Estimated to be one of the fastest-growing sources for plant-based protein, according to Benson Hill, pea protein continues to be a sought-after ingredient for many plant-based formulations, including the booming plant-based meat alternatives space, estimated to become a $140bn global market by 2029, according to Barclays.
Despite demand, "yellow pea has traditionally received very little genomic innovation," noted Benson Hill.
Through its yellow pea program, Benson Hill has developed a comprehensive map of the yellow pea genome to speed up development cycles and the time it takes to bring the ingredient to market to within three to five years, according to the company.
It has also established a dedicated yellow pea breeding station in Minot, North Dakota, in close proximity to the company's wholly owned yellow pea operating subsidiary, Dakota Ingredients. The program also leverages the analytics and food science insights of Benson Hill's CropOS platform to accelerate the ingredient's development.
Another focus is increasing yellow pea protein content, said Benson Hill.
"There's a misalignment between what consumers want from plant-based food products and what commodity ingredients can deliver today. At Benson Hill, we are using cutting-edge technology and a unique go-to-market business model to address this growing disparity," said CEO Matt Crisp.
"Our yellow pea program, combined with the analytical power and food science insights of CropOS, will empower us to harness the natural genetic diversity within the plant and deliver more whole ingredients that offer great taste with fewer additives and significantly improved environmental benefits."