Food technology

Food tech company has plans for soy and pea ingredients

ST. LOUIS – Benson Hill, a food technology company active in plant genetics, is also becoming a supplier of food ingredients. Soy-based ingredients are available now, and pea-based ingredients could follow in three years.

Benson Hill in February launched TruVail High Protein Soy Meal and Soy Protein Concentrate from the company’s non-GMO high protein soybeans. According to the company, the sustainability benefits of soy protein concentrate include up to 70% reduction in water consumption and up to 50% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions compared to soy protein concentrate. basic soy.

“There is a significant window of opportunity before us now and for the foreseeable future due to favorable market conditions and continued supply constraints for high-value soybean ingredients, namely white flakes. , textured flours and concentrates,” said Matthew B. Crisp, co-founder and chief executive officer, during a March 28 earnings call.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could make it more difficult to import non-GMO soy ingredients, he added. More than 90% of commercially grown soybeans in the United States are GMOs.

“A war has broken out, and there is a disruption in the food supply chain which is having a significant impact on the availability of non-GMO high oleic oil for which Europe is the world’s largest consumer and for which Ukraine is one of the biggest, if not the first”. biggest producer,” Mr. Crisp said. “We can look at our acreage footprint and start thinking about how, over the next one or two seasons, we might increase our production of acres that could meet some of what we might see as imminent demand. “

In September 2021, Benson Hill entered into an agreement to acquire a soybean milling facility from Rose Acre Farms, Seymour, Ind. The capacity of the Seymour facility and a facility in Creston, Iowa, gives Benson Hill the ability to expand its soybean portfolio within its integrated business model to a range of 250,000 to 500,000 acres , Mr. Crisp said. The company is set to contract 200,000 cumulative soybean acres, but has not yet estimated its 2022 acreage.

A yellow pea protein concentrate is also on the way.

“The R&D team reached a critical milestone late last year when we secured an important product specification for our first proprietary ingredient of Yellow Pea Protein Concentrate,” said Crisp. “These results are from a successful test in 2021 and represent a validated protein level in PPC between 61% and 65%, which is suitable for texturing the ingredient for products for plant-based food markets. This validation paves the way for us to launch our first commercial plantings of our proprietary yellow pea varieties in 2024 and to begin commercialization of the resulting pea protein concentrate in 2025.”

St. Louis-based Benson Hill had revenue of $147 million in the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2021, up 29% from $114 million the prior year. Excluding $14 million in revenue from a barley business divested in October 2020, revenue was up 47%. A net loss of $126 million compared to a net loss of $67 million in the prior year. Operating expenses increased from $72 million to $122 million.

In the company’s Ingredients segment, revenue jumped 55% to $91 million from $59 million. Benson Hill introduced soybean, soybean oil and soymeal products in 2021, which generated $38 million in revenue, compared to $6 million in 2020.

In the fourth quarter, Benson Hill reported a net loss of $42 million, compared to a net loss of $25 million in the fourth quarter a year earlier, and revenue of $44 million, up 86% from compared to $24 million.

In 2022, Benson Hill forecasts revenues between $315 million and $350 million, including revenues between $250 million and $270 million in the ingredients segment. A net loss of between $148 million and $153 million is expected in 2022.