Q&A: Denis Chereau of Improve on need for second-generation proteins

Many crops have been traditional source of protein for food, either in their direct form or after processing into ingredients such as concentrates or isolates. Despite this long history and the recent boom in plant-based proteins, existing options often do not match consumers’ expectations for healthy, tasty and sustainable food. At IMPROVE, they believe that, thanks to the company’s innovation in process fractionation, there is a way forward to offer affordable and sustainable plant proteins.

Denis Chereau, chief executive officer at IMPROVE, will be chair of Track III on sustainable processing innovations and giving a presentation at our Plant-Based Foods & Proteins Summit Europe, 21-23 June in the Netherlands.

IMPROVE has provided processing solutions for more than eight years. What is the biggest change it has seen? 

The plant-based protein world is moving fast, eight years ago only a few players were considering it seriously. IMPROVE has been an early bird in the world, the challenge is to be continuously one or two steps ahead of most of these players in order to be able to support development projects.

What are the main challenges that plant-based ingredient manufacturers currently face and how could those be tackled with IMPROVE’s help?

Today, ingredient manufacturers want to move from the first generation of plant-based protein ingredients, which are low in functional properties, to a second generation having high functional properties, light colour and low organoleptic profiles.

How does your new ProteinUPscale service contribute to the company’s customer-focused approach? 

Improve's ProteinUpScale unique new serviceIMPROVE can support its customers through its ProteinUPScale services by transferring know-how developed by internal R&D during the past eight years. This can reduce time to market by two to three years, lowering cost and project risks.

How do you see the future of plant-protein processing?

After answering early adopters’ demand it will be necessary to massify the use of plant-based protein. This will need higher quality ingredients produced at much lower prices. If plant-based burgers are more expensive than real meat burgers, massification will never happen.

What can you tell us about your upcoming presentation?

My presentation will summarize the actual market situation and present the different ways to reach the second generation and the massification.

You can connect with Denis Chereau and learn more about what IMPROVE has to offer at Summit Europe 21-23 June in Ede, Netherlands.

Summit information here.

Summit program here.

Summit registration here.

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