Potato supplier Branston has begun a construction of a new £6 million facility in Lincolnshire. The new facility will be used to produce high-grade protein from potatoes.
The new investment is a result of Branston's collaboration with agri-tech research and development company B-hive Innovations which has developed a process to extract and isolate high-grade proteins from potatoes.
The facility will convert low-value potatoes into clean-label functional protein that can be used in production of high-quality plant-based meats and other vegan foods.
According to the company, the production site will be the first of its kind in the UK and will incorporate bespoke technologies and capabilities to meet ever growing demand for locally grown plant-based ingredients.
“Most people are aware of potato starch and fibre in potatoes, but they don’t consider the highly nutritious protein fraction", said managing director of Branston’s prepared foods division, Richard Fell.
“We’re delighted to be working with B-hive Innovations on this new venture. Most people are aware of potato starch and fibre in potatoes, but they don’t consider the highly nutritious protein fraction,” he added.
“B-hive Innovations has been honing this technology for a number of years, working with a group of academic and industry partners and supported by Innovate UK. They have developed a process to gently extract and isolate high-grade proteins from potatoes.
“This means we have the potential to meet the growing requirements from food manufacturers for 100% plant-based protein that is free from allergens and is fully traceable from our UK-grown crops.”
Potato protein is a great alternative to replace soy, peas, and rice in plant-based products. The biggest advantage of potatoes is their sustainability. Potatoes are grown locally almost everywhere in Europe and they have a very low carbon footprint. These root vegetables are also highly nutritious. They contain a high amount of carbs and fibre, as well as vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium and manganese.