The Great Protein Quality Opportunity

When I first started selling soy protein in 1996, I had to learn what protein quality was.  In the old days we used PER – a measure of the effectiveness for protein to maintain health in rats.  I am sure mothers around the world would have been comforted in knowing that the nutrition of their infant formula was based on what a baby rat needs – not a baby human.  In the 80’s & 90’s a new protein quality measure was emerging, this one called PDCAAS – it measures the amino acids needed by humans and is based on the needs of preschool aged children.  It remains the standard measure for protein quality today.

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, protein is the building block of the human body, there is a minimum amount of specific, what we call “essential,” amino acids required for our bodies to function and remain healthy.

PDCAAS measures the essential amino acids present in protein sources to indicate protein quality.  Egg is a perfect protein.  Milk based products like whey protein and casein are perfect proteins.

Soy is a perfect protein.

Please remember, proteins are groups of amino acids and most foods contain protein.  It’s just that not all proteins have all the essential amino acids.

Below are some common PDCASS values:

Whey Protein                                   1.00

Whole Egg                                        1.00

Casein                                                1.00

Soy Protein                                       1.00

Beef Protein                                     0.92

Pea Protein                                       0.88

Potato                                                0.74

SPI Group enjoys food safety music

Yes, we really listened to food safety music!  Every year we support the Northern California IFT section’s joint event with the UC Davis Food Science Department.   We love sponsoring food science students and having the opportunity to talk with them over dinner.

This year’s event was one of the most entertaining IFT events we have ever been to!   Instead of a speaker, we were thrilled to listen to Food Safety Music, performed by Dr. Carl Winter’s hilarious and educational food safety music parodies.

We loved hearing “You gotta wash your hands” (Sung to the tune of the Beatles “I wanna hold your hand”), but I think the favorite was “We are the microbes” (we are the champions).

The whole evening was perfect and the songs appealed to students, professors and industry members alike!

SPI Group visits NASA food labs

At SPI Group, we are strong supporters of local IFT events – and we may have just been to our favorite events with the Alamo IFT section! We loved going to Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX to hear Dr. Shannon Walker discuss her experience with long duration space flight.

Dr. Walker described how she trained at the Cosmonaut training center in Russia, using training suits that weigh a couple of hundred pounds! They do their training in large pools where they will spend 6 hours underwater. After 3 years of training, Dr. Walker went to the International Space Station where she spent 6 months living and working.  She said that one thing that she loved was seeing 16 sunrises and 16 sunsets every day, since the International Space Station orbits the earth once every 90 minutes. She showed us her many photos taken from space including hurricanes and spectacular shots of Northern and Southern lights.

Since we are food scientists, we of course asked her about the food! She told us that there are approximately 200 different foods and beverages in the International Space Station pantry. The foods are mostly soft and have to stick together – the main issue is that the food can not have any crumbs at all since the crumbs could get in to the space station filter system.  She told us that they have to add salt and pepper in a liquid form, from a dropper bottle!

 

We were fortunate enough to tour both the Space Food Research Center at Texas A&M university, where they make retorted pouches, as well as the food lab at Johnson Space Center. Contact us for more details and photos of space food!

Psyllium fiber: digestive and heart health, functional ingredient

Psyllium is a soluble fiber made from the seed husks of the Plantago ovata plant. It’s considered a soluble fiber and helps move food through the digestive system so that your body can break it down and convert it into essential nutrients. Without enough fiber in a person’s diet to help move food though the gut will adversely affect gut bacteria, making it harder to metabolize and absorb the nutrients.

The fibers purely mechanical function is absorbing water. It does this in a person’s large intestines when used as a laxative and is the bulk forming fiber in laxative products like Metamucil.  60% of psyllium is used for applications dealing with digestive health.

Psyllium not only alleviates many digestive conditions but also aids in supporting lower cholesterol by decreasing lipid levels and lowering blood sugar levels. Psyllium promotes a healthy heart by lowering blood pressure and strengthening heart muscles. When the fiber forms a gel, it slows down the uptake of fats and sugars from the food, causing blood sugar and cholesterol to rise more slowly after a meal.

One study shows that at least 6 weeks of daily psyllium intake is an effective way for people who are obese or overweight to control their cholesterol and blood sugar levels with very few side effects.

In the food industry psyllium fiber is used as a thickener in ice cream and frozen desserts. A 1.5% volume by weight ratio of psyllium mucilage exhibits binding properties that are superior to a 10% volume by weight ratio of starch mucilage.

The viscosity of psyllium mucilage dispersions is relatively unaffected between temperatures of 68 and 122 degrees Fahrenheit, by pH between 2 and 10 and by salt concentrations of up to .15 ppm.

These functional properties of Psyllium make it an excellent source of natural dietary fiber and may lead to and increased use the food industry. If you have any questions about psyllium or any dietary fibers please contact your SPI Group sales rep for more information on psyllium and the other fibers SPI Group distributes.

The Great Protein Opportunity

The first Earth Day was April 22, 1970.  It was organized in response to population growth with an eye toward the impact every human makes on the Earth.  Denis Hayes, the chief organizer of the first Earth Day said at that time, “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.”

The FAO and the UN predict global population to reach 9 Billion by 2050, this means we will need to to increase food production by 70%.  Demand for protein (an essential nutrient for growth and health) is expected to rise between 50 and 90% assuming developing countries continue to consume low end quantities of 25 grams of protein per day per person and developed countries consume 50 grams of protein per person per day.

In the USA, 50% of consumers have a goal consumption of protein per day.  87% know that protein builds muscle, 72% know it can help you feel full, and 63% know it is an essential part of weight loss programs.

These statistics prove that whether you’re feeding hungry populations or educated segments, the demand for protein will continue to grow, straining our resources and causing prices to rise and supply to tighten.  This blog is the first in a series titled, Creating Protein Strategy.  Each month we will discuss different considerations in your creation of a protein strategy, and we will highlight how soy protein is a key element in many ways.  But this is not just about soy.  It’s about diversification, flexibility, nutrition, flavor, safety and environmental impact.  Reduce your reliance on one protein and hedge your strategy to create a strong protein platform for your company’s future and the future of our planet.

My Food Job Rocks! Podcast featuring Russ Nishikawa

SPI Group is honored to have podcaster/food scientist Adam Yee feature Russ Nishikawa, VP of Business Development, on his podcast My Food Job Rocks!

The My Food Job Rocks! Podcast was developed to inform people about cool jobs in the food industry. Every week, Adam interviews people from all walks of life from jobs ranging from Product Developers, Sales Managers, Food Writers, and CEOs.

In this episode, Russ talks about his food science journey, and explains his involvement in the growth of SPI Group for 25 years. He is involved in new ingredient business development with key customers and targeted market segments, working with new ingredient from new and existing suppliers and determining how applicable the product benefits are to each end product and customer, and maintaining a very technical approach to understanding the value of each ingredient to our customer’s needs

Check out Adam’s podcast featuring Russ Nishikawa here.

Shelf Life Naturally: Ingredients for Processed Deli Meats

Most meat processors are dealing with cleaning up their labels while battling with pathogen and spoilage control in their RTE deli products. Because of the need for additional hurdles to protect against pathogens, proven antimicrobials like lactates and diacetates are used in combination with high pressure pasteurization. (HPP). These hurdles have their side effects. High levels of lactates and diacetates can produce an off-flavors and HPP is very costly.

Microbial fermentations have been used for centuries in the preservation of foods with beneficial organisms. Cheese(milk),salami(meat) and sauerkraut(cabbage) are example of microorganisms helping to preserve these foods by acidification,competitive exclusion of unwanted organisms, or the production of metabolites which are detrimental to growth of pathogenic  and spoilage organisms. By using the technologies resulting from the development of friendly organisms for foods, manufacturers like Dupont were able to make and to gently collect and concentrate the valuable metabolites,peptides and organic acids needed to preserve products at very low and affordable usage levels.  The primary family of products based on cultured dextrose from Dupont is called MicroGARD and are widely used in many culinary and bakery applications like soups and sauces and refrigerated entrees.

However the greater challenge in RTE cooked meats was the need for both pathogen control(primarily Listeria montogenes (Lm) control) and protection in shelf life against a myriad of spoilage organisms. In order to meet this challenge, the Dupont Food Protection scientists came up with a unique solution combining several technologies. First, they designed a fermentate which was broad spectrum in its spoilage organism protection with a special emphasis against lactic acid formers like Leuconostoc. Secondly, they assured an additional hurdle of  Lm protection with the addition of a buffered vinegar powder. Challenge studies and commercial use of this combined product named BioVia CL600 have shown it to be highly effective when used at 0.75 to 1.5% without flavor or textural problems.

For specific information about BioVia CL600 or other Dupont Food Protection ingredients, contact SPI Group and we will address your specific need.

 

What Is Saccharomyces boulardii?

Saccharomyces boulardii from Ohly is a yeast based probiotic that balances the naturally occurring bacteria located in the intestines. It strengthens the intestinal immune system and restores normal bowel functions.

Saccharomyces boulardii both treats and prevents diarrhea. In cases of viral or bacterial types of acute diarrhea Saccharomyces boulardii acts to effectively treat the condition along with oral rehydration solutions.

During antibiotic therapy Saccharomyces boulardii also prevents diarrhea. Saccharomyces boulardii is the only probiotic with natural resistance to most antibiotics.

S.boulardii is one of the most studied probiotics available. It is a non-pathogenic yeast that maintains distinct taxonomic and physiological difference from Saccharomyces cerevisiae or brewer’s yeast.

Where Did Saccharomyces boulardii Come From?

Henri Boulard, a French microbiologist isolated a microorganism from the skins of lychee fruit in Indochina 1923. It was identified as a yeast and classified under the genus Saccharomyces and species Saccharomyces boulardii because of its physiological characteristics.

Key Benefits of Saccharomyces boulardii

Helps treat all kinds of diarrhea including antibiotic associated diarrhea

  • Helps treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Supports gut function against allergies, Crohn’s disease and Salmonella
  • Reduces bloating and gas
  • Lactose Free
  • Gluten Free
  • Suitable for vegetarian and vegan
  • Helps improve digestion

How is Saccharomyces boulardii produced?

Saccharomyces boulardii production is based on the following manufacturing processes:

  • Yeast fermentation
  • Separation of yeast from spent nutrients

Fluid bed drying process that removes extra and intracellular water from the yeast. The drying process allows for storage at room temperature and guarantees an optimal level of living cells when yeasts are rehydrated.

Saccharomyces boulardii from Ohly is manufactured to exacting and certified pharmaceutical standards. Manufacturing standards meet GMP requirements. It is freeze dried and strain verified through genetic typing to ensure maximum efficacy.

Applications for S. Boulardii include dietary supplements  (formulated in capsules or sachets), branded pharmaceuticals, pediatric health and animal feed/pet food. Contact us for more information!

6th annual Puget Sound IFT Brew Night on October 18th

Strike up another successful night of brewing and BBQ for the Puget Sound IFT group. That’s held each year at Gallagher’s Where-U-Brew in Edmond’s Washington.

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The brewing event was sponsored by 8 Ingredient companies and included an award winning BBQ ribs and pulled pork meal, with all the sides and various hot sauces you’d hope for!

The event host was Jeff Clawson from OSU who is their Fermentation Science Plant Manager. Jeff talked about the 6 different beers we were going to brew that evening, as well as the red and white wines we were fermenting. He brought along several exotic varieties of hops from New Zealand that he wanted to test in 3 of the beers we were brewing that evening. To see what a difference they would make in three different styles of beers.

We broke up into teams of 5 and chose from 6 different beers to brew in 6 kettles. The beers ranged from a light pilsner to a dark Bavarian Ale. The ingredients were water, various malts, several different types of yeasts and different hops for different type of beers as well as grains in very small amounts.

Brewing is a mix of science and art, where minor differences in procedure or ingredients can make widely differing beers. Sanitation is most important and maintain as sterile conditions as possible must be applied in all brewing and fermentation procedures. Time and temperatures are also critical in making a consistent beer when adding ingredients to the wort and cooking them together.

I think the most interesting thing I learned was at the wine making station when we added oak chips to water and ground them up in a blender. Then added the chip emulsion to the red and white wines, to add that aged oaky flavor to the wines while they fermented.

Bottling of the beer is on November the 9th the day after the election. They are looking for another excellent turnout to bottle and drink beer that night for sure.

All participants will leave with a mixed case of beer and a great attitude.

Feed the Minds: Run for Food Science

SPI Group is proud to support Bruce Ferree in his run for Food Science Scholarships! 

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Bruce is raising money for Feeding Tomorrow by committing to complete a 250 kilometer run across the Atacama Desert in northern Chile called the Atacama Crossing.  We are happy to that our supplier partner Saltwell is joining us in the sponsorship.

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SPI Group has been actively involved in Bruce’s efforts, please contact us to learn more about it!