Last year, the company announced it had expanded its partnership with Verdient Foods to produce a variety of protein concentrates and flours from lentils and fava beans as well as peas.
Additional investments in the plant-based protein sector made by Ingredion in 2019 include an investment in San Francisco-based Clara Foods to produce egg proteins via microbial fermentation, and the creation of a dedicated innovation lab in Englewood, Colorado, to focus on the development of plant-based meat alternatives.
Earlier this year, Ingredion also invested in a Process Innovation Center in Bridgewater, New Jersey, to enable customers to test and develop formulations, ideas, and solutions for plant-based meat alternatives.
The global ingredients supplier has also hired two key executives to lead its specialty plant-based protein business including the appointment of Beth A.C. Tormey (formerly from Lonza where she led the consumer health and nutrition division) as vice president of plant-based proteins. On Oct. 1, 2020, Ingredion brought on Jeremy Xu as its senior vice president and chief innovation officer, who joined the company from Royal DSM.
“Over the last two years, we have strategically invested over $200m to build a leadership position in consumer-preferred plant-based proteins, which is central to Ingredion’s strategy and accelerating our Driving Growth Roadmap. We are well positioned to continue capitalizing on and benefiting from the megatrends driving the changes in the global food and beverage industry," stated Jim Zallie, Ingredion’s president and CEO.
“Acquiring 100% ownership in Verdient Foods enables Ingredion to accelerate net sales growth, further expand our manufacturing capability and co-create with our customers to serve the increasing consumer demand for plant-based foods."
As a result of the recent acquisition, Ingredion will operate two production facilities in Vanscoy, Saskatchewan, which will both produce a range of specialty pulse-based ingredients.