Mung Bean Protein: A Growing Alternative Protein Source

Mung Bean Protein: A Growing Alternative Protein Source

The mung bean protein market is witnessing significant growth in recent years, primarily driven by the booming alternative proteins sector. The demand for alternative protein sources has grown considerably as consumers increasingly adopt plant-based diets in the wake of health and environmental concerns. As a result, the mung bean protein market size is projected to reach a valuation of more than $280 million by the end of 2028, according to a report by Global Market Insights Inc.

The market for plant-based proteins is still in its nascent stages, but suppliers are 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. 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).

Mung beans are protein-dense beans that contain numerous essential amino acids that are beneficial for health. These beans have excellent nutrition when consumed as part of a balanced diet. Mung bean protein has been gaining popularity in recent years for several advantages beyond its health benefits. For instance, mung bean is highly sustainable to grow since it uses less water compared to other protein-dense vegetables. Its production is also environmentally friendly as it does not need nitrogen fertilizers. Additionally, due to its economic viability, mung bean is cultivated widely across the globe, including in developing countries.

Mung beans also possess 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. Furthermore, 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.

Several key trends are helping the expansion of the mung bean protein market over the forecast period. The rising number of companies in the mung bean protein industry has led to an increase in the availability of products in the market. For instance, in August 2019, FUJI Plant Protein Labs 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.

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.

Moreover, growing awareness pertaining to the benefits of plant-based protein has created massive potential for manufacturers to enter the mung bean protein space. For 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.

To innovate products for the plant-based market, companies have been integrating advanced technologies into the development process. 

As more consumers shift towards plant-based diets, there is likely to be a continued demand for mung bean protein in various food and beverage applications. Additionally, technological advancements and the entry of new players into the market are expected to boost the growth of the industry in the coming years.

The mung bean protein market has witnessed significant growth due to its high nutritional value and sustainability advantages. As the demand for alternative proteins continues to rise, mung bean protein has emerged as a popular option for plant-based diets. With increasing product launches, notable growth prospects for manufacturers, and technological integration driving product development, the mung bean protein market is poised to expand significantly in the coming years.

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