Collagen Protein: The Ideal Ingredient for Innovative Food Product Design

Native collagen is a high-quality, pure protein derived mainly from bovine and porcine hide and bone, but also from poultry. Native materials are subject to stringent quality control, and suppliers are carefully audited to assure the highest quality family of collagen ingredients—including collagen, gelatin and collagen peptides.

The key physical properties of collagen are gel strength/bloom, viscosity, particle size, isoelectric point, melting properties, heat stability and dissolution. It is important to choose the right collagen ingredient for the desired purpose. Measurement and specification of these properties is key.

“Gelatin, a collagen-derived ingredient, is often used for both its health and nutritional benefits and its functional properties,” explained Jeremey Kaufmann, director of sales, Edible Gelatine, Gelita, in his presentation titled “Collagen Protein: The Ideal Ingredient for Innovative Food Product Design.” The functional properties of gelatin include its uses as a gelling and aerating agent, emulsifier, stabilizer, protective colloid, water binder and adhesive agent.

As a gelling agent, gelatin gives a one-of-a-kind mouthfeel with a smooth texture. It is capable of thermos-reversible gels, provides clarity and promotes flavor release, making it excellent for use in confectionery, desserts and other culinary creations. Collagen protein-enriched gummies resulted in increased protein content; reduced calories and carbohydrates; and a familiar texture and mouthfeel.

Gelatin also has superior whipping properties and an elastic texture; promotes foam stability; and is perfect for marshmallows and mousses. In whipped cream cheese, replacing fat with gelatin increased air volume, resulting in a significant calorie reduction, fat reduction and a creamy texture.

The emulsifying properties of gelatin help stabilize water and oil systems in dairy spreads, cheese products and creams. In reduced-fat spreads, fat and calories are replaced with air and water and still maintain a creamy, smooth texture. Gelatin also helps stabilize products from water separation, leaving the smooth texture, comparable with other hydrocolloids. It mimics fat well in yogurts, sour cream and salad dressings, with excellent flavor and mouthfeel. As a binder and adhesive agent, gelatin is a low-calorie, low-fat ingredient with excellent flavor and texture for desserts—and also for meats.

Kaufmann added that gelatin protects products by controlling crystallization, providing heat-shock resistance; as well as maintaining texture in ice creams and frozen products. Gelatin does interact with some other ingredients, notably in combinations with starch, where a unique texture and improved heat stability is found. With pectin and carrageenan, gelatin adds a softer, shorter texture. Gelatin with gum Arabic is useful in pastilles and in encapsulation. It also strengthens glucose syrup at low concentrations, with varying results, depending on the syrup used.

Collagen peptides are further processed from gelatin with an enzymatic process resulting in a cold water-soluble ingredient with a smaller molecular weight. Kaufmann ended by saying that “a fine powder, collagen peptides have excellent solubility, even in high concentrations, with applications in protein fortification, viscosity and binding, [and they are] ideal for beverages.”

Collagen Protein: The Ideal Ingredient for Innovative Food Product Design,” Jeremey Kaufmann, director of sales, Edible Gelatine, Gelita, 712-943-1619,
—Summary by Elizabeth Pelofske, Contributing Editor


Maximizing Quality Protein Using Complementary Plant Proteins

Consumers are interested in foods containing whole grains, fiber, protein and calcium, according to surveys done by the International Food Information Council from 2012-2014. Lower allergenicity, no GMOs and clean labels, which can mean anything from natural to local to organic or even fresh, are also of interest.

“And consumers also have a concern for the environment,” discussed Margaret Hughes, sales and marketing, Best Cooking Pulses Inc., in her PF presentation titled “Maximizing Quality Protein Using Complementary Plant Proteins.”

“Because there are more emissions of greenhouse gases from animal proteins, a number of consumers are turning to plant-based proteins in their diets,” Hughes continued. Consumer protein needs can be met with vegetable-based proteins when combining cereal and pulse flours to increase plant protein quality.

In fact, as far back as the March 1918, according to a USDA Farmers Bulletin, Use of Wheat Flour Substitutes in Baking, Americans did not rely on wheat alone for bread-making, but were told that abundant crops of corn, rice, potatoes, oats, barley, buckwheat, kafir, milo, feterita, peas, beans and peanuts could be used in larger or smaller quantities in place of wheat flour for bread. The bulletin advised that these breads would have more nutritive value than if made from wheat flour alone.

Consumption of grain is showing increasing evidence in disease risk-reduction, and protein claims are being used for positioning combinations of grains for higher quality protein.

Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) is the official method for determining protein quality in the US. A value of 1 or less is calculated and indicates to what extent the protein in a food is digested, absorbed and made available.

“Essentially, it is a multiplier,” stated Hughes, “the closer to 1, the better the quality of protein.” The PDCAAS is determined by multiplying the Limiting Amino Acid (LAA) by the True Protein Digestibility. (LAA)(TPD) = PDCAAS.

The LAA score identifies the greatest essential amino acid deficiency in a product compared to a reference indispensable amino acid pattern.

By combining pulses and cereals, the essential amino acid content of the protein is improved, increasing the PDCAAS. For example, a traditional formula for 100% durum semolina pasta can be reformulated with 25% lentil flour and 75% durum, with a 13-25% lower on-farm carbon footprint, according to unpublished results from the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and the USDA ARS in 2010.

“The reformulated pasta also has a 100% increase in fiber, a 25% increase in protein and now qualifies for a ‘good source’ of protein,” according to Hughes. Adding pulse flours to wheat increases the PDCAAS from near 0.40 to between 0.7-0.8, closer to the highest quality of 1.

Protein labeling regulations in the US require protein to be rounded to the nearest 1 gram, and the % Daily Value (DV) is based on the amount of high-quality protein, using PDCAAS. A “good source” of protein claim requires at least 10% of the DV of high-quality protein to be present per serving of food. “Excellent Source” claims are allowed for protein at a minimum of 20% DV per serving.

Maximizing Quality Protein Using Complementary Plant Proteins,” Margaret Hughes, sales & marketing, Best Cooking Pulses Inc., 204-297-6146 (cell),
—Summary by Elizabeth Pelofske, Contributing Editor

Originally appeared in the November, 2016 issue of Prepared Foods as Protein Power.