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Market Research of Pea Protein Industry in China

Pea protein is a food ingredient with a neutral taste that is mostly used in dairy alternatives or in the sports industry to support muscle building. Specifically, it’s obtained by drying and grounding peas into a fine flour, mixing it with water, and removing the fibre and starch, leaving mostly protein with a smattering of vitamins and minerals.


First, during a dry process, the outer shell of the pea is removed by mechanical action. After milling, a flour containing soluble fibres, starches and proteins is obtained. Being water soluble, pea proteins are therefore separated from fibre and starch by wet filtration and centrifugation. From this solution, there are two methods to obtain the protein isolate. One is to precipitate the proteins to their isoelectric point at very high temperature. The second one process is to precipitate the protein to its isoelectric point and then solubilizing the dry spray.


Pea protein is first used for its high protein content and good digestibility that make it interesting for healthy nutrition additive, particularly for child nutrition, elderly, food or organic food. Many lines of products for sports and clinical nutrition use pea protein in their formulation.


Moreover, emulsifying properties, good solubility, outstanding dispersion in water, a reaction of Maillard, easy mixing, and fluidity of powder are all features of pea protein that are sought by food industries. It is used in bakery, pastry, confectionery, dairy products and desserts. Its sensory profile and texturized shape give it ease of use. In addition, in culinary products, pea protein displays very good meat binding properties or even texture in different applications.


Currently, the USA is the largest producer of worldwide pea protein. However, China is keeping up fast and has developed into the fastest growing region for pea protein production. The country is showing a remarkable speed in the development of a market, which has held an opportunity worth USD449 Million in 2016. According to industry insiders, the market is expected to expand at about 8.15% CAGR over the next years.


All in all, the Asia-Pacific region with China in the leading position is expected to show a bullish long-term outlook. The development is backed up by anticipated changes in the government regulations related to the operation of Organic Pea Protein those countries coupled with increasing investments on product differentiation.


CCM has recently published a new market report which analyses the pea protein market development in China, paying attention to the production and market of China's pea protein industry, as well as forecasts for the coming three years. As such, the report serves as a unique guideline for investments in the Chinese market and gives players orientation and confidence to call the right decisions and get ahead of their competitors.


Started in 2008 by Yantai Shuangta Food, the pea protein industry in China is still in a very fast expanding situation, placing the region in the focus of market players and investors. After all. the country has become one of the biggest pea protein suppliers in the global market in recent years. Most of the pea protein producers in China are current or former bean vermicelli companies that are located in Shandong Province. Several current and potential pea protein producers are planning to expand their pea protein production in the following two years, which will support the steady growth of China's pea protein industry, according to market intelligence firm CCM.


China's pea protein industry is booming mostly because of the increasing overseas food industry's demand for healthy pea protein. Unlike the EU and the USA, the application fields of pea protein in China are quite narrow. In fact, most of the pea protein is consumed by the health-care food industry in China, while its applications in the food processing industry are still at the research and development stage. It is necessary for pea protein industry participants to keep track on the developments of both pea protein producers and end users.


According to CCM’s research, China used to be one of the biggest dry pea suppliers in the world. However, starting in the 1980s, dry pea planting area in China witnessed a significant decline. As a result of the domestic dry pea supply shrink, China became one of the biggest dry pea importers in the world. All of the pea protein producers in China use imported dry peas from North America for their production nowadays, importing more than 900,000 tonnes of dry peas annually since 2013.


As of 2017, there were seven pea processing producers with a total pea protein capacity of 67,453t/a in China. The national total pea protein capacity will increase to more than 146 thousand t/a by the end of 2019 when all the capacity expansion projects are put into production.


China exported over 40,000 tonnes of pea protein to more than 40 countries and regions during Nov. 2016 to Oct. 2017. Export volume of pea protein from China usually reaches its annual peak during April to July of the year, when pea protein producers are actively producing. Most of the pea protein producers will have their seasonal shutdowns in every August for one month, and the others will have theirs during Aug. to Sept. of the year. Therefore, the export volume of pea protein in Aug. and Sept. 2017 decreased with the output of it. The average export price of pea protein was in an overall upward trend from Nov. 2016 to Aug. 2017, and it started to decrease with fluctuations since then.


About the report

A complete analysis of China’s pea protein market can be found in the report Market Research of Pea Protein Industry in China.


CCM is China’s leading market intelligence provider for the fields of chemicals, agriculture, food and feed. Benefit from more than 17 years’ market research experience and industry insiders by getting in touch with CCM’s team on


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