Seeking revolutionary plant protein sources

Posted by PepsiCoResponsive · Specific Technical Innovation · Project Size Range : 250,000 - 1,000,000 € · Deadline at 14/08/2020 · United States

Desired outcome

PepsiCo seeks to incorporate new plant proteins into their world-class foods and beverages.

Consumers are increasingly selecting products that feature plant-based proteins: from rice milk to pasta made from chickpeas. Additionally, market demand also indicates a continued strong interest in protein-rich foods. An unfortunate side-effect of high levels of plant protein in food products is that various organoleptic properties, such as color, taste and texture, can be negatively impacted which, in turn, degrades consumer acceptance of those products.

As such, PepsiCo is interested in innovative plant proteins that have undergone some level of concentration.

Researchers & organizations who have exciting new plant protein concentrates with the potential for commercial-scale implementation on suitable timelines are strongly encouraged to respond.


Key Success Criteria


  • Must be a plant or plant-derived protein
  • High PDCAAS or DIAAS score
    • PDCAAS is preferred
  • Minimal impact on:
    • Color
    • Taste
    • Texture
  • Process-friendly for food applications:
    • Good dispersion
    • Solubility data in solution at pH 3.5 and 7.0
    • Foaming capacity/stability data


  • Process friendly for beverage applications
  • Data to prove the unique quality
  • Non-GMO
  • Negligible flavor and texture impact
  • Other nutritional benefits to the source besides high protein content (fiber)
  • "Clean Label"
  • Easy to pronounce and common (e.g. familiar, "kitchen" ingredients) are highly desirable
  • Good sustainability story
  • Differentiation to conventional animal and dairy proteins

Possible Approaches

PepsiCo is interested in all approaches capable of achieving the performance stated with the exceptions noted below.

Approaches not of interest

PepsiCo is not interested in submissions on the following protein sources:

  • Soy
  • Moringa
  • Khai-nam (“duck weed”)
  • Pea
  • Single-cell protein
  • Protein from non-plant sources:
    • Insects
    • Meat
    • Gelatin
    • Dairy (such as whey, casein, milk protein concentrates)

PepsiCo is not interested in new plant-based products via this project – only plant/plant-derived protein concentrates are of interest. Unprocessed or whole food protein sources are likewise not of interest.

Preferred Collaboration types

To Be Negotiated

Related keywords

  • Protein Engineering
  • Agrofood Industry
  • Technologies for the food industry
  • Food Additives/Ingredients/Functional Food
  • Food Processing
  • Food Technology
  • Enzymology/Protein Engineering/Fermentation
  • Consumer related
  • Food and Beverages
  • Health food
  • Soft drinks and bottling plants
  • Fruit and Vegetables
  • Herbs and Spices
  • Foodstuffs Intended For Special Nutritional Uses
  • plant-derived protein

About PepsiCo

Large Enterprise from United States

PepsiCo is one of the world’s leading food and beverage companies with a collection of global brands including Pepsi and Quaker, Gatorade and Tropicana, Frito-Lay and beyond. Our broad range of more than 3,000 delicious products offer consumers convenient, nutritious and affordable options in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. We generated more than $64 billion in net revenue in 2018, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

PepsiCo External Innovation is an upstream, externally facing, department within PepsiCo R&D. We actively scout for, identify and develop strategic partnerships with external collaborators. Our goal is to locate key external insights, business models and technical unlocks and new capabilities that, when partnered with PepsiCo’s robust internal R&D expertise, will yield disruptive innovation in our core products and/or new and emerging products. We are currently exploring novel technology spaces that can dramatically impact our portfolio of foods and beverages. We are interested in improving all facets of our supply chain—from raw material inputs all the way to the consumer consumption—and identifying global efficiencies in areas including crop science, ingredients, processing, packaging, equipment, distribution/fleet, retail and e-commerce. We are also committed to sustainability for our planet and our communities.

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