USA –  British multinational food ingredients supplier Tate & Lyle PLC  has acquired Virginia-based chickpea protein and flour company Nutriati in a move to claim a share of the burgeoning plant-based protein arena.

Nutriati has been supplying chickpea ingredients to customers since 2018 and is the owner of the Artesa® Chickpea Protein and Artesa® Chickpea Flour.

The Artesa chickpea protein is described as a high quality concentrated protein source with a digestibility score of 93% and a PDCAAS of 0.82 – at the top end of the scale for plant-proteins.

The protein – which is white, odorless, and neutral-tasting with a hint of nutty sweetness – has no beany taste, which makes it attractive for manufacturers of products such as plant-based beverages and ice cream.

According to Tate & Lyle, Nutriati’s ingredients can be found in leading non-dairy, plant-based meat and gluten free brands, mainly in North America. 

The transaction comes six months after London, United Kingdom headquartered Tate & Lyle entered a deal to distribute Nutriati’s ingredients.

The acquisition involves certain assets of the US company, including intellectual property assets, and assumed selected liabilities, according to a statement from Tate & Lyle.

Nick Hampton, Chief Executive of Tate & Lyle, said: “This acquisition complements our existing ingredient portfolio perfectly and supports our purpose pillars of supporting healthy living and caring for our planet.

We look forward to fully maximising the strong functional benefits of these plant-based, chickpea derived products and offering an even wider range of fortification solutions to our customers.” 

While chickpea protein is not yet produced on a commercial scale by any of the major players in plant proteins, there is growing interest in its potential to create better-tasting meat and dairy alternatives.  

Chickpeas are also attracting interest from brands comparing the sustainability credentials of key ingredients, as they require far less energy and water, and fewer pesticides than rival protein sources, claimed Nutriati co-founder and CTO Michael Spinelli.

Foodtech firms such as Nutriati and Israel-based InnovoPro (which recently attracted investment from Ingredion) have responded to this demand by developing technology to extract highly functional chickpea ingredients.

Michael Todd, Chief Executive of Nutriati, commented: “Since establishing Nutriati, we have worked to solve taste, nutrition, functionality and sustainability challenges for the plant-based and gluten free markets.

With a global reach and strong focus on health and wellbeing, Tate & Lyle is very well positioned to develop this offering and I wish them all the best for the future.” 

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