By Cliff Harvey
While some companies on the market like to claim their protein powders are “raw” the truth is this may be a bit misleading. Raw foods, by nature, are very minimally processed, however when creating protein powder this is nearly impossible. The ingredients that go into protein powders need to be milled, processed, and sanitized in a way that makes them both safe and effective for consumption, which does involve short periods in which the water temperature used to isolate the protein is raised to over 40oC, although the resulting protein is in no way denatured, damaged or rendered less digestible.
The raw material in Clean Lean Protein, Pisane® made by Cosucra in Belgium, is in our view the highest quality pea protein isolate available. The unique process that Cosucra uses to extract the protein component out of European Golden Peas (Pisum sativum) results in a protein with an exceptional amino acid profile that is very close to that of whey protein or egg white, both of which are allergenic. The water-based, solvent and chemical free extraction process delivers a protein that is 98% digestible and free from common allergens (i.e. it is hypoallergenic). It is also free of elements of the pea (e.g. lectins) that might adversely impact absorption or contribute to unpleasant flavour notes or odours (a common problem with many other pea proteins).
To summarise, while no heat is added to the finished product, it is a bit misleading to label the product as truly “raw”. Unfortunately, at this time there is no government standards or definition around this term, which allows for a lot of grey area when it comes to using the term on a product’s label.