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11/01/2019 – News / Food Processing / Ingredients / Proteins / Ingredion / US

Ingredion invests $140m to accelerate growth in plant-based proteins

Ingredion invests $140m to accelerate gr

Chicago-headquartered Ingredion – a leading global provider of ingredient solutions to diversified industries – has announced several steps to accelerate production of plant-based proteins globally, through a combined US$140 million of strategic investments, including new processing facilities in North America.


The new investments will further position the company – which recorded annual net sales of nearly US$6bn in 2017 – with an expanded, broad range of plant-based protein solutions to support increased global demand. As a result, two North American manufacturing facilities will produce pea-protein isolates and a range of pulse-based flours and concentrates in 2019. 


Strategies for pulse protein expansion


Back in February 2018, Ingredion purchased a soy processing facility in South Sioux City, Nebraska, in the US, and is making significant capital investments to transform that site to produce protein isolates from peas with expansion plans to include production of isolates from other pulses as well. Once the investments are completed, this facility will produce ingredients that enhance the company’s current VITESSENCE® Pulse protein isolate line, to include higher protein isolates primarily for the nutrition, health and wellness categories.


Ingredion also recently announced that it has entered into a joint venture agreement with Verdient Foods, Inc. – a Canadian company based in Vanscoy, Saskatchewan, jointly owned and operated by Oscar® winning film director James Cameron and wife Suzy Amis Cameron, and a local Saskatchewan family office (PIC Investment Group). Investments are being made within the existing facility to make pulse-based protein concentrates and flours from peas, lentils and fava beans for human food applications. 


“A high-growth, high-value market opportunity”


“We’ve identified plant-based proteins as a high-growth, high-value market opportunity that is on-trend with consumers’ desire to find sustainable and good tasting alternatives to animal-based proteins,” advised Ingredion’s President and CEO, Jim Zallie.  “We’re excited by what these investments represent for Ingredion. Being a sustainable and trusted source of plant-based proteins provides us with another major ingredient platform to complement our offerings in clean label, wholesome, texture and nutritional ingredient solutions.” 


Mr Cameron stated that his business had “found a great partner” in Ingredion. “They share our vision for plant-based proteins and other ingredients from pulses, and with their resources, expertise and world-wide reach, together we can be leaders in the new wave of global food production,” he enthused. “This is also a huge opportunity for Canadians, especially in the prairie provinces, to add value locally to their vast agricultural production.” 


A $1.5bn segment by 2022 


An increased number of consumers are switching to plant-based diets for many reasons, including: protecting animals, preserving the environment, general health concerns or changing taste preferences. As more consumers seek these alternatives, the market for plant-based proteins is rapidly growing and extending beyond North America and to sources beyond soy and wheat protein. The global market for non-soy, gluten-free plant-based proteins is projected to be US$1.5 billion by 2022. As a result, manufacturers are looking at plant-based proteins that offer functional, sustainable and nutritional attributes, inclusive of non-GMO and certified organic options.


Sustainable, affordable, great tasting protein alternatives


“More consumers are looking for products with clean and simple labels, offering specific health and nutrition benefits that taste great,” said Tony DeLio, Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Chief Innovation Officer at Ingredion. “Meeting the nutritional needs and achieving the right functional requirements will require a broad range of protein alternatives that are sustainable, affordable and great tasting. By combining our expertise in product formulation with an expanded plant-based product portfolio, we’re well positioned to deliver a breadth of ingredient solutions for our customers around the world.”


“We look forward to working with Verdient Foods, Inc. and leveraging their sustainable sourcing practices for Canadian pulses,” added Mr Zallie in closing. “Our investments in Nebraska and Saskatchewan represent an exciting new chapter for Ingredion as an innovative ingredient solutions provider.”  



Ingredion Incorporated (NYSE: INGR) headquartered in the suburbs of Chicago, is a leading global ingredient solutions provider serving customers in more than 120 countries.  With 2017 annual net sales of nearly $6 billion, the company turns grains, fruits, vegetables and other plant materials into value-added ingredients and biomaterial solutions for the food, beverage, paper and corrugating, brewing and other industries. With Ingredion Idea Labs® innovation centers around the world and more than 11,000 employees, the Company develops ingredient solutions to meet consumers' evolving needs by making crackers crunchy, yogurt creamy, candy sweet, paper stronger, and adding fiber to nutrition bars.  For more information, visit

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