Global ingredient solutions provider Ingredion has unveiled its plans to accelerate production of plant-based proteins with an investment of $140m.

The investment is expected to broaden the company’s plant-based protein solutions in order to meet the increasing global demand.

Under this initiative, Ingredion’s two North American manufacturing facilities will produce pea-protein isolates, as well as a wide range of pulse-based flours and concentrates from next year.

Ingredion president and CEO Jim Zallie said: “We’ve identified plant-based proteins as a high-growth, high-value market opportunity that is on-trend with consumers’ desire to find sustainable and good tasting alternatives to animal-based proteins.

“We’re excited by what these investments represent for Ingredion. Being a sustainable and trusted source of plant-based proteins provides us with another major ingredient platform to complement our offerings in the clean label, wholesome, texture and nutritional ingredient solutions.”

“We’ve found a great partner in Ingredion.  They share our vision for plant-based proteins and other ingredients from pulses.”

In February, Ingredion acquired a soy processing facility in South Sioux City, Nebraska. It is now planning make an investment in the facility to produce protein isolates from peas. The firm also plans to include the production of isolates from other pulses under the future expansion strategy for the facility.

Upon completion of the transformation, the facility in South Sioux City will produce ingredients that will further enhance Ingredion’s Vitessence Pulse protein isolate line with higher protein isolates. This will help the firm to serve the nutrition, health and wellness markets.

Additionally, Ingredion has entered into a joint venture (JV) agreement with Verdient Foods, a Canadian company jointly owned and operated by film director James Cameron, Suzy Amis Cameron and PIC Investment Group.

Currently, investments are being made within the existing facility to produce pulse-based protein concentrates and flours from peas, lentils for food applications.

James Cameron said: “We’ve found a great partner in Ingredion.  They share our vision for plant-based proteins and other ingredients from pulses, and with their resources, expertise and worldwide reach, together we can be leaders in the new wave of global food production.

“This is also a huge opportunity for Canadians, especially in the prairie provinces, to add value locally to their vast agricultural production.”