What is Chickpea Milk? Here’s Everything You Need to Know
Choosing the right vegan creamer or plant-based milk to add to your morning coffee is not an easy task. One defining factor truly distinguishes whether or not a product is worth the morning cappuccino: The froth. While many plant-based milks struggle to replicate the frothiness of conventional milk, the Israeli company ChickP claims it has solved this issue once and for all. ChickP specializes in chickpea protein and recently develop chickpea milk that claims to froth exactly like dairy creamers.
ChickP currently owns a patent for a chickpea protein isolate – containing a 90-percent protein content – that can be used to replicate several types of animal products. Founded in 2016 by Ram Reifen, MD, the food tech company has worked to adapt the isolate into different high-demand food products. Now, ChickP's chickpea barista milk will allow coffee-lovers to enjoy their favorite specialty espresso drinks without consuming any dairy.
“Plant-based barista drinks set new challenges,” ChickP CEO Liat Lachish Levy said in a statement. “Consumers want a holistic, better-for-you, yet full flavor experience. Our technologists took full advantage of our new state-of-the-art application lab to overcome organoleptic and technical challenges in creating creamy, dairy-free ‘milk’ for the perfect cappuccino.”
ChickP will showcase the prototype of its frothy vegan barista milk at the first IFT (Food Improved by Research, Science, and Technology) Expo in Chicago this weekend. The company intends to apply the chickpea isolate to other vegan products such as protein powders and sports nutrition bars. The isolate acts as a fully operable replacement for animal-based whey.
“We currently are developing over twenty plant-based applications with leading food and beverage companies with our pure ChickP protein,” Lachish Levy said. “Our customers turned to us to solve major challenges of plant-based products and we were able to provide comprehensive solutions in terms of flavor, complete nutrition profile, and functionality. Together with our customers and partners, we are unlocking the potential of our ChickP protein to offer the best solutions across multiple applications. Our customers confirm that ChickP isolate offers the best dairy-like solution on the market today.”
Is Chickpea Milk a Better Milk Alternative?
Using chickpeas in the kitchen is nothing out of the ordinary. Typically used in curries or to make homemade hummus, the protein-filled legume is a pantry staple for millions of consumers. But more recently, the frothiness or creaminess of chickpeas has been utilized in new, inventive recipes. Before the invention of chickpea milk, aquafaba – the brine from chickpeas – helped home cooks develop an egg white substitute.
ChickP took note of the creaminess of aquafaba and decided to take it a step further. Now, the innovative company is applying to highlight the rich texture of chickpeas in its new plant-based milk alternative. The company emphasized that consumers want a protein-rich, tasty, and frothy creamier and the company intends to cater to those demands.
Besides functionality, chickpea milk is also extremely nutritious. The protein isolate allows the chickpea milk to provide a whole protein with all nine amino acids. This new plant-based milk is hormone-, GMO-, lactose-, allergen-, and gluten-free, making it one of the most friendly milk substitutes on the market. ChickP’s new product also looks exactly like traditional milk with a familiar white color.
“Consumers are looking for plant-based milk, but they also demand great taste and texture. Our chickpea S930 and G910 isolate are the most refined form of protein with the advantage of matching color, flavor, and functional properties to food and beverage applications,” Application Manager of ChickP Maor Dahan said in a statement. “This protein has great solubility, exhibiting excellent water dispersion properties across a wide range of pH. It has a low viscosity and an optimized flavor.”
Unconventional Plant-Based Milks
Dairy-free milk is primarily dominated by the four most popular alternatives: soy, almond, coconut, and oat. Despite these alternatives’ widespread popularity, several other food brands such as ChickP have developed innovative plant-based milks that rival these popular dairy-free milks in taste, texture, and froth-ability.
Last October, Lifestock released a vegan milk brand called THIS PKN that delivers the market’s first pecan-based milk. Designed to taste just like cow’s milk, the pecan milk was originally developed to help preserve limited freshwater ecosystems threatened by some nut-milk production. Another company Ripple launched a pea-based milk using its proprietary protein blend called Rippetin. Both milk also rivals the protein content of traditional cow’s milk.
Another vegan milk brand DUG sources its dairy-free milk from an unlikely candidate –potatoes. The Swedish brand claims that its product features a comprehensive nutritional profile, complete with B12 vitamins. Similar to ChickP, the company markets its product to espresso lovers. Though primarily fueled by the major dairy-free dairy categories, the alternative dairy market is expected to reach $52.58 billion by 2028 with the help of unconventional substitutes such as peas, potatoes, and now, chickpeas.
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