Clean-label chickpea-based ice cream unveiled by Israeli start-up
Foodtech company ChickP Protein has revealed a new chickpea protein isolate which can be utilised for clean-label non-dairy ice cream.
ChickP was founded in 2016 by Dr Ram Reifen, a Paediatric Gastroenterologist and Professor of Human Nutrition at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, who wanted to create a protein with mass appeal for consumers and food manufacturers alike.
The Rehovot-based start-up worked with premium ice cream brand Vaniglia to develop its ice cream ingredient, with the aim of having a comparable mouthfeel to dairy ice cream while being animal-free.
According to ChickP CEO Liat Lachish Levy, there is a growing consumer demand for vegan products which offer “a dairy-like experience”.
“Consumers, especially flexitarians, have become much pickier when choosing a frozen indulgence and will not compromise on flavour or mouthfeel,” she said.
“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.”
As well as having a similar texture to dairy proteins and being 90% protein and allergen-free, ChickP’s chickpea protein isolate is also “highly functional”, according to the company’s Application Manager Maor Dahan.
The functionalities which ChickP’s protein isolate provides includes emulsion stability, prevention of icing and crystallisation, and the creation of an ideal melting profile, the company says.
It also provides whipping capabilities to achieve different textures to ice cream products, and has a neutral fresh taste which the company says is suitable for merging with any desired flavour.
This means that while other dairy-free ice creams in the category contain a list of additives like guar gum, cellulose and modified starches, ChickP says its protein isolate allows for a cleaner product altogether.
“Our protein has an important role in stabilising the ice cream and creating the desired smooth texture,” explained 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.”
Having now proven the success of its protein in ice cream, Lachish Levy said the ingredient could ibe used for other applications within the non-dairy category in the future, such as dairy-free cheeses and yoghurts.