everything from desserts, snacks and frozen entrees to sauces, dips, dressings and more.
Read on to learn more about what sets functional whey protein apart, why it ranks highly among consumers and ways to incorporate this innovative ingredient into your food products.
The Various Forms of Whey Protein Concentrate
While all whey protein is derived as a result of byproduct from the cheesemaking process, there are many types of whey protein on the market due to the ways in which whey is processed, filtered, dried and turned into a concentrated powder. It’s vitally important to make the distinction between the various forms of whey when considering its use in a formulation.
To most, the term “whey protein” typically conjures images of bodybuilders and protein shakes. However, that type of readily available commodity whey protein — also known as whey protein isolate — tends to fail when incorporated into most food formulations. This is partially due to the highly processed way in which it’s made, which can degrade its desirable properties and compromise its structure. Its use in a formulation will likely result in viscosity breakdown, changes in flavor profiles, gritty texture, separation, an unpleasant appearance and a host of other application issues.
Grande Bravo® functional whey protein, on the other hand, uses a proprietary ultra-filtration process with zero chemical modifications. The result is a more concentrated form of shelf- and freeze/thaw-stable protein that retains its desirable properties and functionality, and offers benefits such as a neutral flavor and superior water-holding abilities. These characteristics allow food technologists to maintain — and often improve — an application’s creamy mouthfeel, rich texture, intended flavor, pleasant appearance and consistent viscosity.
The Nutritional Benefits of Functional Whey Protein
One of the main reasons whey protein ranks so highly among consumers is the demand for protein-packed foods. Not only can the addition of certain types of whey protein boost protein levels, it can improve nutrition in other ways and reduce unhealthy fats and calories. Grande Bravo is often used to reduce or replace high-fat, high-calorie ingredients such eggs, oil, heavy cream, cream cheese, milk, butter and other dairy products.
Riding on the heels of a major trend that’s continuing from 2017, functional whey protein also meets the demand for cleaner labels. Since the process for creating Grande Bravo functional whey protein omits the use of chemicals and other undesirable properties associated with highly processed forms, formulators can reduce or replace traditional ingredients with functional whey protein, an all natural ingredient.
Food manufacturers can also feel confident knowing that Grande Bravo is sustainable, ethically sourced and upholds its integrity throughout the chain of custody with its exclusive supply chain of vetted farmers and world-class cheesemakers.
Creative Integration into Existing Formulations and New Product Development
The popularity of whey protein will only continue to grow as consumers become more aware of its health benefits and as food manufacturers seek to gain market share by offering innovative products to meet their demands (while keeping costs in check).
Creative and forward-thinking manufacturers are taking advantage of the superior properties of functional whey protein and its ability to maintain consistent textures, flavors and mouthfeel. Some examples of the types of applications using whey protein ingredients include:
- Cream-based soups, gravies and dips
- Cheese sauces and savory spreads
- Low-fat salad dressings, hummus
- Coatings and seasonings
- Baked goods, cheesecake, cookies and whipped toppings
- Healthy snack foods, nutritional bars and ready-to-eat meals
- Creamy beverages, powdered drink mixes, shakes, eggnog
- Frozen entrees and processed meats
- Ice cream, smoothies and frozen desserts
- And the list goes on!
It’s one thing to follow food trends; it’s another to set them. Take a look at your existing formulations and those in product development and ask the question, “Is formulating with functional whey protein an option?” Chances are, the answer is “yes!”
We know changing formulations isn’t as easy as replacing one ingredient with another. If you’d like to talk to our team of food scientists and explore how best to approach your specific formulation challenge, reach out to us. We’re here to help. And be sure to check out the Grande Bravo Application Impact Analysis below to see how it can be used to cut your products’ fat and calories — and reduce your cost to manufacture.