Applied Food Sciences debuted its organic and non-GMO 30% protein extract made from green coffee beans at SupplySide West earlier this month. The Texas-based company said in a release that because its CoffeeProtein product is caffeine-free and a whole-food protein, it provides phytonutrients such as antioxidants and fiber.
The company said the product has other attributes popular with consumers, most notably that it contains plant-based protein. The molecule is showing up in a variety of products such as snacks, juices and bars, the company noted, with growth unlikely to abate.
Plant-based proteins don't contain many common allergens such as milk, which is in whey-sourced protein, the company added. They also work well with vegan, paleo and keto diets. Applied Food Sciences said it sources the coffee beans with a focus on environmental stewardship, economic accountability and social responsibility.
Applied Food Sciences doesn't explain its process for extracting protein from green coffee beans, but its website goes into some detail about how it handles raw materials from delivery to manufacturing. The company said it controls the entire process and follows traceability procedures during each stage.
The green coffee beans haven't been roasted so their nutrients and chemical structure are different. A serving of green coffee has about one-fifth the caffeine of a serving of ground coffee — 20 milligrams compared to about 100 milligrams. As a result, finding a way to remove it entirely from the green coffee beans might not be too difficult.
It's not clear whether the CoffeeProtein ingredient actually tastes like coffee. Applied Food Sciences touts its "excellent sensory profile and immediate consumer familiarity," so it may be counting on consumers who enjoy coffee to take to the new protein product. For those consumers who believe coffee is beneficial to their health, it's possible its association with the popular beverage could be another reason to try this extract.
Manufacturers looking to add plant-based protein to their products could be intrigued by a green coffee-based ingredient that is organic, non-GMO and has a positive nutritional profile. There may be applications in protein-fortified coffee products such as beverages, snacks and smoothies, or in items where food makers want to avoid whey in order to appeal to vegans or those with dairy allergies. It may not work with certain types of juices depending on the flavor variety.
Protein is in high demand, with plant-based options among the most popular. Research and Markets has projected the global protein market could reach $48.77 billion by 2025. Protein sources include peas, whey, soy, rice, mung bean and potato.
Applied Food Sciences isn't putting all of its research and development efforts into green coffee beans. It is working with other plant-based protein sources, including products sourced from Andean lupin and tomato seeds. The company also is exploring another major trendy area in full-extract hemp extract.