Legume-Based Dairy Could Be The Next Plant-Based Innovation

A New Zealand company is making dairy alternatives from pulses


2 Minutes Read

Andfoods cookie ANDFOODS products can be used in baked goods and sweet treats - Media Credit: ANDFOODS

Dairy-free products have been made out of a wide range of ingredients, including coconuts, hemp, almonds, and oats. Now, there is a growing interest in turning legumes into cheese, milk, cream, and ice-cream.

New Zealand (Aotearoa) startup ANDFOODS is one of several companies developing legume-based dairy alternatives. And it has just raised NZD $2.7 million in seed funding for to make milk, milk powder, and cream using its novel fermentation technology.

A functional alternative

Split peas
Moving Moment – stock.adobe.com Several companies are using legumes to make dairy alternatives

ANDFOODS uses pulses, the edible seeds of legumes. It splits them into liquid and solid, using the liquid as the base for its powders, milks, and creams. Its novel fermentation process gets rid of the “plant taste” and creates products that ANDFOODS says are “nutritionally and functionally superior.”

Alex Devereaux, CEO of ANDFOODS, says that the pulses the company make a “perfect” alternative to dairy. “Though many dairy alternatives reasonably capture the taste and texture of dairy milk, few to date have come close to emulating the measurable quality of high-grade cow-based creams or milk powders,” he told Food Ingredients First. “As a result, many extra ingredients are needed throughout the manufacturing process. Our chosen legume has properties that reduce the need for a long list of additives to make it functional.”

ANDFOODS’ products “blend effortlessly into recipes,” according to the company website. They can be used in baked goods, creamy foods, and frozen desserts. They would make “a standout choice” for food manufacturers that want to use more plant-based ingredients in their products without worrying about altering the taste and texture.

Versatile legumes

In 2023, UK-based The Good Pulse Company received £300,000 in public funding to develop cheese made from yellow split peas. The company says its use of the whole peas means the cheese retains the peas’ high protein and nutrient content.

Chickpea protein company Innovopro has been developing chickpea-based emulsifiers and egg replacers for use in plant-based milks, cheese, and desserts. It has partnered with plant-based milk brand Milkadamia to make ice-cream from chickpeas and macadamia nuts.

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