US agribusiness Bunge has invested AUD 45.7 million ($35.4 million approx.) in Australian Plant Proteins (APP), a supplier of plant protein isolates.
APP produces and supplies protein isolate powders sourced from local Australian pulses – including faba beans, yellow peas, mung beans, chickpeas and red lentils – which can be used in a variety of plant-based applications such as beverages, yogurts, meat alternatives, protein bars, sauces and baked goods.
The investment will enable APP to double the output of its plant protein isolates production by March 2022. Founded in 2016 by agricultural investment company Eat Group, APP launched its first commercial-scale processing plant facility in Horsham last year.
Under the terms of the agreement, Bunge will acquire a minority stake in the company and become the exclusive distributor for APP in the Americas. Bunge will also have the option to license APP proprietary processing technology outside Australia.
“Securing investment and distribution agreements with a major multinational such as Bunge, alongside our existing partnership with Scalzo Foods in Australia and New Zealand, is testament to the value and ongoing growth in demand for quality, plant-based protein options,” said Brendan McKeegan, APP co-founder and director.
Through the partnership, the companies aim to meet the increasing demand for highly functional, non-genetically modified plant proteins from plant-based food and beverage manufacturers.
“As soon as APP commenced commercial production in November 2020, we experienced soaring demand for our premium faba bean protein isolate in Australia and internationally, with customers impressed with the product’s high functionality and clean taste,” McKeegan added.
According to APP, the high functionality of its faba bean protein isolate stems from its proprietary fractionation process that retains protein quality during production.
Bunge entered the plant-protein segment with a portfolio of pea and canola proteins in 2020 and is now expanding with APP’s offerings.
“By combining APP’s proprietary extraction technology with our application expertise and global sales and distribution networks, we provide a significant competitive advantage in making quality plant protein accessible to customers around the world,” said Kaleb Belzer, Bunge’s VP, protein business.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2023