You might have noticed that pea-related foods have been hitting shelves everywhere lately.
Pea starch, pea milk, pea protein, pea flour…The pea economy is set on an uphill trajectory, the market is estimated to reach $203M by 2026.
So what’s all the fuss behind peas?
The health angle:
Peas contain a healthy balance of all 9 essential amino-acids
Peas cannot be GMOed.
Peas strengthen your immune system: contain vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc.
Peas contain lots of fibre which improve digestion, and lowers chances of stomach cancer.
Peas contain lots of iron.
*Disclaimer: Of course one must keep in mind that processed peas don’t offer the same amount of benefits as fresh peas.
The diversity angle: Pea starch, Pea Protein, Pea Fibre.
Peas are easily broken down into its building blocks: starch, fibre and protein.
Therefore, within the food industry peas can be used in an array of different products.
Pea starch can thicken consistency and can be found in noodles, sauces, canned products, snacks, and cereals etc.
Pea protein is the main ingredient used in plant-based alternatives. The protein is called Ripptein, and can be extracted from yellow peas. Pea protein can be added alone to smoothies as well.
Pea fibre is commonly added to gluten-free bakery products, mainly in the form of pea flour.
Pea dairy alternative is the new hot thing. It’s frothy, milky and protein filled. Pea cheeses are here, with pea mozzarellas already hitting the market. Pea ice-cream? Check out Sweetpea. Meanwhile, Pea-meat? You already know it: Beyond Burgers.
The planet angle; 3 reasons:
- Growing peas requires less water,
- Peas are drought tolerant
- Nitrogen Fixation:
Peas are one of the few plants in the world that create their own nitrogen fertilizer.How? They take in nitrogen, pass it to microbes through their roots, microbes transform gas nitrogen into a usable form of nitrogen for the plant.The process makes not only pea plants healthier, but anything planted after the peas = no nitrogen fertilizer needed in a crop rotation.