Food-tech company, Equinom, and AGT Food and Ingredients Inc (AGT), one of the world’s largest suppliers of value-added plant-based food products and ingredients derived from pulses, have announced they have reached an agreement to accelerate the development, validation and commercialization of co-branded functional ingredients produced from Equinom ultra-high protein yellow pea varieties. Signaling a major commitment to creating a streamlined and sustainable supply chain for plant-based products for the food industry, the companies will co-create a portfolio of minimally processed plant protein ingredients, optimized from the source crops themselves, to improve the taste, nutrition, accessibility, and carbon footprint of a variety of foods and beverages.
The global plant protein market is estimated at US$12 billion and expected to surpass US$17 billion by 2027, a CAGR of 7.3%. Both companies are committed to developing innovative plant-based food ingredients that offer exceptional nutritional value and functionality and are made without the use of processing aids or chemical compounds that add cost and complexity and hinder sustainability.
Equinom uses its proprietary Manna technology platform to breed better crops from the source. The platform analyzes data from thousands of seed varieties and identifies those with desirable traits for food applications to breed new crop varieties that are both efficient to produce and deliver desirable taste, texture and performance in food and beverages – all without genetic engineering. With this collaboration, Equinom will provide AGT with its ultra-high protein yellow peas, and AGT will apply its expertise in pulses fractionation, processing, production and marketing to expand its pulse ingredient portfolio.
“To meet the growing global demand for better plant-based foods, we need more innovative, sustainably-produced ingredients that deliver on food functionality and fulfil the demand from both consumers and food companies for high-quality, plant-based protein products that are good for the environment,” commented Murad Al-Katib, President & CEO of AGT Food and Ingredients Inc. “This partnership will bring a new approach combining Equinom’s advanced breeding technology and expertise with AGT’s capability to make quality ingredients and food products. We believe there are great opportunities to create new and innovative clean-label, high-concentration plant-based protein products using the ultra-high protein yellow pea varieties Equinom has developed.” The partnership will broaden AGT’s existing portfolio of nutritious, non-GMO, gluten-free and hypoallergenic plant-based protein concentrates, flours and starches made from pulses. When compared to commercially available pea protein isolates currently used in food applications, AGT and Equinom’s collaborative pea protein ingredient is expected to deliver superior nutritional qualities, including reduced sodium and increased fiber, while also delivering significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, water, and energy usage. As part of the agreement, AGT will market and sell the co-branded ingredients to food companies in its existing network as well as new customers in the food marketplace.
“We’re thrilled to join forces with AGT and leverage their breadth of know-how and expertise in pulses and grain processing, production and marketing of ingredients,” added Rick Mignella, Chief Business Development Officer at Equinom. “We prioritize partnership at every level of the supply chain and view this collaboration with AGT – a like-minded, purpose-driven innovator in the ingredient space – as central to facilitating the widespread adoption of plant-forward eating that is so critical to improving the health of our growing population and our planet.”