Seeking revolutionary plant protein sources

Posted by PepsiCoResponsive · Specific Technical Innovation · Project Size Range : 250,000 - 1,000,000 € · Deadline at 04/12/2020 · United States

Desired outcome

The food and beverage market currently has significant growing demand for protein rich or protein enriched products. The trend is clearly demonstrated in the recent success of Greek style yogurt and the growing demand plant-based food and beverages. The challenge with protein additions at levels at which claims can be made is that the protein adversely impacts the texture/mouth feel, taste, color, of the product. Therefore, consumer perceptions of the product suffer. The goal is to locate novel new proteins that do not suffer from these drawbacks and/or unique extraction methods to mitigate/minimize their magnitude. Goal is to get to a claimable content of protein relevant to each category.


Solution Requirements


  • Plant-based proteins, and non-animal proteins resulting from bio synthesis/fermentation process shall be the major focus. Avoid animal, soy protein.
  • High PDCAAS is highly desirable.
  • Minimal flavor and texture impact
  • Process friendly for beverage applications (e.g. good dispersion, solubility, foaming or lack thereof)
  • Evidence to show the unique value of the protein.
  • Product specifications
  • Amino acid profile
  • Digestibility information
  • Regulatory information


  • Scientific research done to prove the uniqueness.
  • Non-GMO
  • Negligible flavor and texture impact
  • Other nutritional benefits to the source besides high protein content (fiber)
  • “Clean Label”, i.e. easy to pronounce and common (e.g. familiar, “kitchen” ingredients are highly desirable and avoid chemical-sounding ingredients) or at the minimum has a good sustainability story or other differentiation to conventional animal and dairy proteins
  • Non-allergen

Possible Approaches

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

Approaches Not of Interest

  • Soy
  • Cricket powder
  • Meal worm powder
  • Animal
  • Single cell protein

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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