Foodtech signs an agreement with Socius Ingredients in Illinois to kick-off a venture in the US

Foodtech start-up ChickP Protein has commenced full commercial production of its 90% chickpea isolate and signed a joint market development agreement with Socius Ingredients in Illinois to kick-off a venture in the US.

Rehovot, Israel-based ChickP has increased production capacity to 20 metric tons a day of its concentrated non-GMO, allergen-free chickpea protein isolate. The ingredient is designed to provide protein and a nutritional boost to an array of foods and supplements, including dairy alternatives, baked products, and gluten-free foods.

Ron Klein, chief executive of ChickP, said: “We have established a modern, BRC certified [a food safety certification standard] food facility, where we have applied proprietary technology for the production of high-value, clean-label chickpea protein. We’ve already attracted considerable interest from major food brands, and this month alone welcomed a number of production commitments from several new customers.”

Klein said the business is partnering with several food companies on projects to develop the North American plant-based market, adding: “Socius has exemplary protein application expertise and, with a state-of-the-art technical centre in Chicago, boasts strong connections to manufacturers of plant-based products. We’re strategising with Socius to explore the many creative possibilities for producing chickpea protein-based prototypes.”

Conor Buckley, vice-president of Socius, said: “ChickP’s offering sets a new standard for pure protein solutions through multiple beneficial attributes, including a dense nutritional profile, neutral flavour, and distinguished functional properties. These render it an excellent candidate for integration into a full spectrum of dairy analogs, including beverages, desserts, creamers, and more. We look forward to working with the ChickP team to bring the organoleptic and nutritional potential of chickpea to our customers.”

ChickP has also appointed Itay Dana as vice-president of sales and business development to lead these activities. Dana has almost 15 years’ experience in the food, supplement, agrotech and life science industries, with a focus on plant-based proteins. He was formerly vice-president of marketing and business development at Equinom, director of new technologies for Lycored, and head of food innovation at Galam.

Dana said: “The US is fast-emerging as a key global player in meat and dairy alternatives. This market already is familiar with soy and pea proteins. However, these sources still cannot meet all the desired specifications for the broader spectrum of applications. Food companies are demonstrating an openness to try new plant-sourced protein contenders and the mighty chickpea is now gaining its due recognition and momentum.”

Date published: 23 February 2021

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