REHOVOT, ISRAEL – Food tech startup ChickP Protein, Ltd. unveiled a chickpea protein isolate it developed for plant-based ice creams.

The company shared that the protein isolate, when used in dairy alternative frozen desserts, creates “a creamy mouthfeel just like” traditional ice cream.

Pediatric gastroenterologist and professor of human nutrition Ram Reifen founded ChickP in 2016. The protein isolate was developed with people who deal with lactose sensitivity or intolerance or dairy allergies in mind.

The Israel-based company developed with Vaniglia, Ltd. a prototype plant-based frozen dessert by using ChickP’s protein isolate.

"As an expert in ice cream creation, ChickP plant-based ice cream succeeded in surprising even me," said Assaf Blank, Vaniglia’s chief executive officer. "It has a truly creamy and rich texture similar to dairy ice cream."

Liat Lachish Levy, CEO of ChickP, said the company’s isolate ingredient answers a growing demand for vegan products and a “dairy-like” experience.

“Consumers, especially flexitarians, have become much pickier when choosing a frozen indulgence and will not compromise on flavor or mouthfeel,” said Lachish Levy. “Our biggest challenge was to develop a solution that would appeal to broader populations, to give the consumer the full sensory experience of real dairy ice cream. When we started the project, the goal was to create a non-dairy ice cream that tastes, looks and feels like the real thing."

Per ChickP, it developed its ice cream application in a manner that the protein isolate performs functionalities – emulsion stability, prevention of icing and crystallization and the creation of an ideal melting profile. The company also shared that the product can be merged with any desired flavor.

Maor Dahan, application manager for ChickP, said the company’s protein stabilizes a plant-based ice cream and gives the frozen dessert its smooth texture.

"During development, we removed various stabilizers one by one and, surprisingly, it did not affect the product's shelf life, and it even improved the scoopability of the product,” Dahan said. “This allows a shorter, cleaner ingredient list."

Lachish Levy said the isolate also can be used in other non-dairy products, including cheeses and yogurts, “which typically require stabilizers,” she pointed out.