PEScience Select Protein Bar Brings THICC Taste and Texture

PEScience has been a long-time favorite of PricePlow. It’s hard not to love a company that relies on actual data for their formulations. It’s also much harder to hate a company that puts out some of the most delicious-tasting protein products on the market, like the extremely clean but still delicious protein powder in Select Protein.

Better late than never, PEScience has finally dropped a line of protein bars with Select Protein Bars.

PEScience Select Protein Bar

Finally, PEScience has entered the protein bar market with Select Protein Bars… and they’re seriously hyping the taste and texture!

In the age of “me too” protein bars all seemingly made in the same factory, we must ask the age-old question: how are they any different?

Setting the Bar with Unique Proteins

PEScience’s shtick from the start has been to deliver products with scientifically sound ingredient profiles to market. Then they attacked with flavor.

PEScience

PEScience has some of our favorite protein powder flavors… can they follow suit with protein bars?!

For their protein powder, the brand went with a whey and casein blend when other companies relied only on whey, as the research showed that both parts of dairy protein are conductive for growth when combined. Then they took on the vegan market with Vegan Select Protein, and even launched a protein specifically suited for your oatmeal (Select Protein 4 Oats)!

This raises an interesting question regarding the Select Protein Bar. What can they bring new to the table here? Are they going for the science junkies, or the larger audience they’ve been attacking?

Let’s find out if the two-year development time resulted in a great product, but first, let’s see the coupon-driven prices on PricePlow and you can sign up for alerts on PEScience news:

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Our Select Protein Bar Review

Oh my! Yep they sure followed through with the claims!

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But will they be this soft six months from now? Who knows, but the taste is on point!!

PEScience Select Bar Nutrition

PEScience Select Protein Bar Ingredients

This is one heck of a busy label, and after exploring deeper, it’s not another “me too” bar!

Outside of trying it for yourself, the best place to start with any protein bar is the nutrition label. It’s a good measure of the texture and nutrition you’ll be getting.

A good suggestion for those new to the protein bar game: higher fiber bars lean towards the “Quest standard” and possess more chew. Lower fiber products with more sugar alcohols are more candy bar-esque.

The Select Bar, at a glance, is indistinguishable from its competition. It’s another low fat, high-fiber, moderate protein product with low net carbs (after the fiber is subtracted). Your first instinct may be to even write off the Select Bar as another “me-too” product. For instance, many industry fans may even remember the tragedy that was the OptiBar from Optimum Nutrition.

The Thicc: it’s about the texture differences

So we reached out to PEScience, who said the following about their new product:

The nice thing with some products is you don’t have to be different if you can be levels better. Not every new product has to have some new special angle. Just like Select powder. Nothing we did was way different from anyone, except maybe going whey/casein blend, but our taste and texture were miles ahead of everyone else which has made it a huge success. There no such thing as too late if you can be that far ahead of the rest.” The bars are the same way. Everyone told us we were stupid for doing a powder because we’d never break into the market. Now Select is sold in over 2000 stores worldwide and we are consistently ranking top 25 on BB.com. Industry critics (but not paying customers) might say it’s a me-too bar, but that is fine, we aren’t competing for coolest product release award. We are just making the best tasting bar with an unbeatable texture. And that will undoubtedly make a lot of customers happy. That’s what our company is about…the customer.

–PEScience

They’re completely right here. Think of every protein powder you’ve tried, almost all of them have similar caloric values. However, they taste different. PEScience isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel… they’re trying to produce the best wheel.

And to do that, they’re going after taste and texture – something you can’t see by glancing at the label.

Select Protein Bar Review Incoming

So right off the bat you’re going to need to subscribe to our YouTube channel, because if the label looks similar to the other products, we’ll need to see where it lands on the things that you can’t just read about! Stay tuned…

Nitty Gritty: Select Protein Bar Ingredient Analysis

There are a few things a bit different here though, and this is how they’re doing it:

  • Protein Blend

    The protein blend at work in the Select Bar is busy. Very busy.

    PES Select Protein Bar Review

    Whey Protein Crisps up in there!!

    In one bar, we have:

    • calcium caseinate
    • partially hydrolyzed whey protein isolate
    • milk protein isolate
    • casein protein

    Meanwhile, lower down on the label, their whey protein crisps also have:

    • whey protein isolate
    • whey protein concentrate

    And we even see some whey concentrate in the coating!

    That’s quite a frenzied stack of protein, but there’s one major thing we notice, especially in the primary protein blend:

    More thick proteins

    PEScience Protein Strawberry Cheesecake

    Not the first time we’ve seen a whey/casein blend! (PES Select Protein)

    The takeaway is this: caseinate, milk protein isolate, and casein are all “thick” proteins that will probably provide a better texture than a product that solely relies on whey. If you need to be convinced of this, try any protein recipe on the net with a whey isolate. Then try it with a milk protein based product. You will be blown away by the difference in taste and texture.

    Besides just texture, the proteins at play here all vary in how long they take to digest. The “thicker” proteins will take longer to digest while the whey isolate present in the product will digest rapidly. This is a likely a good thing for anabolism. Industry gods like Lyle Mcdonald have been praising the benefits of whey and casein blends for almost a decade.[1]

    It’s nice to see a company putting effort into producing good blended products, and given that PEScience already did this with Select Protein powder, we’d expect the same here.

  • Binders: Chicory Root, Soluble Corn Fiber, Glycerin, and…

    The first sign of a positive change. A few years ago, almost every protein bar on the market promised that they were “high in fiber”. However, the FDA slammed their foot down when they realized that IMO syrup was a lie. PES says so much in their marketing copy.

    Select Protein Bar White Chocolate Raspberry

    Check out that sandwich in the Select Protein Bar White Chocolate Raspberry flavor!!

    PEScience uses a combination of chicory root and soluble corn fiber for its fiber content. The fiber present in these ingredients are far better, for us at least! They even have a constipation warning on the PEScience website! Try not to eat two of these bars in a day unless you want to make a “Select” few trips to the bathroom!

    Glycerin: 7-9g of sugar alcohol

    Meanwhile, glycerin, a sugar alcohol, has been added. Alongside of the maltitol in the coating, there’s a pretty decent but not absurd amount of sugar alcohol — 9g worth. Maltitol is 50% glucose by definition, so it may spike blood sugar levels a bit.

    Glycerin use has been increasing for the bars that have been going after pure taste lately, and we consider it a good sign – although it may not be if you’re extremely sensitive to this sugar alcohol![2]

    Yet still a smidge of IMO Syrup

    Despite the marketing, however, PES also included IMO syrup (as isomalto-oligosaccharides from tapioca starch). Interestingly enough, this puts them “against the tide” of the industry and their own verbiage, but the good news is that it’s not high on the label and looks like a mere supporting ingredient.

    While IMO syrup was once the darling of the protein bar market, it has now been abandoned by its long-time supporters. Even Quest ditched IMO syrup for soluble corn fiber… but perhaps leaving just a little bit of it and not counting it as a fiber is where things work best!

    Cashew Butter or Peanuts

    Select Protein Bar Chocolate Peanut Butter

    Chocolate Peanut Butter has a sandwich style too!

    Finally, depending on the flavor, we see some cashew butter or peanuts inside, which should add a bit of creamy texture to help gel things together nice and thick.

  • Sweetener Action

    Outside of the sugar alcohols, PEScience is leaning on just one extra sweetener – sucralose – and it’s at the very end of the label. There’s also natural and artificial flavorings which are likely adding some sweetness as well. Chances are, much of the flavor of these bars comes from the amount of “real stuff” they threw into them. The peanut butter bar contains peanuts and cocoa!

Macros

These bars are neck and neck with their competition. The macros for the peanut butter chocolate flavor are shown below:

  • Calories: 220
  • Protein: 19g
  • Carbohydrates: 24g (2g sugar, 12g fiber, 7g sugar alcohol)
  • Fat: 8g (2.5g saturated)

Both flavors have the same amount of calories, but the white chocolate has one less gram of fat and more carbs than its peanut butter brother, which makes sense given the fat content of peanuts.

Flavors Available

At the time of this article’s publication, PEScience had only two flavors available for the Select Bar:

  • White Chocolate Raspberry
    Select Protein Bar White Chocolate Raspberry

    This one looks the best…

  • Chocolate Peanut Butter
    Select Protein Bar

    …but who are we kidding, we’re chocolate peanut butter bros!

Don’t worry about the lack of variety just yet. PES is famous for putting out insane flavors, just like their recent strawberry cheesecake Select Protein powder launch. If these products wind up successful, the offerings are sure to double at the very least.

PES went on the record further:

“You know how they say cooking is an art and baking is a science? Flavoring is definitely an art. Just like cooking. You could give 5 chefs the same steak and same seasonings, and they could all taste and feel a lot different. The texture ended up working the same way here.

So really that’s all. People might think it’s crazy that someone like us has some unique flavoring abilities that monster brands in the industry don’t have, but we firmly believe that. If we didn’t we’d be doing everyone who works here a disservice. And we think these bars will prove that.”

— PEScience

Takeaway:

THESE BARS ARE THICCCCCCCCCCCCCC.

Select Protein Bar Review

Chomp chomp!

At a glance, it seems the same as everything, but PEScience seems to have some big talk behind these. Their Select Protein Bar is a mix of two current industry standards: the fiber play and the glycerin-based sugar alcohol play. You’ll get enough protein to keep your macros in perfect order, while letting you feel like you’re “cheating” on your diet.

Since they’re claiming the taste and texture of these bars is so different from its competition, it sounds like we’ll all need to try it for ourselves, and you can let everyone know what you think in the comment section.

Let’s leave off with a final quote from PEScience:

So in a nutshell that’s how we describe it. Select Protein Bars taste and texture is miles above your typical protein bar on the market, in the same way that Select Protein powder is miles above the rest.

We know that once everyone tries it we won’t need to convince anyone about anything. In typical PEScience fashion we just let the satisfied customers do the talking.

— PEScience

Challenge accepted. So are you a member of team THICC?!

PEScience Select Protein Bar - Deals and Price Drop Alerts

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Disclosure: PricePlow relies on pricing from stores with which we have a business relationship. We work hard to keep pricing current, but you may find a better offer on your own.

Posts are sponsored in part by the retailers and/or brands listed on this page.

References:

  1. McDonald, L. (2007). The protein book: A complete guide for the athlete and coach. Salt Lake City, Ut: Lyle McDonald Publishing.
  2. Maltidex™ Maltitol. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.cargill.com/food-bev/emea/sweeteners/maltidex-maltitol

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