ISRAEL – American multinational ingredient provider Ingredion Inc., is expanding its presence in the specialty protein market with the acquisition of an equity stake in chickpea ingredient developer InnovoPro, Tel Aviv, Israel.  

Founded in 2015, InnovoPro developed a proprietary extraction process that enables it to produce 70% protein concentrate from chickpeas. 

According to the company, its concentrate has a neutral taste, high functionality, and high nutritional value and can be used in various applications including dairy-free yogurt, ice cream, veggie burgers and energy bars. 

The acquisition further extends Ingredion’s presence in the global protein ingredients market which was valued at US$38.5 billion in 2020. 

With InnovoPro, Ingredion will be better suited to take advantage of increased demand as the market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.5% from 2021 to 2028, according to data from global market insights.   

The market is gaining momentum and witnessing a high demand owing to rising demand for food products, such as margarine, cold cuts, bakery products, spreads, yogurt, and milk sausages, which are produced using protein ingredients.  

Increasing consumption of these products among health-conscious and elderly consumers is also fueling market growth.   

“We believe this investment will unlock huge consumer appeal for chickpea protein concentrates,” said Michael Natale, global leader of Ingredion’s plant-based protein platform.    

“InnovoPro has a strong portfolio of chickpea solutions, and we are excited about the potential for the new applications that this will enable for our customers by capitalizing on the trends shaping the food industry.” 

In October 2020 InnovoPro raised US$18 million in a funding round led by Jerusalem Venture Partners.  

Additional investors included Icos Capital, iAngels, and the Rabo Food & Agri Innovation Fund, part of Rabobank’s investment arm.  

The investment was used to scale InnovoPro’s infrastructure and for business development activities. 

PureField expands wheat protein capacity 

Meanwhile, American food ingredient provider, PureField Ingredients has completed an expansion at its wheat protein extraction facility in Russell, Kansas. 

The company which extracts wheat protein solely from Kansas-grown wheat noted that the new facility has allowed them to add new customers and deepen relationships with existing customers. 

With more capacity on board, PureField targets to increase the annual production of its Heartland brand wheat protein by 50%. 

PureField chief executive officer, Brad Kelley noted that the company sees an opportunity in local sourcing as consumers demand healthy food that is grown and made in the US 

Given PureField extracts wheat protein solely from Kansas-grown wheat, the company’s wheat protein ingredients give food manufacturers a domestic source of plant protein for their products. 

The company already is planning for another extension at the facility as demand particularly from the bakery, pet food, packaged food, and vegetarian and vegan food markets continue to soar. 

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