Roquette splits open pea cells for new insoluble fibre

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nutrition

Roquette is extending its pea-derived ingredient offering with a new insoluble fibre from the interior of the legume, which can be used both as a fibre-content booster and for its emulsifying and gelling properties.

The French ingredients firm already offers a soluble fibre, Nutriose, which comes from wheat or corn and is marketed mainly for its nutritional advantages and facility to reduce sugar and fat content. It also offers Nutralys pea protein.

The new addition, called Pea Fiber IG, comes from inside the dry pea (pisum sativum). Initial applications to which it is well suited are bakery products and meat, with others in the pipeline.

Henri Gilliard, market development manager in Roquette’s nutrition business unit told that the fibre is the walls of the cells of the pea, made up of hemicellulose, lignin and pectin – as well as some cellulose. This differs from external pea fibre obtained by grinding, which is mainly just cellulose, is grey and bitter, and is used animal feed.

Pea Fiber IG, meanwhile, is sold as a white powder for food uses. It boasts approximately 70 per cent fibre as a dry substance, and the ability to absorb cold water without an excessive rise in viscosity. The company says between five and ten per cent protein is available for emulsifying capacity, and 20 per cent starch for hot viscosity – that is, gelling.

Gilliard said that for white bread, it is said to allow for fibre enrichment without affecting the colour or flavour. “It is very innovative to have white bread with fibre, for people who don’t like brown,” ​said Gilliard.

In pastries, it is said to deliver a smooth result and does not affect pastry formation, and can help the product last longer.

As for meats, the retention of hot and cold water can bring juiciness and improved mouthfeel to products.

With time and more work, Gilliard expects it to prove useful in dairy products and ready meals, and Roquette’s application labs are currently working on other potential, but for now confidential, uses.

In addition, Pea Fibre IG has a good synergy with Nutriose; thus, a consumer could receive both insoluble and soluble fibre – which are both recommended in a healthy diet – in the same product.

Dedicated pea plant

Roquette, which has its headquarters in Lestrem in the north of France, has a plant dedicated to its pea ingredients in Vic-sur-Aisne in Picardie. This is the heart of France’s pea-growing region, so the raw materials purchased under contract with cooperatives do no have to travel more than 50km.

The facility has the capacity to process some 100,000 tonnes, should demand require, and the nutritional fractions are obtained using a water process.

Originally a potato plant, the Vic-sur-Aisne plant began processing peas in the off-season for potatoes – that is, between August and March. In April 2007 it switched over to the legume entirely.

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