Taste-enhancing proteins from onion residue streams

A protein concentrate is recovered from onion peels with umami taste-enhancing and salt-reducing properties.

Onion residues

The industrial processing of onions for retail and restaurants results in large amounts of onion peel residues that have to be disposed of and have therefore a negative value.

Onion processing

Together with the onion processing company Mol Onion Ingredients (MOI), Biorefinery Solutions (BRS) has developed a unique biorefining technology that can isolate food grade proteins from such onion residues. These protein concentrates have very strong umami taste enhancing properties. Moreover, when extracted from red onion peels, the protein concentrate also has a heat stable carmine red color.

Onion proteins  and fibers

This is the first time that value-added food ingredients have been isolated from onion residues. The biorefining technology developed by BRS and the resulting products are currently being patented.

The resulting onion fiber fraction has strong water binding characteristics and is useful as a gluten free dietary fiber additive in, e.g., bread products.

These products allow food companies to reduce salt in their product formulations and replace E-number ingredients, such as E621 (MSG) and E120 (Cochineal) with a natural ingredient. This contributes to a much desired “clean-label” policy.

Applications are in consumer products such as meat replacers, soups and sauces, snacks and bakery products.