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Israeli food tech company ChickP announces it has successfully developed cream and firm cheddar cheeses with its chickpea protein isolate using traditional cheese fermentation methods.
The company claims its prototypes match real dairy cheese in appearance and flavor, demonstrating its protein isolate is an exceptional plant-based protein alternative for cheese analogs.
ChickP commercially produces a non-GMO, allergen-free, patented chickpea protein isolate for multiple applications. The company develops formulations using its product to assist manufacturers in creating customized plant-based products. Its portfolio includes egg-free mayonnaise, chickpea-based barista coffee creamer, and an ice cream formulation replicating dairy’s full sensory experience.
Winning cheese analogs
“ChickP’s breakthrough formulations will be instrumental in helping manufacturers fast-track customization of plant-based cheese products that genuinely respond to consumer’s cravings for a delicious cheesy experience,” states the food tech company.
The cream and firm cheddar cheese formulations combine simple ingredients like water, coconut oil, starch, and chickpea protein isolate, fermented with lactic acid bacteria (like traditional cheese) for a “tangy cheese-like flavor” and with probiotic benefits.
“We insisted on applying only traditional processes for our winning cheese analogs,” explains Maor Dahan, application manager for ChickP.
Clean label formulas
Furthermore, the company’s chickpea isolate embodies a 90% whole protein composition providing a powerful and nutritional boost. It’s clean-label, with a neutral flavor, making it a highly versatile ingredient and an “exceptional” plant-based protein alternative for cheese analogs.
“Our formulas contain no stabilizers or gums. We explored a range of cultures to find the strains that work best with our formula. On top of that, the synergy between the chickpea isolates and starch helped create a rich, smooth, creamy textured spread on par with real dairy cream cheese and awards hearty complete protein fulfillment,” Dahan added.
A market for flexitarians
ChickP is currently collaborating with alternative dairy producers and traditional dairy manufacturers, equipping them with their raw materials, recipes, and technical support to create analogs of popular cheeses such as emmental, parmesan, and mozzarella.
“Flexitarians dominate the consumer market for dairy alternatives,” says Liat Lachish Levy, CEO of ChickP. “They are eager to eat vegan alternatives as long as those alternatives can level up to real dairy’s sensory and nutritional attributes. These are precisely the gaps the industry is striving to close. While some cheese analog producers succeed on the sensory points, this often comes at the expense of the desired nutritional balance—and vice versa.”