Vegan brand Ripple Foods recently announced a new project to develop sustainable, high-protein food options for people in the developing world. The research—which is funded by the Grand Challenges Explorations initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation—will focus on low-cost protein isolates using locally sourced agricultural byproducts. The protein isolates can then be added to foods to increase their nutritional content, or consumed as a standalone high-protein broth. “We’ve created a highly successful plant-based food brand here in the United States and are committed to using those insights, in addition to input from people living and working directly in sub-Saharan African and southern Asia, to create sustainable solutions for people in need,” Amanda Stiles, scientist and lead researcher at Ripple Foods, said. “We thank the Gates Foundation for their belief in our mission and can’t wait to see what we discover.” Ripple’s line of vegan products—which includes plant-based milks, half-and-half, Greek-style yogurt, and protein shakes and powder—are made with Ripptein, the brand’s proprietary protein sourced from peas. The research team will apply a similar process to creating protein isolates in developing markets, with input from local-based experts and researchers to ensure they are in line with regional tastes and flavor profiles. Ripple plans to make its findings open-source so that other researchers and food scientists can use its research to improve food systems for those in need.
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