Five minutes at FI Europe with …
Agro Food Industry Hi-Tech: What innovative products and concepts are you presenting at FiE 2017?
Patrick Lapointe: FiE is a unique place to meet your customers and to make them experience innovative concepts. We are pioneering new plant based ingredients, especially the pea proteins NUTRALYS® that are at the heart of the company strategy. We want to take advantage of the fantastic momentum around plant based ingredients, with the rise of a flexitarian population and the growing demand for non-dairy or meat substitutes. Even people who still consume animal products ask more and more for alternatives. Pea protein is fit to ride this momentum, for example here we show as it can be a suitable protein source in vegan diets by presenting a concept based on a 20% meat-free preparation for vegan bolognese and a 16% protein enriched pasta. We strongly believe in this product. Early 2017, Roquette announced a 300 million € investment to build a brand new pea-protein manufacturing site in Canada . Canada being the largest producer of yellow pea, a plant over there will allow us to supply directly the North American market, which at the moment is the largest for our product. End of September this year, we have celebrated groundbreaking of its new pea protein plant and confirms project schedule. In parallel, we have announced last June a 40 million € investment in France to reinforce our global leadership in pea protein. The two sites in North America (Canada, Manitoba) and in Europe (France, Vic-sur-Aisne) will provide an increased offer of NUTRALYS® pea protein globally. By 2019, the two facilities will represent a combined pea processing capacity of 250,000 tons per year.
AF: What is the advantage of your NUTRALYS® protein compared to others?
PL: Pea protein NUTRALYS® offers many advantages to farmers, food producers and consumers. Pea production is environmentally friendly, non-GMO, the yellow pea is an exemplary food to grow. It helps strengthen biodiversity, no irrigation, a positive impact of soil biology, it participates to soil enrichment, so no need for nitrogen fertilizers. Pea farming naturally promotes growth of rotating crops, as a legume pea has one of the smallest eco footprint and is therefore a sustainable choice. Roquette also works in close relationship with pea suppliers, to comply with our strict quality requirements. NUTRALYS® pea protein is a great source of protein both qualitatively and quantitatively. It offers multiple nutritional and functional properties with a pleasant taste. NUTRALYS® pea protein offers a natural protein intake for a high nutritional value. It is non-allergenic, gluten-free and non-GMO, it is used as an alternative and/or as a complementary source of protein to milk and soy proteins. It is Kosher & Halal certified. It is also one of the cleanest proteins! It is exempt from major allergen declaration. Lactose & gluten-free, it contains very low isoflavone & anti-nutritional factors. It is a protein of choice for mainstream foods, indeed we are constantly innovating with new grades making it possible to enlarge its use in different product formats
AF: Can this protein also be useful in sport or health nutrition?
PL: Yes, in fact the pea protein NUTRALYS® is used across the board in sport, clinical, infant, senior and health nutrition. . It also ideal for Specialized nutrition. It is rich in BCAA & arginine and ideal to balance cereal proteins. It is the first pea protein tested in clinical trials. NUTRALYS® pea protein has clinically-proven benefits on muscle mass development, satiety & caloric intake. It can compete with whey protein, to some extent, and be synergistic in other cases. People now want to use the benefits of both, in sport nutrition. There are more and more blends of plant and dairy proteins being developed. We see very successful stories of customers in the US taking this approach, and it is now spreading in Europe and even Asia. Asia was always about soy but now the tide is changing.
AF: Another health trend is sugar reduction. What is Roquette doing about that?
PL: It is another global pillar of our health nutrition business unit. The pressure on sugar reduction is absolutely huge, coming from all over the place, and even taxes are being implemented to curb the consumption of sugar. Customers are anxious for solutions and we are bringing them. Our polyols allow to bake sugar free products; at the same time we also have sugar reduction solutions based on fibres we developed, that can replace the sugar. We show it in the concept or sugar-reduced filled cake we present here, where we have 30% sugar reduction by using SweetPearl® maltitol and NUTRIOSE® soluble fibre.
AF: What trends does Roquette see for the health nutrition market in the future?
PL: We keep seeing increasing demand for free from/clean label products, such as gluten free, GMO-free. ISO is going to publish soon a specification to decide what is a natural ingredient, clarifying the situation. At Roquette all our ingredients are from natural origin and we are very positive on this trend about naturality. We are well suited to be a key player in this field.
AF: What can we expect from Roquette in the next year?
PL: We will introduce new grades of pea protein, with highly functional properties and improved taste. All our next developments will reinforce Roquette’s leadership position in offering high value plant-based ingredients around the world.