Faba Bean Protein: A Healthy Alternative 

Fréderic Fernandes, Product Manager Functional Proteins at BENEO, discusses the challenges and benefits to using Faba bean protein as an alternative ingredient in bakery recipes 

What led BENEO to explore faba bean protein as an alternative ingredient? 

There are several aspects to this decision. Firstly, we noticed an increasing global demand for plant-based ingredients. Secondly, there’s a significant emphasis on sustainability and climate change. While we already produce various rice proteins, our customers were looking for alternatives to the soy and pea proteins commonly found in the market. Soy and pea proteins are often imported from outside Europe, which isn’t very sustainable. This led us to investigate other plant-based protein options. Faba beans emerged as an excellent candidate due to their comparable qualities to soy and pea proteins and their sustainability credentials. We source faba beans at Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) Gold level from German farmers, in close proximity to our future production plant. 

What were some of the challenges you faced when incorporating faba bean protein into your existing recipes, and how did you overcome them? 

Replacing animal proteins with plant-based proteins comes with various challenges. Fortunately, we have the BENEO-Technology Center, where experts work on these applications. In the bakery sector, the most important ingredient to replace is eggs. However, egg replacement in baked goods creates a specific set of challenges for recipe formulation due to their multifunctional roles in terms of taste and texture. They can be used for foaming and aeration, texturising, emulsification, colour and flavour, as well as a glazing agent. This is why, depending on the application, an egg alternative also has to deliver on this range of technical properties.  

Faba bean protein concentrate, however, also exhibits excellent foaming, emulsifying and texturising properties, making it a suitable egg substitute. Additionally, its neutral flavour ensures it can be incorporated without affecting the taste of the final product. With the expertise from our BENEO-Technology Center, we’ve developed several recipes where we successfully replace egg protein. For instance, we have an egg-free muffin and a hybrid pound cake, where we replace 25% or 50% of the eggs. Our testing over the past year has shown that faba bean protein concentrate can replace whole eggs, egg whites and egg yolks. It’s a flexible and clean-label product that can also offer cost reduction  opportunities. 

Read more latest industry news and developments in our free to download magazine.

Never miss a story… Follow us on:
International Bakery

Media contact

Joseph Clarke
Editor, International Bakery
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 920
Email: editor@in-bakery.com

Subscribe to our newsletter

Don't miss new updates on your email
Scroll to Top