WESTCHESTER, ILL. — Ingredion, Inc. will invest $140 million into producing protein isolates from peas and a range of pulse-based flours and concentrates. The investment covers two North American facilities: one in South Sioux City, Neb., and the other in Saskatchewan.

Westchester-based Ingredion has entered into a joint venture agreement with Verdient Foods, Inc., a company based in Vanscoy, Sask., that jointly is owned and operated by James Cameron, an Oscar-winning film director, and Suzy Amis Cameron, his wife, and PIC Investment Group. Investments in an existing facility will lead to the production of pulse-based concentrates and flours from peas, lentils and fava beans for human food applications.

“We’ve found a great partner in Ingredion,” said Mr. Cameron, who won Oscars for the films “Titanic” and “Avatar.” “They share our vision for plant-based proteins and other ingredients from pulses, and with their resources, expertise and world-wide 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.”

Ingredion also will invest in a soy processing facility in South Sioux City that it acquired in February and will transform the site into a producer of protein isolates from peas. Future expansions at the site will include production of isolates from other pulses. The ingredients will enhance Ingredion’s Vitessence pulse protein isolate line.

“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,” said James P. Zallie, president and chief executive officer of Ingredion. “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 clean label, wholesome, texture and nutritional ingredient solutions.”