WNA Blog

Tue 4 Jun 2024

Women in STEM: The Uses of Plant-Based Protein in the Food Industry in Australia

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This article explores the diverse applications of plant-based protein, highlighting its impact on consumer choices, product innovation, and the growing trend towards a healthier, eco-friendly diet.

In recent years, the food industry in Australia has witnessed a significant shift toward plant-based protein. This change is driven by a growing awareness of health benefits, environmental concerns, and the ethical considerations of consumers.

Plant-based proteins like Atura (chickpea protein available in Australia at Deltagen Australia) are contributing to this evolving landscape by offering innovative plant-based protein solutions. As plant-based diets become more popular, the food industry is adapting to meet the demand. This article explores the various uses of plant-based protein in Australia, highlighting the trends, benefits, and future potential.

The Rise of Plant-Based Diets

The plant-based movement is more than a passing trend; it’s a lifestyle change for many Australians. According to a report by Food Frontier, the plant-based meat sector alone could generate up to $3 billion for the Australian economy by 2030. This surge is fueled by a variety of factors including health benefits, environmental sustainability, and animal welfare concerns.

Health Benefits of Plant-Based Protein

Plant-based proteins are an excellent source of essential nutrients. They are typically lower in saturated fats and cholesterol compared to animal proteins. Studies have shown that diets rich in plant-based proteins can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. For instance, chickpeas, a popular plant-based protein source, are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making them a healthy alternative to meat.

Environmental Impact

The environmental impact of the food industry is a critical concern, and plant-based proteins offer a more sustainable option. The production of plant-based proteins requires significantly less water and land compared to animal agriculture. Additionally, it generates fewer greenhouse gases. For example, producing one kilogram of plant-based protein can save up to 90% of the water and land used for the same amount of beef protein. This makes plant-based proteins a crucial part of the solution to reducing the food industry’s environmental footprint.

Plant-Based Protein Products in Australia

The variety of plant-based protein products available in Australia has expanded rapidly. Here are some of the most popular categories:

Meat Alternatives

One of the most significant developments in plant-based proteins is the creation of meat alternatives. Brands like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have made headlines with their plant-based burgers that mimic the taste and texture of beef. These products are now widely available in Australian supermarkets and restaurants, making it easier for consumers to choose plant-based options.

Dairy Alternatives

Dairy alternatives, such as almond milk, soy milk, and oat milk, have become mainstream in Australia. These plant-based milks cater to those who are lactose intolerant or looking to reduce their dairy consumption for health or ethical reasons. Additionally, plant-based cheeses, yogurts, and ice creams are gaining popularity, offering delicious options for those avoiding dairy.

Protein Powders and Supplements

The fitness industry in Australia has also embraced plant-based proteins. Protein powders made from pea, rice, and hemp are popular among athletes and fitness enthusiasts. These supplements provide a convenient way to boost protein intake without relying on animal products.

The Future of Plant-Based Proteins in Australia

The future of plant-based proteins in Australia looks promising. As technology advances, the taste, texture, and nutritional profile of plant-based products continue to improve. Additionally, increasing investment in research and development is expected to bring new and innovative products to the market.

Consumer Education and Awareness

Educating consumers about the benefits of plant-based proteins is crucial for continued growth. Campaigns and initiatives that highlight the health and environmental advantages can help shift consumer habits. Moreover, providing easy access to plant-based options in supermarkets, restaurants, and online platforms will make it simpler for people to incorporate these products into their diets.

Collaboration and Innovation

Collaboration between food producers, retailers, and policymakers can drive the growth of the plant-based protein sector. Encouraging innovation through grants, subsidies, and supportive policies can accelerate the development of new products and technologies. For instance, the Australian government’s investment in sustainable agriculture and food innovation plays a pivotal role in supporting the plant-based protein industry.


The use of plant-based protein in the Australian food industry is not just a trend; it is a transformative shift towards a more sustainable and healthy future. With its myriad benefits for health, the environment, and animal welfare, plant-based protein is poised to become a staple in Australian diets. By embracing this change, consumers and producers alike can contribute to a better and more sustainable food system.

As we move forward, the continued growth and innovation in the plant-based protein sector will undoubtedly shape the future of food in Australia. Whether you are a consumer looking to make healthier choices or a business aiming to meet the rising demand, the plant-based protein revolution offers exciting opportunities for everyone involved.

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