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Ingredion unveils North American facility to support plant-based protein development

Ingredion has expanded its Canadian manufacturing assets in Vanscoy, Saskatchewan. The opening of its new production facility marks increased capabilities for pulse flours and concentrates sustainably sourced from North American farms.

The added capacity at the plant, along with a new proprietary process, will enable food and beverage brands to answer consumer demand for sustainable, plant-based proteins in more of their branded products. 

A plant-based future?
The advancements at the facility further reinforce Ingredion’s commitment to the future of plant-based food, says the company. 

Flagging the importance of plant-based protein products and its growth in the market,Jorgen Kokke, Ingredion’s executive vice president and president, Americas, states: “The plant-based food industry is experiencing unparalleled growth.” 

He continues that the expansion will accelerate the production and accessibility of plant-based ingredients to meet the needs of the company’s customers.

The facility currently produces flours and concentrates from pulses such as peas, lentils and fava beans. 

“Ingredion’s innovation team has worked hard to develop a new processing technology that will highly differentiate our products,” says Matthew Bennett, Ingredion’s global director of strategic marketing. 

Accelerating Canadian protein sector 
The facility’s expansion was made possible through Ingredion’s continued investment into plant-based food solutions and investments made by the Protein Industries Canada (PIC) innovation supercluster. 

Obtained as part of the November 2020 Verdient acquisition,Ingredion’s Vanscoy expansion builds upon its position in plant proteins, including pea protein isolates and starches produced in its South Sioux City, Nebraska facility. 

Both the facilities have a food safety management system that is certified against the Food Safety System Certification 22000 (FSSC 22000)scheme. 

Last December, Ingredion built up its range of plant-based proteins with Homecraft Quinoa 112 flour. The flour was initially introduced in the US and Canada, with other regions to follow.

The month previous, Canada positioned itself as a global player in high-quality plant ingredients, following an investment of CA$25.7 million(US$19.6 million) to increase the functionality of plant-based proteins and co-products.

Strides in “Plant-Forward” Themes

The trend toward more diverse plant-based options is highlighted in Innova Market Insights’ second Top Ten Trend for 2021: “Plant-Forward.” 

A consumer survey conducted by the market researcher in 2020 indicated that “diet variety” was among the top four reasons for considering plant-based alternatives, in addition to health, sustainability and taste.

Propelled by the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers are taking a more proactive approach to their holistic well-being, which is impacted by what they are seeking in F&B. In line with this plant-forward produce is gaining momentum.

Notably, US consumers are diversifying their intake of plant-based nutrition. In July, FoodIngredientsFirst reported that US consumers are eating more whole grains for their perceived health benefits, flavor and sustainability credentials. 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, one in five US consumers say they are eating more whole grains, and half have increased their intake in the last five years. 

Other drivers of higher whole grain intake include more at-home meals during the pandemic, the move toward plant-based eating and increased transparency with third-party labeling of whole grain foods. 

Source: Edited by Elizabeth Green


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