With their high protein content and strong emulsifying properties, pulses are a natural fit for dairy and dairy analogues. Pulse-based dairy alternatives can be produced either using protein concentrates or isolates, or by soaking the whole seed to produce a milk beverage. While protein ingredients offer unique functionalities, producing milk beverages from whole pulses can be an effective way to retain the benefits of the protein, starch and fibre inherent in the seed.
To date, pea protein is the most commonly used pulse ingredient in dairy and dairy alternative products in North America, growing approximately 300% over the last 5 years (2015-20).
In addition to pea ingredients, there are many emerging opportunities for other pulse types to be used from lentil proteins in milk alternative products, to pulse starches as a textural agent in processed cheese and cheese analogues.
Important Functional Properties
When formulating dairy products with pulse ingredients, some important functional properties to consider include:
- Foaming ability
- Emulsifying ability
- Protein content
- Gelling ability
- Thermal properties
- Protein solubility
Have questions about using pulses in dairy applications? Our team has a range of expertise from nutrition to functionality.