WESTCHESTER, ILL. — Ingredion, Inc. has unveiled plans to ramp up its investment with Vanscoy, Sask.-based Verdient Foods, Inc. Ingredion said it will increase its investment in the joint venture to $185 million from $140 million by the end of 2020. The additional funds will be used to build a new manufacturing facility to produce specialty pulse-based concentrates and flours from peas, lentils and fava beans.

Ingredion and Verdient formed their joint venture in December 2018. The joint venture is owned and operated by James Cameron, an Oscar-winning film director, and Suzy Amis Cameron, his wife, and PIC Investment Group.

“We’ve advanced our specialties strategy to capitalize on the trends shaping the food industry,” said James P. Zallie, president and chief executive officer of Ingredion. “Our latest investment will significantly expand our product portfolio to provide more innovative solutions to our customers, which will enable future growth. Ingredion and Verdient also share a common vision that sustainable and trusted sourcing will play an important role in the future of consumer-preferred plant-based proteins.”

The new manufacturing facility is expected to be operational in the second half of 2020. Once completed, it will significantly increase the joint venture’s food processing capabilities to meet the growing consumer demand for plant-based proteins.

“I’m excited to further our relationship with Ingredion, which will power significant expansion of plant-based proteins to consumers around the world,” Mr. Cameron said. “By working together, we have an amazing opportunity to be leaders in the next wave of global food production, which will have a lasting impact to future generations.”

Igor Playner, vice-president of plant-based proteins at Ingredion, added, “By combining our expertise in product formulation with Verdient’s high-quality Canadian-sourced pulses, we are uniquely positioned to be a reliable source supporting manufacturers as they create great-tasting and affordable plant-based proteins for food and beverages.”

The additional investment in the Verdient joint venture is the latest in a series of actions taken by Ingredion to spur growth in plant-based proteins. In February 2018 the company purchased a processing facility in South Sioux City, Neb. Ingredion said it is making significant capital investments to transform the site to produce pulse-based protein isolates. By the end of 2019 Ingredion expects the facility to be able to produce ingredients that enhance its current Vitessence Pulse protein isolate line.