China: Angel Yeast launches vegan-friendly yeast protein

Angel Yeast Co., Ltd, a listed Chinese company specialized in the production of yeast and yeast products, has launched AngeoPro F80, a vegan-friendly, allergen-free, natural-origin yeast protein. As a solution to complement plant-based protein sources to meet the growing demand for protein across the globe, AngeoPro F80 is rich in nutrition and protein content with properties that can neutralize off-flavors and boost the overall taste profile.

"As a unique microbial protein, yeast protein can not only provide similar nutritional value to animal protein, but also address the concerns involving plant-based protein such as genetic modification and shortage of land resources. We believe yeast protein is one of the best alternative protein sources in the market now," said Eric Ao, General Manager of Angel Yeast Europe Division.

According to information provided by the company, AngeoPro F80's high protein content is on a par with plant-based protein, and some of the essential amino acids in AngeoPro F80 has nearly double the amount of WHO/FAC recommendations, including lysine (9.43g/100g), isoleucine (5.94g/100g) and leucine (9.78g/100g).

AngeoPro F80 can be widely used in various products including protein bars, beverages, and baked sweets, as well as a wide range of plant-based food including vegan fish, vegan burgers, vegan cheese analog, vegan chicken cutlets, etc. Coupled with Angel's off-note masking technology and the full range of yeast extract products, the company also provides low-salt, taste-boosting solutions to enhance the flavors and mouthfeel of plant-based foods to mimic the tastes and flavors of chicken, beef, and cheese.

Angel Yeast was founded in 1986 in Yichang, China, and has grown in the last 35 years to become a leading supplier of yeast and yeast products (YE). The company works in the sectors baking, Chinese fermented wheaten food, food seasoning, human nutrition and health, microbiological nutrition, animal nutrition, plant nutrition and protection, biofuel and distilling, and special enzymes. The applications of Angel YE include soups, sauces, instant noodles, snacks, meat products and other food applications. The company currently operates 8 production bases in China, and one in Egypt and Russia each with a total yeast production capacity of more than 270,000 tons (August 2021).

Three months ago, Angel Yeast established a joint venture company to invest RMB 100 million (USD 15.4 million) to acquire the relevant assets of Shandong Bio Sunkeen Com Ltd’s yeast product production, while simultaneously transforming and upgrading its technological capabilities. Bio Sunkeen had an annual capacity of 15,000 tons of yeast and yeast extract.

In addition, the company recently announced plans to invest RMB 25 million (USD 3.7m) to increase the yearly capacity of its Binzhou plant from 20,000 to 30,000 tons of fresh yeast to be operational by March 2022 and another RMB 435 million (USD 71m) to increase the yearly capacity of yeast extract of its Dehong plant by another 15,000 tons.

Protein is an important component of human tissues and organs, which plays a crucial role in various systems to maintain the growth and metabolism of tissues. Sufficient intake of high-quality protein is particularly essential for the maintenance of physical health.

Data from the Plant-Based Foods Association (PBFA) and The Good Food Institute (GFI) showed that 18 percent of households in the US opt for plant-based meat. The research also revealed that the growth rate of plant-based meat consumption is two times more than its animal protein counterpart, making up 2 percent of sales of retail meat products in the country. However, people who choose plant-based meat as a primary protein source tend to suffer from a low protein digestion rate, which underscores the need to find a more sustainable solution to substitute or complement plant-derived protein products.

A natural ingredient that has been consumed for thousands of years in food and beverages such as bread, wine, and beer, yeast has emerged as an excellent alternative. Yeast protein is derived from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Its production process adds food-grade enzymes and processing aids to partially remove the non-protein parts of yeast protein products, thus bringing protein concentrate to over 75 percent. Yeast protein is also deemed an ideal protein source for food formulations due to its balanced amino acids composition and micronutrients as well as high digestibility, which makes it a high-quality protein source with high bioavailability and places it in the same rank as soybean – one of the most recognized plant-based sources of protein – in terms of nutritional level.

Yeast protein is made through an eco-friendly fermentation process that minimizes environmental impact, requires limited land use for cultivation and is less affected by harvest and seasonality that plant-based protein production is subjected to. Research shows that the carbon emission generated during the production of yeast protein is 20 times less than that of beef, so it is a sustainable protein in comparison to other more resource-intensive and environmentally impactful options. In addition, yeast protein does not contain any genetically modified organisms, suitable for vegans, vegetarians, and flexitarians.

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