The Truth About Plant Protein – Part 2

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February 26, 20243

Last month, we talked about plant protein covering the different types, how it is processed, the health benefits, and how it tastes. If you missed it, click here to read The Truth About Plant Protein – Part 1. This month, Part 2, focuses on the taste, texture, and mouthfeel of plant protein.

Plant protein is typically sold in powder form and mixed with water or milk to make a shake. Texture and temperature are the easiest ways to improve the taste. First, you need to start with the right tools. Because plant protein powders can be gritty, and some do not dissolve as well, you need to blend it very well. A drink bottle or shaker will not cut it. Try mixing your protein powder using a blender, a stick blender, or a food processor. This will make your beverage smooth without the gritty mouthfeel. The colder the temperature of the protein beverage, the more palatable it may be and the more aromatic compounds are less noticeable. The smell of the beverage will be a little more pleasing, which improves the overall tasting experience.

Another way to improve the taste is to sweeten it with artificial sweeteners. Many manufacturers of protein powders do this to improve the taste. They contain few, if any, calories. However, they can provide an overpowering or intense sweetness which leaves an unpleasant aftertaste. You might want to try your own natural sweetener, such as honey, agave, or maple syrup to improve the taste in your protein beverage.

The traditional way to have protein powder is to mix it with water. You can also try milk or fruit juice to give it a little more taste and flavor. There are several ways to consume protein powder other than a shake or beverage. You can add it to yogurt, baked goods, oatmeal, smoothies, soups, and sauces.

If you are a manufacturer of plant-based protein powders, we should talk. At LifeWise, we offer several products that smooth out the flavor profile, mask cardboard notes, enhance a fatty mouthfeel, reduce sugar, and more. Check out the many ways you can apply our flavor modifiers in your products by clicking here. Make sure to request a sample of any of the products you would like to try.

High-protein meals give you energy to change the world. – Protein Chefs


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January 30, 20241

Protein is essential to life and nourishes many of the body’s systems. A protein-rich diet holds benefits for weight management, appetite, and blood sugar control. More than ever, consumers are looking to add more protein to their daily diet. However, they are not necessarily looking to add more meat and poultry for many reasons, but rather they are looking to add more plant-based foods. Soy was the frontrunner of plant proteins for many years. We now have many more plant protein options available to us, such as: nuts and seeds, nut butters, peas, beans, broccoli, chickpeas, greens, lentils, quinoa, and more. Not only do we have many more options, but it is also much more accessible in all grocery stores rather than having to visit a health food store. So, what is the magic ingredient in plants? Plants contain fiber, and most contain both soluble and insoluble fiber in varying amounts. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and includes plant pectin and gums. Whereas insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water and includes plant cellulose and hemicellulose.

Both types of fiber are important for a healthy diet. According to Healthline, the right amount of fiber can help with many of the following health issues:

    • Control body weight
    • Supports gut health
    • Control and possibly prevent hypertension
    • Help balance cholesterol levels in the blood
    • Regulate bowel movements and prevent hemorrhoids
    • Regulate blood sugar
    • Regulate your body’s satiation signals, which let you know when you’re full
    • Lower risk of colon and breast cancers
    • Lower risk of diabetes
    • Require more chewing, which slows down your meals and aids digestion

This is all great news for our health, but how is the taste? The more insoluble fiber a plant contains, the more that it will taste like dirt. Today, most protein powders are made with protein concentrates and isolates, which is food stripped of everything but protein. Without fats and carbs, these isolates can have an unpleasant chalky aftertaste. Processing can alter the structure of the protein which causes a chalky mouthfeel. Most protein powders are sweetened with artificial sweeteners or stevia which are way sweeter than sugar. A little goes a long way. Some protein powders also have a bitter aftertaste because artificial sweeteners and stevia activate our bitter taste receptions in addition to the sweet taste receptors. Dirt, chalky, gritty, and bitter? Yuck! While it might be healthy, it sure doesn’t sound very appetizing… Check back next month and we will share how you can avoid some of the taste pitfalls, and improve the taste, texture, and mouthfeel.


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February 26, 20230

Although there is no definitive answer as to who actually invented the snack bar in the US, it is clear that it started with some healthy granola in a kitchen that ended up in bar form. They became popular in the 1980’s by athletes and fitness enthusiasts. They typically contained cereal grains, nuts, protein powders, sweeteners, fats or dried fruits. It was deemed a healthy and convenient, on-the-go snack that provided quick energy on demand. You would typically find them in the health food section of the grocery store.

Today, you can find snack bars in several grocery store aisles, like cereal, snacks, health food, and even in the candy aisle. You can also find them in gas stations, convenience stores, pharmacies, gyms and grocery stores. We have a variety of flavors to choose from, such as peanut butter banana with dark chocolate, s’mores, blueberry cashew, lemon meringue, and so many, many more. They sound divine!

Snack bars are deemed to be healthy snacks for when you are on the go. It’s no wonder snack bars are all the rage! You can throw them in your bag, have some on hand in the car, quick snack when you’re out and unable to eat a meal, they don’t require refrigeration. The global market for protein bars is growing quickly and expected to surpass more than $2 billion by the end of 2026, according to the financial analysis site, MarketWatch.

What’s the catch? Many snack bars are highly processed, high in salt, and loaded with sugar. “Many protein bars are really just candy bars with a lot more protein,” said Dr. Eric Rimm, a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Would you purchase a box of candy bars to have on hand as quickly as you would a box of snack bars (also known as nutrition and/or protein bars)? Probably not.

You want to pay attention to the nutritional content of the snack bars you choose. Check the grams of added sugar and protein, as well as the number of calories. Look at the ingredients. Nuts and fruit are good. What about the other items? It is good to be informed. You might want to take a look at your go-to snack bar and compare it to sweets such as candy bars, cookies, and bakery items. Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not saying don’t eat snack bars. They have all of the conveniences I mentioned above. You just might want to rethink whether or not you are eating something healthy for you. If that’s your goal – verify the ingredients or grab a healthy snack such as a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts.


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March 31, 20220

As we approach the end of the pandemic, we’re seeing the large impact COVID-19 has had on our health and nutrition. A new or renewed focus has been placed on our health. While things seemed so out of control for so long, such as working from home, wearing masks, home-schooling our children, not being able to see loved ones, and so much more, this is one area many have focused on and gained control over. Now, more than ever, people are more concerned with having a healthy lifestyle, fighting off diseases and boosting their immunity. Nutrition is a critical part of our health system and it’s a key to good physical and mental health.

According to the US News & World Report, the best diet overall for 2022 is the Mediterranean diet. While weight loss may be achieved, the health benefits offered are overwhelming, such as lowered blood pressure, reduced inflammation, lowered cholesterol, improved insulin function, decrease of heart disease and stroke, reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, and so much more.

The Mediterranean diet ranked highest in diets overall, and number one in best diet for healthy eating, easiest to follow, best for diabetes, best for heart-health, and best for plant-based. Per a review published in September 2020 in Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy, switching from an omnivore diet to a plant-based diet was found to help the majority of people lose weight, possibly because of the boost in fiber intake, as well as trading animal proteins for more plant proteins. Plant-based foods, such as whole grains, vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs and spice are the foundation of the Mediterranean diet.

Why are people switching to a plant-based diet? It’s not just for the health reasons and its not because people are vegans or vegetarians. More and more people are focusing on a healthy diet that paces plant-derived foods at the forefront of the meal without eliminating all animal products. The greatest sales in plant-based foods are coming from milk alternatives, such as almond milk, coconut milk, and from meat alternatives such as the soy-based Impossible Burger or wheat-derived seitan. Today, 1 in 4 Americans report eating more protein from plant-based foods like lentils, quinoa, and tempeh. It doesn’t look like this is a fad either. Restaurants and food chains are offering plant-based food items. McDonald’s has developed the McPlant burger with Beyond Meat. It features a plan-based patty on a vegan sesame bun with vegan cheese and sauce, and other toppings. The patty and cheese are made with pea protein.

In addition to improved health and nutrition, a plant-based diet is also good for the environment and sustainable for our future. Sustainable nutrition is mega-trending!

For more information on how LifeWise Flavor Systems can help your products, call Christian at (262) 788-9141, ext. 4, or email ckreuter@lifewise1.com.


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January 19, 20220

Plant-based milk alternatives are a fast-growing category with health & wellness focused consumers.

While cow’s milk is still the most popular according to retail sales, nondairy alternatives hit an estimated $2.95 billion last year, up 54 percent from five years earlier, according to the market research firm Mintel.

This growth can be attributed to the rise of veganism, along with an increase in awareness about the importance of protein in weight loss diets.

While plant-based milk offers benefits and advantages, especially to those who are lactose intolerant, creating the beverage does pose some challenges to manufacturers. Without a flavor modifier, the fortified (herbs, proteins, or vitamins) “milks” can impart an earthy, beany, grassy or bitter taste, undesirable mouthfeel or astringency perception.

LifeWise has conducted lab tests on plant-milk and found that SimplyRich 321 eliminated unpleasant mouthfeel, suppressed metallic notes, provided a creamier, thicker texture and enhanced sweetness.

Besides plant milk, SimplyRich 321can be used in nutrition/energy bars, nutraceutical products, supplement bars and beverages and soy beverages.

SimplyRich 321 is GMO-free, with no added MSG, HVP, gluten, soy nucleotides, yeast or other common allergenic ingredients.


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May 26, 20210

At one time or another, you have probably been at a tailgate or other social gathering that included hummus – that popular Middle Eastern dip and spread that is composed of chickpeas, tahini, olive oil and lemon. Some hummus spreads can include red pepper, garlic, nuts, and a variety of other ingredients.

Hummus is considered a healthy food by nutritionists, high in fiber and protein and low in sugar. According to the USDA, a typical 100 gram serving of hummus contains 10.71 grams of protein, 7.1 grams of fiber, 71 milligrams of calcium and 2.57 grams of iron.

Hummus’ main ingredient, chickpeas also known as garbanzo beans, also have antioxidant properties and a low-glycemic index, which may help in managing blood sugar levels. They also are a source of healthy phytonutrients, including phytic acid, sterols, tannins, carotenoids, and isoflavones. The chickpea is also a source of folate, zinc, copper, iron and manganese.

And, according to a 2016 study from the National Institute of Health, “The Nutritional Value and Health Benefits of Chickpeas and Hummus,” chickpea and hummus consumption may help prevent or offset the development and progression of diseases like cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes, as well as helping with weight management.

Although hummus is a “good for you,” food, it can also give off bitter notes. Chickpeas are earthy in flavor and have nothing to cover up bitterness. Too much tahini, too much garlic, too much lemon juice or blending paprika directly into the hummus can import bitter flavor. And when blending tahini with olive oil, the oil can react to the heat of the spinning blades and take on a bitter flavor.

SimplySweet & Smooth from LifeWise provides a solution to bitterness. It masks metallic notes, stops acidic and bitter aftertaste, improves mouthfeel with a full, rich texture, and enhances the overall flavor profile.

SimplySweet & Smooth also benefits plant/nut-based milks and dairy alternatives, nutrition shakes/smoothies, nutrition bars, and low-fat/low-sugar yogurts.


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April 8, 20210

What’s the deal with inflammation? When and why does it happen? Inflammation occurs when your body’s white blood cells (and the chemicals they produce) help to protect you from infection and injury. That’s a good thing. However, in arthritis and some auto-immune diseases, your immune system triggers inflammation when there is no infection or a reason to do so. This is a bad thing. Chronic inflammation along with stress, a sedentary lifestyle and consumption of inflammatory foods can lead to weight gain and various health problems and diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, asthma and Alzheimer’s. Chronic inflammation is harmful to your body and can last for weeks up to years. Even low levels of inflammation on a chronic basis can lead to these diseases and others.

There are healthy foods that can help reduce inflammation and others that are associated with an increased risk of chronic inflammation. The choice is yours. Below are some examples of healthy foods you might want to consider and other foods you might want to avoid.

Healthy Choices

  • Vegetables (especially dark colored)
  • Fruits (especially dark colored and those high in fat, i.e., avocados)
  • Dark chocolate
  • Nuts
  • Fatty fish
  • Spices (turmeric and cinnamon)
  • Green tea

Increased Risk Choices

  • Sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Refined carbohydrates
  • Fried foods
  • Processed meats
  • Processed snacks
  • Desserts and sweets
  • Trans fats
  • Excessive alcohol

To reduce inflammation, you should focus on fresh fruits and vegetables. Eat foods that are rich in nutrients and antioxidants, and contain healthy fats. Plant-based foods are good sources of antioxidants. Exercise and sleeping well help to reduce inflammation as well.


LifeWise Ingredients, LLC

3450 N 126th Street, Suite D
Brookfield, WI 53005 USA
T: 262.788.9141
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