Cargill & PURIS team to expand production of pea protein to feed demand for plant-based options

By Elizabeth Crawford

- Last updated on GMT

Tyler Lorenzen of PURIS in a pea field. Photo by Bill Phelps.
Tyler Lorenzen of PURIS in a pea field. Photo by Bill Phelps.

Related tags Pea protein Vice president of the united states Cargill

A joint venture between ingredient suppliers Cargill and PURIS announced today will allow for the significant expansion of pea protein production at a time when more consumers are looking for plant-based options that deliver health benefits, are sustainable and don’t compromise taste.

“With a world population expected to grow to 9 billion by 2050, and the demand for protein expected to rise with the population and their increasing incomes, Cargill is committed to growing our plant protein portfolio. This includes investing in, and growing, our traditional protein business, as well exploring new opportunities for future growth, such as pea protein,”​ David Henstrom, vice president of Cargill starches, sweeteners and texturizers, told FoodNavigator-USA.

He explained pea protein’s appeal to Cargill is based on the ingredient’s “attractive sensory characteristics, nutritional profile, functionality, versatility in applications and ability to meet consumers’ growing expectations for non-GM and organic protein options.”

PURIS’ “high quality, great tasting pea protein”​ not only checks all these boxes, but the company also is a good fit with Cargill because they both share a commitment to their operating and ethical values, Henstrom said.

For example, PURIS is a vertically-integrated operation focused on sourcing and manufacturing its broad portfolio of pea-based ingredients in the US “for an extra level of certainty,”​ President Tyler Lorenzen told FoodNavigator-USA. He added these attributes “separate us from the other products that have similar generic names but are very, very different.”

A broad portfolio based on peas

He also noted that PURIS’ portfolio goes beyond that of others using peas because it not only makes pea protein, but recently expanded into starches, fibers and carbohydrates from peas. In addition, he said, PURIS is able to help its consumers create applications using its patented processes and technology to ensure uncompromising taste and texture.

“We are bringing a full solution – that taste experience as well. So, for us, it is having the right answers across a portfolio of categories where people are looking to put protein in everything and then people are looking for clean label ingredients in everything. So, whether that is the starch or fiber or carbohydrate, people are looking for clean label solutions in that as well, and we can provide it,”​ Lorenzen said.

Plans for growth

Under the new partnership, Cargill’s minority investment in PURIS’s pea protein business will allow PURIS to increase production by expanding to a second plant in the US. This in turn will allow PURIS to expand distribution on a global scale, Lorenzen said.

Henstrom noted that both companies will share commercial responsibilities to distribute the pea protein. He also said that the deal expands a prior limited distribution agreement for Cargill selling PURIS pea protein.

A new look but the same direction

The arrangement also comes months after PURIS’ undertook a massive rebranding​, including a new company name and new packaging that more closely resembles that of finished goods.

“We renamed the company to PURIS, originally it was World Food Processing, largely because of this incredible growth we are having as a business. We are adding a ton of new people and one of the things we never want to lose is our purpose,”​ which is reflected more clearly in the name PURIS, which is a spin on “pure is,” Lorenzen said.

He added that his father, who founded the company, wanted to feed people better food that tastes great, and with the new branding and new partnership with Cargill, PURIS is able to continue to fulfill that mission but on a larger scale.  

“What we are doing with Cargill, we can’t do by ourselves,”​ he said. But, he added, the company’s values will remain true.

“Our plans are to keep doing exactly what we have set out to do and maintain our commitment to non-GMO and organic, our commitment to pure organic growth and made-in-the-USA, where we can support farmers who are trying to do it differently and be successful,”​ he said. “And we are having a ton of fun doing it. It is exciting to share at a larger scale. I am personally incredibly excited to make my dad’s vision happen.”

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