ROTTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS — Louis Dreyfus Company BV (LDC) announced March 15 the creation of a new Plant Proteins business and opening of a dedicated research and development facility as part of its commitment to a strong and sustainable global food system. 

“As part of our strategic growth plans to move further downstream and diversify revenue through more value-added products, we see an opportunity to participate in the rapidly growing plant-based foods market through plant protein extraction and food and beverage application formulation, leveraging our existing origination and industrial capabilities,” said Michael Gelchie, chief executive officer, LDC.

Having hired a dedicated team composed of business developers, researchers and engineers in 2021, the company also inaugurated a new R&D facility dedicated to its Plant Proteins business in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, US. The new Plant Proteins business will be managed by Dr. Manoj Kumar, vice president for Plant Proteins for LDC, supervising a team of experts based in California. 

“The facility inaugurated today is a critical foundation for the new business, supporting its R&D and commercial program,” Kumar said. “It will serve as a laboratory and pilot plant to develop products, validate their technical and commercial value, and build know-how for future applications.”

Growing health, environment and animal welfare concerns are driving strong demand for plant-based alternatives to animal proteins. Food companies are rapidly innovating to solve the protein challenge and meet demand for sustainable and affordable products with great taste and nutritional profile. 

“We will enter the market with a first range of non-GMO plant protein isolates by the end of 2022, with an initial focus on North America, aiming ultimately to offer global customers a multipurpose portfolio of products and application solutions,” said Thomas Couteaudier, chief strategy officer for LDC.