Developing nutritious new ingredients from plant by-products at PGP International

06 Mar 2024

PGP International, a leader in developing speciality crisp and rice flour ingredients, has developed a healthy new ingredient made from the discarded hulls of hemp seeds. Researchers at Brightseed found this often-discarded by-product contains two gut-healthy bioactive compounds, and the experts at PGP International have incorporated this BioGut™ hemp hull fibre into a new product, Bio Hemp Fiber Crisps, to bring the nutritional benefits of this untapped ingredient to market. This product development is celebrated as an example of ABFI’s broader approach and commitment to sustainability, using existing resources more efficiently and promoting good health and well-being

The superpower of hemp seeds and their hulls

Hemp seeds are considered by many to be a superfood for their protein and fibre-rich properties. Among other benefits, they contain essential fatty acids like omega 3 and 6. Yet the hard outer layer, the hull, is often removed and discarded. 

Brightseed pre-clinical research, powered by an AI tool, found hemp seed hulls uniquely contain significant levels of N-trans-Caffeoyltyramine and N-trans-Feruloyltyramine. These bioactive compounds naturally occur in plants and have digestive health benefits. These two bioactives are associated with good gut health, particularly supporting gut lining integrity. 

Brightseed’s research and PGP International’s ingredient innovation comes as consumers are increasingly looking for food that’s good for their gut health. According to Brightseed research, 60% of consumers believe gut health is important, and 65% want to increase their intake of bioactives. 

Developing a powerful new ingredient

PGP International is the first company to use Brightseed BioGut Fiber sourced from hemp hulls to produce Bio Hemp Fiber Crisps, an ingredient that adds a noticeable crunchy texture to products while delivering added dietary fibre content. PGP International combines Brightseed’s upcycled BioGut Fiber with rice flour to create a kosher, gluten-free, soy-free, non-GMO and plant-based crisp ready for food manufacturers to use in applications including protein bars, granola bars, snack bars, energy bars, and more. 

This new ingredient helps meet consumers' increasing wellness demands, adding another way for food manufacturers to incorporate insoluble dietary fibre into products that support gut health. What’s more, with BioGut™ Fiber’s recent upcycled certification, the ingredient aligns with PGP International’s approach to sustainability by incorporating important circular economy principles that maximise resource use and reduce waste.

Innovative new ingredients that enable sustainability

ABF Ingredients’ approach to sustainability is based on three pillars: People, Planet and Customers. PGP International’s new ingredient that leverages upcycled ingredients and supports good health is the latest example of a product from an ABFI business that helps enable sustainability and use the collective scientific know-how across our businesses to make a difference to some of the world’s sustainability challenges one step at a time. 

Jay Dhillon, Safety, Risk and Sustainability Director for ABFI, commented, “Tapping into the previously unknown benefits of parts of ingredients that would usually be discarded, like hemp hulls, is an excellent example of how more can be done to reduce waste and provide genuine health benefits to consumers simultaneously. The scientists across the wider ABFI group continue to look for new ways to provide our customers with the solutions they need to meet their sustainability goals and reduce our environmental impact.”