Open Innovation Submission Portal

Novel Proteins for Beverages

Request Number 190310 | Author PepsiCo


The food and beverage market currently has significant growing demand for protein rich or protein enriched products. The trend is clearly demonstrated in the recent success of Greek style yogurt and the growing demand for plant-based food and beverages. The challenge with protein additions at the levels at which claims can be made is that the protein adversely impacts the texture/mouth feel, taste and/or color, of the product. Therefore, consumer perceptions of the product suffer.

The goal is to locate novel proteins that do not suffer from these drawbacks and/or unique extraction methods to mitigate/minimize their magnitude and to achieve a claimable level of protein relevant to each category.

Key Success Criteria


  • Protein concentrates and isolates only.
  • Plant-based proteins, and non-animal proteins resulting from bio synthesis/fermentation process shall be considered.
  • PDCAAS (Protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score) > 0.90 is highly desirable
  • Minimal flavor and texture impact above 7% protein concentration
  • Process friendly for beverage applications (e.g. good dispersion, solubility, low viscosity)
  • Evidence to show the unique value of the protein
  • Product specifications
  • Amino acid profile
  • Digestibility information
  • Regulatory information


  • Scientific research done to prove uniqueness.
  • Clarity in solution in low and high-acid environments
  • Fully functional in low and high-acid environments
  • Non-allergenic
  • Non-GMO
  • FDA letter of non-objection on GRAS status
  • Negligible flavor and texture impact above 7% protein concentration
  • Other nutritional benefits to the source besides high protein content (i.e. fiber)
  • "Clean Label", i.e. easy to pronounce and common (e.g. familiar, "kitchen" ingredients are highly desirable and avoid chemical-sounding ingredients) or at the minimum has a good sustainability story or other differentiation to conventional animal and dairy proteins
Possible Approaches

PepsiCo is interested in all approaches capable of achieving the performance stated with the following exceptions:

Approaches not of interest
  • Soy
  • Cricket powder
  • Meal worm powder
  • Animal
  • Single cell protein
  • Whole cereal or legume flours
Preferred Collaboration types

PepsiCo is open to a range of collaboration types, but proof of concept is required.