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Sources of vegetable protein

Pea, faba beans, lupin and wheat: these vegetable species can provide food ingredients high in protein.

The vegetable proteins naturally present in the seeds or grains are concentrated and purified to obtain different shapes: powder or texturized products

(table 1).


Food applications for vegetable proteins

Theses vegetable proteins can be found in many food applications: bakery wares, meat or fish products, ready-to-serve dishes, sauces, dietetic products, fresh deli products…


Please find below the use of vegetable protein in France, by food product categories:

Beneficial aspects of use of vegetable proteins

Vegetable proteins have multiple and varied beneficial functionalities, as effect on:

  • Texture: water retention/absorption capacity, gel formation, emulsification, foaming…
  • Palatability, mouth feel.
  • Nutrition composition: improvement avec P/L ratio, intake of amino acids, complementary with animal protein, intake of fibers …

Regarding the different assets of each vegetable protein, these can be combined to achieve high qualitative performance.

The production of vegetable proteins also present a positive environmental outcome compared to some animal production:

  • Decrease of need for cultivated area,
  • Less energy needed,
  • Less water needed,
  • Less greenhouse effect gas emission.


Pulses (lupin, faba beans, peas) cultivation can enrich the soil with nitrogen, allowing limited inputs not only for its own cultivation but also for the coming crops. They may be of interest for the crop rotation, for instance before wheat: environmental impact can be significant.


More information can be found on GEPV website