Broadening Horizons: Harnessing the Alternative Potential (4/8)

· plant-based protein,algae,trends,impact,startup

Brendan McKeegan (Australian Plant Proteins),

Lucy Buxton (UTS Industry Engagement Manager, Climate Change Cluster),

Dr. Jennifer Wood (NSW Dept of Primary Industry, Pulse Quality),

Laura Chapman (Hemp milk, H.ALT )

In the third session we dive into the alternative protein potential. For the prior session, click here.

Lucy Buxton shared the opportunity in algae protein, where over 50% biomass is pure protein. Of the 300,000 varieties that exist, we are only using approximately 50 types of varieties. Some international cultures are more familiar with using seaweed.

Globally, we are only beginning to explore this opportunity.

Brendan shared the untapped opportunity with pulses. APP is the first Australian company to extract plant-based protein from five pulses; faba bean, yellow pea, mung bean, yellow and red lentils.

He made the point that there are over 110 varieties of pulses.

Again, we are just at the start of the wave.

Dr. Jenny Wood shared her work with the NSW Dept Primary Industry, supporting the growth of the sector and the value chain.

They have created a novel product range and looking for commercial partners to take it to market. She would like to see less dependence on imported soy isolates.

Jenny highlighted the various pulses are being grown for different agro-conditions. The public does not realise the many different types of chickpeas: each suited for a different climate.

Laura Chapman is the founder of H.Alt, hemp-based milk for baristas. She moved away from dairy milk and saw the environmental benefits of moving to hemp milk.

Laura shared how the sourcing of hemp is not guaranteed in Australia. The suppliers first go to the Australian sources before looking at imported options.

PWP - One argument used by the meat bodies is that Australia imports the majority of plant-based proteins. The growth of companies like APP debunks this argument. Also, Australia is known around the world for the quality of the crops. Instead of exporting the crops to create plant-based proteins, we have a huge opportunity to increase the value in the supply chains by investing in R&D to better extract the plant proteins locally.
Other areas like algae protein are again pioneering areas of research.