FoodTech Company Collaborates with Independent Seed Company to Scale Up Production of New Plant Protein Ingredients to Unlock Growth for the Plant-Based Food Category
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (July 26, 2022) – Today, Equinom, the company on a mission to cultivate plant-based ingredients that are truly better for people and our planet, and Peterson Farms Seed Inc., the largest independent seed company in the tri-state region of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota, have announced a long-term collaboration to produce identity preserved seeds of Equinom yellow peas. With the know-how and advanced expertise that Equinom has achieved in developing ultra-high protein yellow pea varieties, and the reputation Peterson Farms Seed has built as a seasoned industry leader, this joint agreement marks an exciting opportunity to commercialize innovative plant-proteins that can solve some of the key challenges facing the plant-based food category.
The pea protein market is expected to hit $2.9 billion by 2027 amidst increasing popularity and demand for plant-based foods. However, demand is projected to outpace supply due to the large investment needed to build the capital-intensive isolate processing facilities required to extract food-grade pea protein from commodity crops. This partnership will connect two important ends of the value chain to solve the root cause of the supply and quality gap.
Equinom will provide its patent-protected, high-protein yellow pea seeds that eliminate the need for the heavy processing typically required to produce food-grade pea proteins. Peterson Farms Seed will propagate the seeds utilizing its network of experienced seed producers to ultimately commercialize Equinom pea varieties. The Equinom pea varieties will be the foundation of minimally processed pea-protein ingredients sold by ingredient processors and used in food applications that have typically relied primarily on isolates.
Equinom uses its Manna™ technology platform to cultivate better ingredients from the source – with no genetic engineering. Leveraging a seed vault with thousands of seed varieties, the company breeds new source crops optimized not just for farming efficiency, but also for taste and nutrition. Manna™ utilizes AI to identify desirable traits for food applications and predict the best cross-breeding matches. As a result, pea protein made with the company’s nutrient-dense yellow pea varieties does not require the typical heavy and energy intensive processing that limits supply and increases costs. Minimal processing enables food companies to meet consumer demand for more affordable and planet friendly options.
“At Peterson Farms Seed, we take pride in our capabilities to produce quality, identity preserved (IP) seeds with our experienced network of farmers,” said Carl Peterson, President of Peterson Farms Seed. “The opportunity to connect our knowledge and passion with the innovative approach Equinom has taken to cultivate source crops optimized for food applications was one we couldn’t pass up. We see offering value-added crops as a necessary step as we collectively work toward creating a more sustainable and equitable food system for farmers and consumers alike.”
The companies’ combined efforts signal a monumental next step in commercializing more accessible food- grade pea proteins. Equinom has already supplied foundation seeds of its proprietary yellow pea varieties to Peterson Farms Seed. The produced seed and grain, from 700 acres planted on farms in its regional grower network, will be ready for harvest in early fall. While the initial agreement focuses on yellow peas specifically, given the range of other protein rich crops under development at Equinom, the companies plan to discuss additional opportunities to collaborate.
“This collaboration with Peterson Farms Seeds is a major step toward achieving our larger ambition - to help make our food system sustainable and accessible for a growing population,” said Oron Gar, Chief Operations Officer at Equinom. “This is the first time this kind of end-to-end, identity preserved supply chain has been formed for yellow pea. With their exemplary quality standards, Peterson Farms Seeds is the perfect collaborator to help us take this major step towards commercializing our game-changing, minimally processed pea protein ingredients.”
Equinom is a company on a mission to cultivate plant-based ingredients that are truly better for people and our planet. Equinom uses its Manna™ technology platform and vast seed vault to restore natural biodiversity to our existing food supply – by breeding higher quality, non-GMO crops optimized for food and minimal processing. With superior crops at their core, Equinom ingredients create shared value throughout the supply chain and enable food companies to make plant-based food more delicious, nutritious, sustainable and accessible for everyone. For more information, please visit equi-nom.com or follow along on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
About Peterson Farms Seeds Inc.
Peterson Farms Seed Inc. is the largest independent seed company in the tri-state region of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. They provide corn seed and soybean seed along with the agronomic expertise required to help farmers raise more bushels. For more information, please visit petersonfarmsseed.com.