Royal Avebe, a Dutch cooperative of starch potato growers whose potatoes are processed into high-quality food ingredients, has invested €66 million (US$90.3 million) in 2021 in its innovation and sustainability program.
Most of these investments are directed to increasing its Solanic potato protein capacity so as to meet projected growth in demand.
Bart Pennings, Director of Business Development at Royal Avebe said, “A growing number of consumers are looking for plant-based alternatives without compromising on texture and taste. Since 2007, already ahead of the plant-based protein transition, we have been successfully supporting this consumer demand with our highly functional Solanic potato protein isolates.”
Avebe’s potato protein is widely used by leading plant-based food companies, to replace animal-based ingredients such as egg protein, gelatin or milk protein in plant-based meat, dairy and confectionery alternatives. One good example is its application within the vegan cheese segment. Pennings said, “We at Avebe help realising a vegan cheese alternative by creating the desired texture, from creamy and spoonable via smooth and spreadable to firm and cuttable. Our Solanic potato proteins combine excellent functionality such as emulsifying, gelling and foaming, with a ‘clean label’ declaration: they do not require allergen labelling and can simply be labeled as potato protein.”
Solanic potato protein has the lowest CO2 footprint compared to other commonly used animal- and plant-based proteins. The strong growth of the plant-based foods market together with the desirable properties of Solanic potato proteins has led to a shortage of supply in recent years. Pennings summed up, “With the investments and increase in production capacity and our future expansion plans, we’re the right partner to support the food industry with the growing demand for plant-based foods.”