The startup, Parabel USA, based in Florida, may soon use water lentils to make a new plant-based milk. Water lentils, also known as duckweed or lemna/Lemnaceae, is a high-protein micro aquatic plant, which will only need a minimal process to make the milk.
Water lentils contain levels of essential amino acids and BCAAs that comparable to animal-based whey and are higher than other plant proteins, including soy, according to Parabel. Water lentils have an advantage over plants, in that it can double in mass in 24 to 26 hours and can be harvested everyday, all year round. The United States Food and Drug Association has already given it a “no objections” letter confirming the GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status.
“We are all elated to have achieved this breakthrough innovation,” Parabel chief technology officer Peter Sherlock told media outlet Food Navigator-USA. “Our lentil milk is similar in color to regular milk and captures the extraordinary, high-quality protein and mineral benefits of water lentils while containing no allergens.”
Parabel also makes other products from water lentils, including protein flour, concentrates, and isolates. They are currently considering bringing the milk to the market.