The humble pea - why we chose pea as our key ingredient
The humble pea - who would have thought it would become such a key source of protein in many plant-based foods. In this article we are going to explore what makes the humble pea such a power-house in the nutrition world and why we have chosen it as our key protein source in our products.
Peas are in fact part of the legume family, and are one of the few non-bean legumes. Peas are available as the ripe green vegetable, familiar to so many of us, and also as dry green or yellow peas, which are used similarly to lentils.
Thanks to its nutrient composition, this humble vegetable has long-been widely used as a staple in the human diet, but more recently it has gained in popularity in the protein world. The health benefits of peas are mainly derived from their concentration of protein, starch, fibre, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Fibre from the seed coat contributes to gastrointestinal function and health; eating plenty of fibre has been shown to be associated with a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer. The vitamin and mineral content of peas may also play an important role in the prevention of deficiency-related diseases, for example those related to folate deficiency. Phytochemicals found in peas may also exert a range of highly beneficial properties, such a polyphenolics which may have antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic activity, as well as saponins which may exhibit hypocholesterolemic and anti-carcinogenic activity.
The not-so humble pea is also a rich source of protein, and this is what we isolate for use in our products. The pea protein we use is derived from sustainably sourced European golden peas (Pisum Sativum). With a well-balanced nutritional profile containing around 23% protein, it is the perfect base for a concentrated protein ingredient.
Our peas are sourced from a sixth-generation family owned company, regarded as the world leader in pea-protein isolation. Protein from our golden peas is isolated in a patented, all-natural, water-based process that ensures the protein is not denatured during extraction and manufacture. This results in one of the highest quality pea proteins available on the market today. Pea proteins typically have a protein content of 80-85%, however our pea protein contains around 88-90% protein.
Let’s look at some of the main benefits of pea protein, and why the humble pea is our protein source of choice.
Sustainable crop and a low carbon footprint
Pea, as a plant-source of protein has benefits not only for our health but also for the environment. Agriculture is one of the major contributors to the emission of greenhouse gases, associated with climate change. Production of animal sources of protein have higher greenhouse gas emissions than production of plants as protein sources. Compared to animal sources of protein, vegetable sources of protein, such as peas, use less water and require less than 20% of the land required to produce the same amount of protein for whey or beef.
Contains all 9 essential amino acids
Proteins are made of amino acids. There are nine essential amino acids that must be obtained from our diets that our bodies cannot synthesise. The difference between animal and plant protein is that animal protein is known as complete - it contains all nine essential amino acids. Plant protein is generally incomplete, typically lacking one or two essential amino acids.
However, our pea protein is a complete protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids, providing all of the key building blocks required for optimal body function, growth and maintenance of muscles and bones.
Vegan and low-carb compatible
Pea protein is made of 100% vegetable, and is therefore an ideal complete protein source for those following a vegan diet. It is also suitable for those following a low-carbohydrate diet, as all lectins and phytic acid which are naturally found in legumes are removed through our patented isolation process.
Pure pea protein is allergen friendly. In fact, our protein is one of the few “clean label” vegetable proteins and is free from any GMOs (in the finished product as well as at any stage of manufacture), gluten, crustaceans, molluscs, eggs, fish, peanuts, soya, milk, nuts, celery, mustard, sesame seeds, lupin, sulphur dioxide and sulphites. No GMO technology and is also Kosher and Halal certified. This makes our pea protein ideal for anyone with allergies, intolerances or sensitivities to any of these ingredients.
Easy to digest and absorb
Pea protein is highly digestible. Our high quality pea protein has a digestibility rating of 98%, meaning it is gentle on your digestive tract and is absorbed easily, with no bloating.
No gut permeability
Through our protein isolation process we are able to remove and components of the peas such as lectins and phytic acid. These can interfere with digestion and cause gut permeability.
Maintaining pH balance of the body is important for health. Our pea protein isolate is alkaline, with a pH of 7.8, and is one of the few alkaline proteins available.
The mighty pea is an all-round powerhouse of nutritional and health benefits. We use the European golden pea specifically as our pea protein source in our products. The multitude of benefits of pea protein are the reason we have chosen it as our key protein source in our products.p>References
- Dahl WJ, et al. Review of the health benefits of peas (Pisum sativum L.). Dahl, W. J., Foster, L. M., & Tyler, R. T. (2012). Review of the health benefits of peas (Pisum sativum L.). British Journal of Nutrition, 108(S1), S3–S10.