The growth of the mung bean protein market is primarily driven by the booming alternative proteins sector. Mung bean protein has been known to give excellent nutrition when consumed as part of a balanced diet. These protein-dense beans contain numerous essential amino acids that are beneficial for health, which has boosted consumer interest in the market across key regions.
Recently, there has been an upsurge in interest in plant-based diets in light of their advantages in the context of both health and sustainability. These diets typically include vegetarianism, which eliminates all animal flesh, veganism, which omits all animal products, and lacto-ovo vegetarianism, which removes animal flesh but includes eggs and dairy
This has created a prominent demand for alternative protein sources to meet the protein deficit in such diets. According to a report by Global Market Insights Inc, the mung bean protein market size is projected to reach a valuation of more than $280 million by the end of 2028. This article sheds light on the current product landscape, industry leaders, and notable trends in the sector.
How does mung bean protein factor into plant-based diets?
While vegetarian diets are known to protect against chronic illnesses, there is still scope for deficiencies of nutrients like protein owing to low bioavailability from plant-based sources. Inadequacy of dietary proteins can lead to muscle weakness and lean body mass (LBM).
The health benefits of vegan and vegetarian diets are well documented, but there are some concerns that persist about the potential of reduced nutrient intakes that can be harmful in the long run. While the market for plant-based proteins is still in its nascent stages, suppliers are still using conventional ingredients to establish their place in the growing space. As mung bean protein is considered to be a superior source of protein in plant-based diets, the market has witnessed widespread adoption.
Benefits of mung bean protein
Mung bean has gained popularity in recent years for several advantages beyond its health benefits. Some of them have been listed below:
- It is highly sustainable to grow since it uses less water compared to other protein-dense vegetables.
- Its production is environmentally friendly as it does not need nitrogen fertilizers.
- Due to its economic viability, mung bean is cultivated widely across the globe, including in developing countries.
- It possesses important properties like anti-fungal and/or antibacterial activity, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory activity, and trypsin inhibitory activity
These advantages have fortified the adoption of mung bean protein across food & beverage applications. Other than the abovementioned factors, mung bean proteins are also considered vital in the cosmetics sector.
Selenium-enriched mung bean (Se-MB), for example, is a blend of selenium and mung bean that has several attributes viz., moisturizing, whitening, and antioxidant efficacy. Subsequently, rising awareness pertaining to the benefits of the protein in mung beans has played a vital role in boosting consumer appeal.
Some key trends that are helping the expansion of the mung bean protein market over the forecast period have been discussed hereunder:
1.Increasing product launches fueling consumer interest
With the rising number of companies in the mung bean protein industry, there has been an increase in the availability of products in the market. For instance, in August 2019, FUJI Plant Protein Labs, a provider of 100% plant-based, protein-packed, and gluten-free ingredients, launched MuPI/ Glucodia, its mung bean protein isolate, into the commercial processed foods, foodservice, and sports supplement sectors.
This plant-based protein isolate was standardized to a full crude protein content of over 80% and is a self-affirmed GRAS. It is also a secure and safe food ingredient for use in gluten-free fitness protein powders, baked goods, egg-protein alternatives, mayonnaise-type condiments, protein bars, smoothies, pasta, and breakfast products.
Similarly, in October 2021, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) gave the green light to the mung bean protein ingredient included in the egg substitute product of Eat Just, a plant-based food alternatives expert. Consequently, booming availability of products in the industry is enhancing consumer interest in the forthcoming years.
2.Notable growth prospects for manufacturers
Growing awareness pertaining to the benefits of plant-based protein has created massive potential for manufacturers to enter the mung bean protein space. To cite an instance, in June 2021, Equinom, a seed breeding company, closed a $20 million Series C funding round.
Equinom utilizes artificial intelligence (AI)-driven technology to design seeds for food applications. The company makes new non-GMO varieties of novel grains and works with other companies to custom-make ingredients that allow for local sourcing. As a result, growing scope for product penetration is positively influencing the competitive landscape of the mung bean protein market.
3.Technological integration driving product development
To innovate products for the plant-based market, companies have been integrating advanced technologies into the development process. In June 2021, Equinom commenced a collaborative effort with GoodMills, the European milling corporation, to develop novel yellow pea seed varieties with the help of its proprietary patented AI breeding tech.
The technology leverages the natural diversity in crops and thus, does not require gene editing or modification. With the deal, Equinom set out to research the best crossbreed seeds to attain a tailored raw material that is equipped with enhanced sensory properties.
The resulting ingredients were intended to be free from off-flavors while delivering the ideal protein composition for texture in protein-rich dairy and meat alternatives as well as pasta. This upsurge in manufacturers’ focus on technological upgradation of production processes is likely to fuel industry growth in the coming years.
With improving emphasis on innovation in sustainable agricultural practices, sustainable crops like mung beans are emerging as a key element in creating novel ways to offer nutritional food worldwide with mitigated environmental impact. Additionally, the soaring prominence of mung bean proteins in food applications is estimated to create massive growth potential for the industry in the upcoming years.