The UK’s first factory to convert potatoes into functional plant-based protein for vegetarian and vegan foods is being made possible following the development of a new extraction process by B-hive Innovations in collaboration with potato suppliers Branston.
Plant-based protein from potato
Lincoln-based B-hive Innovations develops new technologies for the fresh produce industry. Its new extraction process offers the potential to use potatoes in new ways. In addition to the plant-based protein the process also generates a starch co-product that has a range of applications.
Alison Wright, R&D project manager at B-hive Innovations, said: “The process enables gentle extraction of food-grade functional protein that is free from allergens. Market research revealed there was a growing demand for UK-grown, clean-label, 100% plant-based ingredients, highlighting a commercial need that fitted perfectly with Branston’s drive to utilise all harvested crop.”
The technology is part of a collaborative project with potato suppliers Branston. Construction of the new £6m protein facility has started at the Branston headquarters in Lincolnshire.
Branston supports new technologies
Branston is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of potatoes for retail and wholesale and provides seed for potato growers. Working closely with its producer groups across its three sites at Lincoln, Scotland and the South West, Branston is supporting the development and adoption of new technologies.
This includes HarvestEye, a unique system that provides insights on root crops during harvest, that was highly commended in industry awards.
HarvestEye accurately measures potato size, count and crop variation, giving instant insight on marketable yield, ensuring producers get the best price for their harvest.