Nutritional Outlook’s November 2022 issue contains an article: Too Tough to Hoe? (page 44) – detailing how plant-based innovations are pulling up weeds, one by one. We loved this excerpt from Kim Decker’s write-up. Head to her article to learn more.
Saved, not spent
Versatility and functionality were among the qualities EverGrain prioritized when developing its flagship barley protein, EverPro. But the genesis of the innovation really came down to finding new life for what’s usually seen as a “byproduct” of brewing. As Belt explains, when barley enters a brewery, brewers solubilize the starch for use in fermentation, leaving behind a mass of de-starched barley known as “spent grain.” But “spent,” he insists, is a misnomer, as this de-starched barley contains not just fiber and unsaturated fat, but considerable protein— about 30% by weight. As such, he sees it as a value-packed product worth saving, which is just what upcycling EverPro barley protein does. Using simple adjustments to temperature, pH, and filtration—and no harsh chemicals nor hexane solvents—the company harvests the barley’s native protein, whose inherent amino-acid sequence permits 97%-plus solubility at neutral-to-high pH.
That gives even whey’s solubility a run for its money, Belt claims, and it helps plant-based formulations escape the chalkiness associated with poor protein solubility—and is responsible for common complaints against the category. EverGrain is now cooking up an ingredient with near-100% solubility at acidic conditions and plans to launch it next year. In the meantime, Belt suggests viewing EverPro less as a competitor to other plant proteins than as a partner with them. Not only does the barley protein’s amino-acid profile complement those of other plant proteins, but he also points out that at 89% bioavailability, EverPro is “one of the most bioavailable plant proteins on the market. So by combining our barley protein with other plant sources, you get the same great taste, texture, and nutrition of dairy, and you prove that plants work harder when they work together.”
Credit: Kim Decker & Nutritional Outlook, November 2022 https://www.nutritionaloutlook.com/journals/nutritional-outlook/nutritional-outlook-vol-25-no-9