Chickpea Protein Isolate Makes Tasty Ice Cream

Wednesday, November 30th, 2022 | 3131 Views

Chickpea Protein Isolate Raises Dairy-Free Ice Cream to New Heights

ChickP, an Israeli food-tech startup that’s affiliated to Singapore-based Growthwell, transforms dairy-free ice cream by solving challenges of taste and texture, and reducing additives. Based in Singapore, Growthwell has a well connected supply network in Asia Pacific, and is in a good place to export products to various regions that include the US and other ASEAN regions.


ChickP Protein, Ltd has introduced chickpea protein isolate for plant-based ice cream. Protein from this ancient crop zeroes in on the non-dairy category to make a tasty plant-based frozen dessert with a creamy mouthfeel just like dairy ice cream.


Everyone loves ice cream. Ice cream is a joyful treat that evokes indulgence, and comfort. But many consumers are not able to enjoy eating ice cream due to lactose sensitivity or intolerance, or dairy allergies. Moreover, many consumers are trending away from animal-derived products. In addition, sustainability and ecology concerns are driving many consumer purchases. There are plant-based ice creams on the market, but they lack the true, creamy texture of dairy ice cream. It’s not just vegetarians demanding plant-based options. According to recent research by The Smart Protein project in Europe, flexitarians are driving the plant-based food sector — 36% of flexitarians stated they intend to consume more plant-based dairy products. And more than 30% of flexitarians eat plant-based ice-cream or sorbet at least 1–3 times per month. The chickpea legume is becoming more and more popular. More than 40% of flexitarians noted they would like to see chickpeas as the main ingredient in plant-based foods. For flexitarians, it is all about flavour and health when choosing a plant-based foods.


Delivering the Full Sensory Experience of Eating Real Dairy Ice Cream

ChickP developed a prototype of plant-based ice cream with its protein isolate in co-operation with VANIGLIA, Ltd., a premium international ice cream chain headquartered in Israel. VANIGLIA advocates traditional methods for making ice cream, collecting fresh produce, and using 100% natural ingredients without artificial colors or preservatives. “As an expert in ice-cream creation, ChickP plant-based ice cream succeeded in surprising even me,” said Assaf Blank, VANIGLIA CEO. “It has a truly creamy and rich texture similar to dairy ice cream.”


“Our ChickP Isolate ingredient answers consumers’ growing demand for vegan products with a dairy-like experience,” attests Liat Lachish Levy, CEO of ChickP. “Consumers, especially flexitarians, have become much pickier when choosing a frozen indulgence and will not compromise on flavour or mouthfeel. Our biggest challenge was to develop a solution that would appeal to broader populations, to give the consumer the full sensory experience of real dairy ice cream. When we started the project, the goal was to create a non-dairy ice cream that tastes, looks, and feels like the real thing.”


“Our ChickP protein portfolio is highly functional and versatile and can even allow for the creation of a mascarpone-like texture in a plant-based ice cream,” declares Maor Dahan, application manager for ChickP. “We were able to imitate the exact rich, uniquely creamy taste and texture of mascarpone. Chickpeas are not listed as allergens and our products are non-GMO, making them an ideal choice for replacing dairy proteins.”


When developing an ice cream application, ChickP’s protein isolate provides important functionalities, such as emulsion stability, prevention of icing and crystallisation, and the creation of an ideal melting profile. These constitute the key parameters for maintaining a frozen dessert’s indulgent properties throughout its shelf life. It also provides exceptional whipping capabilities, with a neutral fresh taste suitable for merging any desired flavor.


Cleaning Up the Label

Creating dairy-free ice cream is highly challenging. Many such products contain a list of additives, such as guar gum, cellulose, derivatives, and modified starches. “Our protein has an important role in stabilising the ice cream and creating the desired smooth texture,” explains Dahan. “During development, we removed various stabilisers one by one and, surprisingly, it did not affect the product’s shelf life, and it even improved the scoopability of the product. This allows a shorter, cleaner ingredient list.”


“The unique functionality of the ChickP isolate, as demonstrated in ice cream, can also be used for other applications in the non-dairy categories, such as firm and cream cheeses as well as yogurts, which typically require stabilisers,” adds Lachish Levy.


ChickP was founded in 2016 by Ram Reifen, MD, a pediatric gastroenterologist and professor of human nutrition who was driven by a desire to create a protein that can help feed the world while benefiting consumers and food manufacturers. The company is the owner of a breakthrough patented technology for production of chickpea protein isolate (90%), developed at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem ChickP helps its customers to develop nutritional, plant-based products with speed-to-market and reliability. The start-up raised US$10M so far in a completed A round fundraising. ChickP is ISO-certified and has self-affirmed GRAS status.



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