ChickP Protein, Ltd. has successfully developed prototypes of cream cheese and firm cheddar cheese analogues that match the appearance and flavor of real dairy cheese, thanks to its patented chickpea isolate. The new innovations are highly nutritious, and ChickP’s expanding line of plant-based alternative prototypes highlights the versatility of the company’s ingredient.
As the demand for plant-based cheese products continues to grow, ChickP’s breakthrough formulations could be instrumental in helping manufacturers fast-track customization and meet consumers’ cravings for delicious cheesy experiences. According to a survey conducted by the Smart Protein Project in 10 countries, cheese is the leading animal-based food product, but there is a strong willingness to shift to plant-based versions.
“Flexitarians dominate the consumer market for dairy alternatives,” said 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.”
ChickP’s chickpea isolate provides a powerful and nutritional boost to plant-based food applications, with a 90% whole protein composition. The isolate is clean-label with a neutral flavor, making it a highly versatile ingredient to work with. The cream cheese formulation combines the isolate with water, coconut oil, and starch. The cheese-like flavor is obtained via fermentation with lactic bacteria, just like the traditional milk-based process. As a cultured product, it is naturally replete with probiotic benefits.
ChickP has also developed a chickpea-based firm cheese that delivers the bold, earthy flavor and chewy texture of cheddar cheese. It also is produced via fermentation to achieve depth of flavor, firmness and natural probiotic benefits. The firm cheese works well on sandwiches, melts nicely on cheese toast, and transforms into a cheesy sauce for creating an alfredo-style pasta or a vegan macaroni and cheese.