New plant science center to boost functional foods

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition

A new biotechnology hub dedicated to researching and developing new functional foods, nutraceuticals and plant biotechnology products is planned to open in Mexico, Missouri within the next three to four years.

The Missouri Plant Science Center (MPSC) will encompass research and manufacturing development for a range of nutraceuticals and functional foods ingredients and finished products.

The project is the result of a partnership between leading soy-based ingredient supplier to the nutrition industry, Soy Labs, University of Missouri and Missouri state and federal government agencies.


Soy Labs president, Ryan Schmidt said: “The goal of this project is to combine cutting-edge, plant-science research with pilot-scale manufacturing capabilities. A rich campus of innovators and companies, like Soy Labs, that want to bring cutting-edge products to market, it will help better the lives of Americans through healthy, value-added (functional food and nutraceutical) products.”

The center will allow companies with commercially-viable, plant-sourced products to prove their concepts and develop novel manufacturing methods to bring the products to market, he added.

Soy Labs will be the managing tenant of the 25,000 square-foot facility and will introduce other companies to the biotechnology science centre. Companies will share facilities including office space, wet and dry research laboratories, and manufacturing equipment to process soybeans and other plant-based material.

A statement from the soy ingredient supplier said that the company intended to “…focus future research and product development efforts on the combinatorial and formulaic compounds which include Lunasin and other phytonutrients that will play a role in the prevention of chronic disease.”

Funtional food

Its strategy involved collaborating with other companies in the nutrition, functional-food, nutraceutical, medical-food, and cosmeceutical industries to create new intellectual property and uniquely positioned products, it added.

The collaborations are expected to include many more supplements, cosmeceuticals, soy foods, functional foods and beverages.

The company spearheads research and develops proprietary, soy peptides, ingredients, and formulaic compounds for inclusion in nutritional products.

Funding for the center was supplied by several government entities. Investors include: The Missouri Department of Economic Development which contributed $5m in Community Development Block Grant and the Missouri Technology Corporation and the University of Missouri which each dedicated $2.5m.

The city of Mexico also contributed $950,000 in federal funds.

Earlier this month, representatives from Soy Labs joined officials from Missouri state and federal agencies to break ground joined forces at the new plant centre which is sited within an 80-acre Business Innovation Park.

Related topics: Suppliers

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