Equinom to crossbreed optimised yellow pea for Goodmills

The ingredients derived from it are aimed to avoid off-flavours and provide protein composition and texture for finished products such as meat and dairy alternatives

GoodMills has announced a collaboration with Equinom, an Israel-based plant tech company which creates seed varieties using AI-driven breeding technology, without gene editing or modification. For the collaboration, Equinom will research how to crossbreed yellow pea seeds for a tailored raw material with optimised sensory properties. The ingredients derived from it are aimed to avoid off-flavours and provide protein composition and texture for finished products such as meat and dairy alternatives.

With the plant-based market currently experiencing a phenomenal boom, Goodmills says, legumes are celebrating a real comeback. According to Markets and Markets, “the global pea protein market size is projected to grow from $745m in 2020 to $1,400m by 2025.

There is still some scope when it comes to the further development of peas organoleptic properties, Goodmills says. Michael Gusko, Global Innovation Director at GoodMillsX, GoodMills Group’s innovation task force, said: “In Equinom, we’ve found a partner with whom we can get to the heart of this challenge – by creating our own perfect raw material. As the two leading innovators in our fields, we’re always looking for inventive yet natural solutions, and we share the same passion: creating a sustainable, plant-based future.”

Equinom creates seeds by crossbreeding “exotic, ancient and modern” varieties. Using its seed bank, the company employs computer-based breeding and traditional genomic technologies to predict and simulate varieties. This matchmaking process speeds up and perfects the breeding.

Rick Mignella, EVP & Managing Director, North America at Equinom said: “Our aim is to drive the global creation of truly healthy, appealing and sustainable non-GMO foods which are affordable to the masses. We are always happy to partner with passionate companies who are doing their bit to help future-proof the planet through plant-based innovations. We are confident that we’ll soon enable GoodMills to serve the market with a novel yellow pea-based ingredient that will make sustainable and delicious plant-based food more widely accessible.”

Once the tailored variant has been developed, different subsidiaries of the group will profit from it: GoodMills Innovation, a supplier of plant-based texturates based on wheat and legumes, will use it to expand its portfolio of texturates. Müller’s Mühle, supplier of dried legumes and leader in legumes refinement, will extend its portfolio of legume flours for meat, pasta and dairy replacements.

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