ChickP, the company behind the world’s first 90% chickpea protein isolate, has successfully patented its technology in Israel. The Israeli food tech will now be applying for a patent in Singapore, where its investor Growthwell Group is based, and is gearing for its commercial scale-up in the city-state to meet the growing demand for plant-based alternatives in the wider Asia region.
Developed by a team of scientists at the food and agriculture faculty in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, ChickP Protein is the world’s first 90% chickpea isolate that is non-GMO, free from phytoestrogens and allergens. The technology used by the food tech, now patented in Israel, means that the isolate also has the advantages of delivering a smoother texture and stronger emulsion stability than other plant-based protein ingredients on the market, while still retaining a strong nutritional profile.
ChickP now plans to apply for a patent in Singapore with the help of the Growthwell Group, a Singaporean plant-based protein company that has acquired a stake in the food tech earlier this year, following its US$8 million financing round, which broke records as the 5th most funded alt protein company in APAC over the past 12 months.
Growthwell and ChickP aim to use the isolate to develop new vegan products targeting the Asian market, including alternatives for in-demand meats such as shrimp and squid, as well as a plant-based crab burger. The partnership will look to create chickpea isolate-based dairy-free milk and vegan ice cream products further down the pipeline.
To scale-up ChickP’s IP-protected technology to over 1,000 tonnes of isolate in 2021, Growthwell is now building a new manufacturing plant in Singapore, which is set to open by the second quarter of next year. The facility will boast high moisture extrusion and a fully automatic manufacturing production line, set to meet the strong demand for meat and seafood alternatives across Asia.
In addition to a chickpea isolate, the Israeli startup is also launching its second product – ChickP Native Starch. The native starch has a smaller granule size distribution compared to other plant starch ingredients on the market, such as pea and potato. According to the company, the non-GMO starch brings stronger gelling and thickening properties and is suitable for use as a binding agent for a range of plant-based products, from alternative proteins to soups and sauces.
Demand for alternative proteins have also grown in recent months due to the coronavirus-driven meat supply chain disruptions and overlapping livestock and aquaculture diseases such as the Div1 shrimp virus, raising consumer concerns over food safety all over the world.
Singapore authorities are especially attentive towards the issue of food security and sufficiency, and have since the crisis launched an additional plan to boost local innovation to defend itself against external supply shocks due to the pandemic on top of its initial food scheme to prepare for climate risks.
Lead image courtesy of ChickP / Growthwell Group.