Roquette is a global leader in plant-based ingredients and has developed the widest range of pea-based proteins available in today’s market. We caught up with Rod Quin, Head of Global Business Unit – Food at Roquette about how they can accelerate the adoption of new plant-based ingredients across Asia and deliver greater sustainability.

Rod Quin - Roquette - Asia Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit
Rod Quin – Roquette

What is the potential for plant-based ingredients to contribute greater sustainability in food production, while also benefitting consumer health?
Awareness towards healthier and more sustainable options has witnessed an upward trend in the last few years. This growth is further driven by the consumers’ focus on health and wellbeing and sustainable development against a backdrop of a global pandemic. Plant-based ingredients are not only associated with functional health benefits which are supported by new scientific data but also effectively contribute to a healthier planet. Plant proteins are today the subject of special attention because they respond to two mega trends which are very clear: Expectation of plant products on the consumer side and demand for non-animal alternative proteins.

Despite their high value, many protein crops have not been properly evaluated and many species are underutilized. Particular attention must be paid to genetic diversity and local varieties, as well as to the main limiting factors affecting yield, including water scarcity, in order to achieve stable, reliable and sustainable agricultural production.

Legumes and other specific crops are interesting candidates to meet the growing demand for the production of plant proteins in the world for human and animal consumption. As the main protein crop, it contributes to the sustainable improvement of the environment thanks to their capacity to fix nitrogen and their beneficial effects to the soil.

They play a key role in the diversification of crops and the sustainable intensification of agriculture, especially in light of new and urgent challenges, such as climate change and food security.

In addition, the role of legumes in nutrition has been recognized as a relevant source of plant protein, along with other health benefits. The scientific community is very active in the field, which seems to be an encouraging reflection of the global awareness of the need for sustainability and a bright future protein crops as a food source.

Which new ingredient innovations currently in development at Roquette are you most excited about?
Roquette is a global leader in plant-based ingredients and as a pioneer in plant proteins, we have amassed over 40 years of experience in research and production in plant proteins. This is definitely something we can be proud of and brings us great excitement that we are in a strong position to create ingredients of the highest quality for our customers.

Three key points that sets us apart, we are backed by our strong expertise; our ambitious investment in the world’s largest pea protein manufacturing facility in Manitoba, Canada; and finally, our drive for innovation.

This drive for innovation is fuelled by consumer expectations who do not realize that behind the protein functionalities of a finished product, there is also a real challenge in arriving at a formulation that ensures a pleasant experience besides just the taste. The field of plant proteins is fascinating, there is so much to develop! Roquette’s NUTRALYS® range of plant proteins makes it possible for our customers to develop new foods that contribute to the emergence of a whole new gastronomy – a gastronomy that consumers are keen to explore.

What key partnerships and collaborations are needed to accelerate adoption of new plant-based ingredients among Asian food manufacturers and consumers? What types of companies in particular are you/Roquette excited to connect with at the Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit?
In the last ten years, Roquette has developed the widest range of pea-based proteins available in today’s market – making us a pioneer in plant proteins.  The demand for plant-based foods and especially for plant protein will continue to rise as people become more aware about healthy eating and caring for the environment.  Roquette is on the lookout to collaborate and innovate with like-minded companies which believe that we can make a difference in ensuring a sustainable food and agricultural system to ensure a healthy diet and healthy planet.

Join Rod Quin online at the virtual Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit and watch his live panel discussion on ‘New Approaches to Plant-Based Foods and Ingredients in Asia’ on Wednesday November 18.

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