Have you ever come back from the gym and craved your protein shake but realised that you have none left, gone in to your garden, picked out the pond weed and stuffed that in your shaker instead?
Hmm, what if we were to tell you that soon you could be moving a-whey from the traditional protein sources and using water-lentil based powders?
We spoke with Cecilia from Lentein to find out what this product is and how it can reshape the way we think about our food.
What is Lentein protein powder exactly?
Lentein is derived from water lentils, more commonly known as duck weed. The water lentils are stored and produced in “closed, clean, hydroponic systems” says Cecilia. Nutrients are also added to the closed network which then produce large quantities of the lentil. They have tested the concept all around the world but they have set up their headquarters with these oversized ponds within 400 acres in Florida.
According to Cecilia they believe the environment is suitable enough to allow the “precipitation to equal out the trans-evaporation.” In simple terms, the system could be water neutral. Even when they tested the production process in Africa they only had to add approximately 700 litres of water per Kg of Lentein. Compare this to the 3500 litres of water per Kg of Soy and over 20,000litres per Kg of meat based protein the products credentials appear to increase.
Lentein began its life as a fish meal replacement but it was found to possess qualities that could be used for human consumption as well. Cecilia says Lentein is being produced in response to the protein deficit. According to their sources the world’s looking at a 600,000 tonne protein blackhole for the next 20-30 years.
It seems that there is some appetite (pun intended) for this as the product won the innovation award at the Institute of Food Technology (USA) Awards 2 years ago, and now sees food companies’ interests growing (last one we promise) daily.
Where next for Lentein?
Interestingly, the products market is more global than protein supplements for the health conscious and in fact nearly all foods will contain soy or other types of protein that are added in during manufacture. In addition, population growth and diversifying tastes, in the now more developed countries, is putting a lot of strain on the more traditional protein sources.
How it compares to whey protein powder:
A typical 24g serving offers 12g of protein, compare this to whey, which would offer around 18g, it is a bit lower but according to Lentein it has a high amino acid profile and contains more lysine than meat based proteins too. It doesn’t appear to suffer from the soy or whey protein side effects. The product is available in the USA within a protein supplement at www. cleanmachineonline.com.
The best part?
Lentein can be harvested within 3 weeks after first seeding and if harvested correctly can see renewed growth within 24 hours. Once ground down into powder it will last for approximately 1 year. This makes the production scalable into a sustainable business for protein powder manufacturing.
If you are a gym buff bothered about losing those extra grams of protein per serving there would be nothing wrong with adding one extra scoop into your shaker as part of your gym workout plan. We love the idea and think that any alternative to solely using traditional protein sources should be welcomed.
By Thomas Hoare