New U.S. Pea Protein Facility: Ingredion Expands ‘On-Trend’ Plant-Based Ingredient Production

4 Mins Read

Multinational ingredients firm Ingredion has expanded its “on-trend” line of plant-based solutions for the F&B industry, adding two pea-based ingredients to its Nebraska-based pea protein factory. Ingredion says the move is part of its strategy to “capitalise” on the fast-growing plant-based trend, as food brands and manufacturers continue to ramp up their vegan and vegetarian offerings in response to consumer demand.  

Ingredion has added pea protein isolate and pea-based starch to its plant-based portfolio produced at its new South Sioux City, Nebraska factory, the company announced in early March. Both ingredients – Vitessence Pulse 1853 and Purity P 1002 – are made from 100% sustainably sourced peas from North American farms, a distinction that Ingredion says makes it the only manufacturer in the region to offer “produced in the U.S. and Canada” plant protein isolate, concentrate, flour and starch to the F&B industry.

While the pea protein isolate offers 85% protein and is not a major food allergen, enabling food businesses to elevate the protein content of their products and meet shoppers’ growing demand for clean labels, the pea starch is described as a gluten-free ingredient that delivers the “just-right” texture in many alternative protein products such as plant-based cheese, as well as a replacement for gelatin in sweets and baked goods. 

We are committed to shaping the future of plant-based food – and we’re continually investing to help our customers formulate and innovate in this rapidly developing space.

Jim Zallie, President & CEO, Ingredion
Ingredion’s pea protein and other plant-based protein isolates are suitable for use in a number of food and alternative protein products. (Source: Ingredion)

The company says that the extended line of “on-trend” plant-based ingredients is part of its advancement to “capitalise on the trends shaping the food industry” and to “support global consumer demand” for plant-based proteins. While its pea protein and starch are produced in Nebraska, Ingredion’s other plant-based proteins, concentrates and ingredients are manufactured in Vanscoy, Saskatchewan in Canada. 

“We are committed to shaping the future of plant-based food – and we’re continually investing to help our customers formulate and innovate in this rapidly developing space,” commented Jim Zallie, president and CEO of Ingredion. 

“The addition of higher protein pulses capitalises on our ability to help our customers deliver consumer-preferred food and beverages to global markets. By combining our expertise and product formulation capabilities with high-quality ingredients, we are well positioned to be a reliable supplier supporting our customers with breakthrough, innovative plant-based solutions,” added Jorgen Kokke, executive vice president and president of Ingredion Americas. 

To further bolster its position as an alternative protein ingredients supplier, the company has not only invested in plant-based proteins but has also ventured into the fermentation space, recently becoming the sole commercialisation partner and distributor for Clara Foods’ new animal-free pepsin. 

Ingredion says that its expanded plant-based portfolio will enable food brands replace animal-derived ingredients from their products to cater to consumer demand. (Source: Ingredion)

The addition of higher protein pulses capitalises on our ability to help our customers deliver consumer-preferred food and beverages to global markets.

Jorgen Kokke, Ingredion EVP & President of Ingredion Americas

Developed using precision fermentation technology, Clara Foods’ first-of-its-kind pepsin displaces the need to slaughter animals for the enzyme, yet still bears the unique functionality of its porcine-based counterparts, with the added benefits of ethical and sustainability advantages. 

“We recognise that animal-free protein is emerging as a consumer value,” said Michael Natale, Ingredion’s global platform leader of plant-based proteins, at the time of Clara Foods’ announcement. 

Other ingredient suppliers have also ramped up their plant-based portfolio in response to the coronavirus-driven demand, such as Minneapolis-based pea protein supplier Puris Proteins. In September last year, Puris, who lists Beyond Meat among its clients, said it is expanding its range with organic pea syrup and sweet lupin flour, and is constructing its second pea protein plant. 

Set to become fully operational this year, Puris says its expanded production capacity will make it the “only dual manufacturer of pea protein in North America” to meet the demand for pea protein ingredients across a variety of alternative protein products, from plant-based meat and dairy products to nutritional supplements and drinks. 


Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock.

alternative proteiningredioningredion animal free pepsiningredion clara foodsingredion factoryingredion nebraska factoryingredion pea proteiningredion pea protein facilityingredion pea protein factoryingredion pea protein isolateingredion pea starchingredion pepsiningredion plant basedingredion plant based expansioningredion plant based factoryingredion plant based ingredientingredion plant based ingredientsingredion plant based proteiningredion plant based trendingredion plant protein productionpea proteinplant basedplant based demandplant based food industryplant based industryplant based ingredient supplierplant based ingredientsplant based protein factoryplant based trendplant proteinplant protein demandplant-based protein