MORRISTOWN, N.J.  — Nutriati, Inc. and its exclusive commercialization partner, PLT Health Solutions, have introduced Artesa chickpea protein to the North American food, beverage and supplements markets. The ingredient has been shown to solve taste issues associated with plant-based proteins and to offer formulation and sustainability advantages as well, according to the two companies.

Artesa has a minimum protein content of 60% and a fiber content of 14%. Nutriati’s production process, which is protected by intellectual property, differs from traditional plant protein processes that use more water, acids and precipitation. The proprietary manufacturing process removes more than 99% of the oil. The removal leads to better taste and stability.

“Among food and beverage producers, stories of struggles with plant protein are pretty common,” said Michael Spinelli, co-founder and chief innovation officer for Nutriati, an ingredient technology company based in Henrico, Va. “Taste issues are often solved via the use of masking agents or added sweeteners. Sometimes processing aids or even facility retrofits are required to handle high protein and gluten-free products.

“We have found that recipes featuring Artesa chickpea protein can meet or even surpass gold standard formulations for taste, texture and other sensory aspects in a range of product applications.”

Consumer testing has shown Artesa may approach the sensory and formulating experiences of dairy proteins in the areas of taste, texture, product structure and mouthfeel. Artesa’s small particle size is responsible for formulating benefits, including dissolution and suspension abilities, foaming and emulsifying properties, and faster processing with less waste. In beverages, the small particle size enhances dissolution and suspension of the ingredient in liquids and reduces sedimentation. In low-moisture applications like bakery, the small particle size has been shown to reduce viscosity and enhance throughput.

The Artesa chickpea protein launch follows the introduction of Artesa chickpea gluten-free flour earlier this year. PLT Health Solutions plans to sample the Artesa branded ingredients in hummus, gluten-free crackers, chai latte and chocolate chip cookies at IFT18, the Institute of Food Technologists’ annual meeting and expo scheduled for July 15-18 in Chicago.

 “In the short time we have been talking with consumer products companies about Artesa chickpea protein, the breadth of different applications for which it is being considered is notable, including several bakery products, plant-based snacks, meal replacement, protein powder, shakes and juice drinks,” said Devin Stagg, chief operating officer of PLT Health Solutions, Morristown. “In some of these products, producers are pairing Artesa chickpea protein with Artesa chickpea flour to enhance nutrition and improve sensory all while reducing the number of ingredients for leaner, cleaner labels.”

The addition of Artesa chickpea flour and Artesa chickpea protein led to a vegan tortilla formulation dropping to 11 ingredients from 29 ingredients. For sustainability benefits, chickpeas need little fertilizer and work as a rotational crop. Farmers in North America grow chickpeas for the Artesa branded ingredients.

“The chickpea gets excellent marks when it comes to sustainability,” said Richard Kelly, chief executive officer and co-founder of Nutriati. “Chickpeas require significantly lower use of chemical fertilizers, water and pesticides in production.”