Pea protein power
Pea protein is one of the trendiest protein powders around this year. As the name says, it is the protein extracted from peas. An explosion of plant-based food has seen predictions for huge growth in the next ten years and the target is not the traditional vegetarians but everyone.
AGT Foods began developing and producing pea protein and introduced it to the South African market as far back as 2013. “Pea protein is one of the best plant-based forms of protein that you can eat. It is versatile, functional and 100% natural,” explains George Tomazos, AGT Foods Retail and Food Ingredients, South Africa.
AGT Foods produces pea protein for inclusion in a variety of foods, such as cereals, breads, protein powders and bars. It is non-genetically modified (GMO free) and a hormone free alternative to soya in the baking and food manufacturing industries.
“Because it is not derived from any of the eight most common allergenic foods often used to create protein supplements (milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, fish, shellfish and wheat), pea protein is a safe option for people with various dietary restrictions,” says Tomazos.
“Pea protein is a complete protein, which means it contains all nine of the essential amino acids—including branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) that you need to effectively build muscle. It digests slowly and there is evidence that slower-digesting proteins are better for muscle growth over the long term due to how your body’s muscle-building machinery processes amino acids into muscle tissue,” he adds.
Pea protein can be included in daily diets by mixing it into smoothies, muffins, oatmeal and even pancakes and is gaining popularity with consumers as it is easy on the stomach, unlike many other protein powders. While the traditional market was the nutritional sector for sports, ingredient manufacturers are producing a variety of pea protein products to meet consumer demand for healthier food options.
Here is a delicious strawberry pea protein smoothie:
1 cup strawberries
1 cup milk of your choice
2 tablespoons pea protein powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients and blend until the smoothie is nice and thick.