Pea milk
Food energy
(per serving)
70 kcal (293 kJ)
Nutritional value
(per serving)
Proteing
Fat4.5 g
Carbohydrateg

Pea milk (also known as pea protein beverage) is a type of plant milk. It is made using pea protein extracted from yellow peas,[1] usually in combination with water, sunflower oil, micronutrients added for food fortification, thickeners, and phosphates. Commercial pea milk typically comes in sweetened, unsweetened, vanilla and chocolate flavors.[2] It is marketed as a more environmentally-friendly alternative to almond milk and a non-GMO alternative to soy milk.[3] It is a suitable product for people with soy allergies.[4]

Like other plant milks, pea milk is perceived to be environmentally sustainable and requires less water than the production of dairy milk.[5] There is currently limited information on the total carbon emissions and water consumption of producing ready to drink pea milk.[6] Plain pea milk is described to have an off-white colour,[7] a creamy texture,[5] and a thick consistency.[8] Unsweetened pea milk in particular is noted for having a savoury, "pea-like" flavour.[8][9]

History

Pea milk was introduced in the UK retail market by the brand Mighty Society,[5] and in Australia by the Freedom Foods Group.[10] It was introduced in the US Whole Foods Markets in 2015 by Ripple.[1] By 2018, pea milk was available in more than 10,000 stores in the US.[11] Major consumer product company Nestlé released its own version of the drink, called Wunda, in 2021.[12]

Production

Plant milk is made through crushing the plant source and extracting the liquid.[13] Pea milk in Australia is made through a process of soaking yellow split peas and blending with water.[7]

Pea milks are fortified, which may include addition of various micronutrients, such as vitamin D2 and vitamin B12 to the milk during manufacturing.[5]

As per research, plant-based milk alternatives' taste can be improved by fermentation[13] and can increase the levels of Vitamin Bs and protein.[13]

Composition and nutritional values

Using RDI (Reference Daily Intake) as a measurement, commercially available pea milk in the US contains 13% of potassium, 10% of vitamin A, 30% of vitamin D, 15% of iron, along with 4.5 grams of fat (from sunflower or other seed oils used in manufacturing), and provides 290 kilojoules (70 kilocalories) per 240 millilitres (8 US fl oz) (unsweetened, original flavour).[citation needed]

According to food fortification used during manufacturing, pea milk may contain various added micronutrients, such as vitamin B3, B6, B12, calcium, and protein.[13] Some types of pea milk contain algal oil, which contains omega-3 fatty acids.[11]

Other potential uses

Milk with pea proteins can be included in infant formula.[14] Pea protein powders have been developed and are being sold to meet the demand for high-protein diets.

Yellow split pea used to produce pea milk
Yellow split pea used to produce pea milk

Environmental impact

Further information: Environmental sustainability

As an alternative to milk, pea milk has growing market interest due to the perceived benefits that it is ecologically sustainable.[1] It requires 100 times less water to produce than almond milk, and 25 times less water than dairy milk.[5] Another source has stated that pea crops require six times less water than almond crops.[11] The growing of pea crops also results in nitrogen levels in the soil and does not require extensive irrigation.[11] Overall, the production of peas does not require the same level of water, nitrogen fertilisers and emissions of greenhouse gases as producing dairy milk.[15]

References

  1. ^ a b c Judkis, Maura (21 September 2017). "Get ready for pea milk. It doesn't taste like peas and it's not even green". Washington Post. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  2. ^ Zimberoff, Larissa (20 April 2016). "Are you prepared to drink pea milk?". Mashable. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  3. ^ Peters, Adele (18 April 2016). "This Pea-Based Milk Is Healthier Than Almond Milk, And Actually Tastes Almost Like Milk". Fast Company. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  4. ^ "4 Pea Milk Brands & Products That Are Creamy & Rich - 2020". Thrive Cuisine. 2018-10-31. Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  5. ^ a b c d e "How does pea milk compare to other plant-based dairy alternatives?". Evening Standard. 2019-05-23. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  6. ^ Youn, Soo (2016-05-25). "Drink pea milk and save the world: but what if the peas are shipped from France?". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-05-13.
  7. ^ a b "Forget Almond, Pea Milk Is What You'll Be Putting In Your Coffee Next". whimn. 2018-07-25. Retrieved 2020-05-13.
  8. ^ a b Schmalbruch, Sarah (2016-08-19). "We tried a new dairy-free milk made from peas -- here's the verdict". Business Insider Australia. Retrieved 2020-05-13.
  9. ^ "Dailybreak". www.dailybreak.com. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  10. ^ "Pea Milk: The new vegan milk to hit Australia | Australian Food News". www.ausfoodnews.com.au. Retrieved 2020-05-25.
  11. ^ a b c d "A Peas Offering For The Dairy Aisle: Can This Milk Alternative Rival The Real Deal?". NPR.org. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  12. ^ "Nestlé's new pea-based milk alternative is epic in everything". Nestlé Global. Retrieved 2021-09-08.
  13. ^ a b c d Tangyu, Muzi; Muller, Jeroen; Bolten, Christoph J.; Wittmann, Christoph (December 2019). "Fermentation of plant-based milk alternatives for improved flavour and nutritional value". Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. 103 (23–24): 9263–9275. doi:10.1007/s00253-019-10175-9. ISSN 0175-7598. PMC 6867983. PMID 31686143.
  14. ^ Kent, Robert M.; Doherty, Sinéad B. (October 2014). "Probiotic bacteria in infant formula and follow-up formula: Microencapsulation using milk and pea proteins to improve microbiological quality". Food Research International. 64: 567–576. doi:10.1016/j.foodres.2014.07.029. ISSN 0963-9969. PMID 30011690.
  15. ^ Krietsch, Beth (2020-01-07). "The Best Milk Alternatives For Your Health (And The Environment)". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2020-05-25.