ST. LOUIS — Bunge Ltd. plans to invest approximately $550 million to build a fully integrated soy protein concentrate (SPC) and textured soy protein concentrate (TSPC) facility adjacent to and integrated with its soybean processing plant in Morristown, Ind. According to Bunge, the facility is expected to meet rising customer demand for key ingredients in the production of plant-based foods, processed meat, pet food and feed products.
Bunge said it plans to start building the plant in the first quarter of 2023 with an eye toward commissioning the facility in mid-2025. Once operational the plant will employ 70 full-time workers, Bunge said. It is expected to ultimately process close to an additional 4.5 million bus of soybeans, and is expected to add significant scale, efficiencies, and non-GMO capability to the company’s existing US-based conventional SPC and TSPC operation in Bellevue, Ohio, the company noted. Bunge added that it plans to contract with farmers to establish a traceable soybean sourcing program starting with the 2025 harvest.
“As the world’s largest oilseed processor, plant proteins are a natural extension of our industry leading oils, fats, and specialty ingredient portfolio,” said Gregory A. Heckman, chief executive officer of Bunge. “This new facility is an important step in our long-term strategy to strengthen our capabilities in downstream higher value food ingredients.”
In addition to the new facility, Bunge said it recently invested an additional $10 million to enhance its plant protein technical capabilities at the Creative Solutions Center near its St. Louis headquarters. The facility opened in 2018 and now includes commercial pilot plants for alternative meat and dairy, processed meat, and beverages that complement its bakery and fry laboratories. The Creative Solutions Center also features a sensory testing facility, an extrusion laboratory — with dry and high-moisture production — and a full-scale foodservice kitchen.
“Creating authentic meat and dairy experiences from plants requires specialized teams, high-quality ingredients, and strong innovation capabilities,” said Kaleb Belzer, vice president and general manager of Protein Ingredients at Bunge. “At Bunge’s plant protein R&D facility, our experienced scientists and technical team test, develop, enhance and modify products alongside our customers so they can deliver food products with exceptional sensory, nutrition, and sustainability benefits to consumers around the world.”