Israeli start-up ChickP Protein launches chickpea-based snacks starch

Israeli-based FoodTech start-up, ChickP Protein, has launched its next-gen native starch developed from chickpea for food and beverage applications, including potential for a wide array of snacks

As the  is non-GMO and a co-product of ChickP protein process using a proprietary technology that has revealed potential for finished products across the wider food and drink sector.

The latest launch follows the successful introduction last year of a line of innovative chickpea isolates specifically designed for plant-based dairy alternative products. The new native chickpea starch eliminates food waste during processing and ensures a sustainable, clean ingredient. It has a uniquely high amylose to amylopectin ratio, with neutral taste and no aroma.

ChickP was founded in 2016 arising from patented technology developed after 20 years of research conducted at the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agricultural, Food, and Environment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Yissum, the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University, invested in the process via the Agrinnovation Fund, and supported the establishment of ChickP in 2016 as part of its activities, and it was subsequently invested in by a Singapore-based business Growthwell Group, who further explore its potential.

As the company explained, due to its narrow granules size distribution compared to pea and potato starches, ChickP Native Starch provides better gelling and thickening properties. Consequently, it can be used as a thickening/binding agent in a variety of food applications, including soups, sauces, confectionery, dairy, baked goods, desserts, meat, plant-based meat analogs, and many more applications. ChickP Native Starch also is an excellent raw material for production of extruded snack products and can be deployed as an anti-caking agent for powdered blends, such as instant soups, spices, premixes, etc.

According to Innova Market Insights, the use of specifically identified starches in food and beverage launches has increased globally, featuring a +7% year-over-year growth when comparing 2019 and 2018 launches. In 2019, the top category of global product launches tracked with starches was Bakery (27%), with corn starch being the leading ingredient among the starches tracked. The top positionings of global product launches tracked with starches in 2019 were “No Additives/Preservatives (17%),” “Gluten-Free (15%),” and “Vegetarian (9%).”

“The inspiration for developing a native chickpea starch was to offer another purified fraction from chickpea – similar to ChickP’s isolated protein, which contains 90% protein,” explains Ram Reifen, MD, founder and CSO of ChickP. “We’ve extended the purity approach by introducing our pure native chickpea starch, with more than 98% starch content.”

The start-up’s cutting-edge ability to separate and purify the solid components of the chickpea (protein, starch, and fibres) allows it to offer food manufacturers pure, high-value, functional

ingredients that bring significant flexibility to incorporate other ingredients into the formula based on targeted nutritional and functional properties. This can be accomplished without compromise due to existing impurities, such as oil (which leads to rapid oxidation and decreased shelf life), fibres (that can impart rough textures in some food applications), and other micronutrients that negatively impact flavour and colour.

“The ChickP technical team currently is developing food applications using our Native chickpea starch,” adds Ron Klein, CEO of ChickP. “We invite companies to collaborate with us to create new plant-based products that meet all the demands of today’s informed consumers.”

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