Currently, Roquette produces its Nutralys branded pea proteins at a facility in Vic-sur-Aisne, France, using French-grown yellow peas, but is now seeing such strong demand in the US that it makes sense to manufacture them in the US as well, a spokeswoman told FoodNavigator-USA.
"WFP will manufacture a pea protein product in the US for Roquette. Roquette aims to very rapidly integrate pea protein coming from WFP into Nutralys, which is the Roquette brand name for nutrition applications. WFP will use its pea protein isolate facility in Turtle Lake, Wisconsin."
Higher protein, increased yield, and expanded maturity zones
Pea protein’s vegan, non-GMO and ‘green’ credentials are particularly attractive to formulators - along with the fact it’s not considered a major allergen; while its high digestibility, functional benefits (high solubility/low viscosity), and well-balanced amino acid profile is also appealing from a nutritional perspective, said the spokeswoman.
"As the leaders in the development of yellow field peas in US markets, WFP is producing yellow peas that have higher protein, increased yield, and expanded maturity zones. As the leading pea protein manufacturer in the world, Roquette saw a huge increase in North American demand and secured an offer through local sources.
"WFP is able to rapidly deliver a pea protein that boasts a very high grade and corresponds to customers’ requirements and to Roquette standards. Organic-certified pea protein could also be an opportunity in the US market with this new agreement."
Baked good, beverages, desserts, pastas, extruded snacks, cereal bars…
Nutralys 85% pea protein isolates are being used in a wide range of products from baked goods to drinks, desserts, pastas, extruded snacks, cereal bars, soups, powdered drinks, and soy milk alternatives. A 65% textured product is also available for use in meat analogs and other vegetarian foods.
Asked whether finding a ready market for pea starch could potentially limit the progress of the pea protein market, the spokeswoman said: "Among the five global leaders in the starch manufacturing industry, Roquette creates value through its efficient handling of its plant-based raw materials—namely by leveraging every component of those renewable raw materials both in name of sustainability and in meeting customers’ expectations in many markets.
"Processing five renewable raw materials (maize, wheat, potatoes, peas, and microalgae), Roquette has a huge asset and is able to extend its great advantage to long-term relationships with customers."
Roquette is one of several firms which has expanded its pea protein capacity in recent years along with NutriPea, Cosucra, Axiom Foods and several Chinese players.
Canadian plant-protein pioneer Burcon, meanwhile, said on its latest earnings call on February 13 that it was in “continued discussions with potential multi-national production and distribution partners” to commercialize Peazazz, its proprietary clean-tasting and soluble pea protein.