FRANCE – French-based food ingredients manufacturer Roquette has opened an R&D accelerator for plant proteins in Vic-sur-Aisne, France to “bring plant-based innovation up to a new level.”
Roquette is said to have invested about US$13 million in building the 21,000-square-foot facility which will mainly focus on developing new pea and wheat proteins.
The French leader in plant-based protein ingredients also intends to add “several new sources of protein” to its portfolio every five years based on work done at the R&D center.
The new facility opens as Roquette readies what it described as the world’s largest pea protein plant, under construction in Canada, and set to start production before the end of 2021.
The 67-acre plant in Winnipeg, Canada, is part of a US$600 million investment in pea protein production which the company prefers for its high protein content and sustainability.
The company has been dealing with peas among other plant-based sources of proteins since its founding in 1933.
Its Nutralys Textured Pea Proteins come in a range of different textures and shapes, and are used in a variety of products, including plant-based chicken tenders, burgers and milk.
Roquette’s investment in the legume shows its belief in further growth potential for plant-based ingredients.
According to Research and Markets, the global pea protein market size is projected to grow from US$745 million in 2020 to US$1.4 billion by 2025, recording a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.5% during the forecast period.
The market research firm notes that the multifunctional properties of pea protein is a key factor projected to drive the growth of the market during the forecast period.
The growth potential of Pea protein as demonstrated above has influenced other ingredient manufacturers to invest huge sums into further development of the legume.
Ingredion invested US$185 million in the pulse last year while Cargill in partnership with Puris has invested US$75 million in a Minnesota pea protein production center set to open this year.
Puris harvests and develops the ingredient to be used in plant-based products such as Beyond Meat’s Beyond Burgers.
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