KMC, a Brande, Denmark-based cooperative of potato growers and food industry ingredients supplier, has created a textured potato protein that can be used to make plant-based meat. The nutritious, innovative product has a structure similar to meat, and provides a mild flavor that is easily masked by other ingredients.
“Textured potato protein has the properties that we know a lot of consumers look for when eating plant-based products. There is as huge potential in potato protein as a food ingredient,” said CEO Jesper Burgaard. “Our goal is to drive the transition from animal-based ingredients to plant-based ingredients, and on this journey, we have made a real breakthrough towards better products for the consumer with this innovation.”
He continued: “We started the production of potato protein for consumer products in 2019 because of the potential of the nutritional value as an ingredient. But as a powder product, potato protein did not add any functional properties. Now, with our new texturing technique, potato protein can add meat-like structure to products and is therefore ideal to use in meat supplements.”
The development of the potato protein is a part of a dedicated program for creating plant-based inputs that can replace animal-based ingredients in food. Having scaled up production, the cooperative aims to produce 300 tons of textured protein in 2022 and expects to increase output significantly in following years.
Green Danish Protein
Potato protein is especially relevant as a meat replacement as it contains all the essential amino acids critical for human health, which is shown in a DIAAS score of 115 and a PDCAAS score of 0.93. The combination of amino acids present are well balanced, which makes the nutritional value of the protein at the same level as meat.
“Sustainability and business go hand in hand at KMC. With our new product we can offer a climate-friendly protein produced by Danish potato farmers to consumers across the globe. We strongly believe that textured potato protein will play a crucial part in the development of new plant-based solution to the consumers of the world,” said Burgaard.
KMC calculates that it replaced 26,600 tons of animal ingredients in 2021, an increase of 13 percent compared to the previous year. It aims to replace 39,000 tons of animal ingredients with plant-based inputs by 2024.
Established in 1933 by a group of farmers tasked with selling the combined production of seven potato starch factories which had been granted a concession from the Danish government, KMC today produces more than 60 different potato-based products. It exports 90 percent of output, including granules and flakes from a dedicated factory that has been operational since 2003. Germany, the UK, Russia and China among major markets.