Ingredion Incorporated, a Westchester, Ill.-based provider of ingredient solutions to diversified industries, said it is taking several steps to accelerate production of plant-based proteins globally. The combined $140 million of strategic investments will further position the company 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.

In February 2018, Ingredion purchased a soy processing facility in South Sioux City, Neb., and is making significant capital investments to transform the 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, Ingredion said, to include higher-protein isolates primarily for the nutrition, health and wellness categories.

Ingredion also said it entered into a joint venture agreement with Verdient Foods Inc., Vanscoy, Saskatchewan, which is owned and operated by Oscar-winning film director James Cameron, as well as 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.

“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,” said Jim Zallie, Ingredion’s president and CEO. “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.”