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Protein: What's all the fuss?

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Protein: What's all the fuss?

So what is this new phenomenon all about? Why is everybody so suddenly interested in innovating new products and consuming protein rich products?

It is a known fact that protein helps to rebuild muscle tissue, which is the main reason for the tight relationship between males working out and protein. But it seems it’s not only the male fitness buffs that are interested in the food group.

More and more protein rich products are being launched by food and drink manufacturers including a lot of the key players.  For example, Coca Cola has developed a protein-enhanced milk and Weetabix recently launched a version of their cereal, which is high in protein. But are they aiming at the right audience?

In some circumstances, extra protein is required in foods, for example, in developing countries where consumers are often under the recommended daily amount of protein intake. Whilst research company, Euromonitor, claims that manufacturers are missing a billion Euro trick by not aiming products at the aging population, “where the nutritional need is strong and the disposable incomes are relatively high”.  The opportunities for manufacturers seem endless.  However, large companies seem to persist in creating new mainstream protein rich products for those who already exceed their daily protein intake allowance.

And how does this higher level of protein affect our health? According to the Food and Nutrition Board, adults should consume 0.8 grams of protein for every kg of body weight so that’s on average 56 grams for men and 46 for women. Medical Daily also reported that protein overload can flood the kidneys and cause digestive issues, along with many other health complaints.

But if the consumer is determined to eat this amount of protein, then is there a better type of protein rich food to consume?  Dieticians normally would recommend non-animal sources of protein such as quinoa, lentils, Greek yoghurt and chickpeas.

Wixon, a company providing seasoning and flavour solutions, expressed that “the protein industry is so far behind in flavour trends”. Manufacturers need to be constantly aware that consumers are becoming more and more adventurous in terms of flavour. The main trends of 2015 seem to be hot and spicy and ethnic foods - if these were to be more widely adopted into protein rich foods, surely it would open a lot more doors for the food and drink manufacturers.

It seems this trend is continuing to grow so lets keep an eye on manufacturers’ actions to see what their next move will be and if they will be taking the industry’s advice or not.

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