Byproducts of other food processes may be upcycled into flours with high-protein content. Spent grains – also known as spent grains in the brewing world, alternative flours can be made from traditional grains that have already been used. Processing includes drying and milling the spent grain into flour, which is being done by a number of brewers and secondary processors who support regenerative food systems. The result is a high-protein, high-fiber flour with a distinctive flavor profile that complements many baked goods. Sunflower seeds – defatted sunflower seed flour that is an upcycled byproduct from sunflower oil extraction. The final flour is allergen- and gluten-free and contains 35% protein and 18% flour. It is also naturally non-GMO and delivers a slightly nutty flavor. Soybean pulp – Okara flour is a high-fiber, high-protein gluten-free flour made from the soybean pulp generated during soymilk production. It is a versatile ingredient with a neutral flavor, which is described as slightly milky or nutty. It has a light color allowing it to blend easily into most flour-based products, including pasta, pancake mix and cookies. Mushrooms – MycoTechnology is introducing shiitake fermented vegetable protein. It is a complete protein and considered comparable in protein quality to animal-based products. It has a malted cereal taste and aroma that lends itself to most baked goods applications. The fermentation process de-flavors the raw materials. It is also low in carbohydrates and fat, with most of the fat in the form of omega-3 fatty acids.
Lightbulb Moment: As the plant-based trends move forward, technology becomes a critical partner. The key however is to create a complete protein with the final product since no plant protein on their own are complete proteins. Interested in learning about other plant-based protein alternates? That’s where Culinary Tides, Inc. comes in.