Benson Hill, a food tech company unlocking the natural genetic diversity of plants with cutting-edge food innovation engine, announced the launch of its ingredient and fresh business segments, including prior acquisition of critical supply chain infrastructure, to deliver enhanced products using the company's proprietary CropOS™ technology platform.
Benson Hill's CropOS™ technology platform combines data analytics and artificial intelligence with plant biology and food science to leverage the vast, untapped natural genetic diversity within plants to simultaneously optimize for nutrition, flavor profiles and yield. Through its expanded infrastructure, Benson Hill aims to bring together its improved seed innovation through CropOS™ with closed-loop supply chains and best practices in the field to enable greater sustainability for ingredient and food companies and retailers, end-to-end traceability for consumers and greater profitability for farmers.
Despite being the second largest crop for plant-based ingredients, yellow pea has received almost no genomic innovation to date. Benson Hill is working to change that. The company has developed a comprehensive genomic map that, in combination with its CropOS™ platform, enables Benson Hill to accelerate its breeding program to develop uniquely differentiated varieties. Leveraging these capabilities, Benson Hill is working on a pipeline of products with the potential to significantly reduce off-flavors, increase the quantity of the protein the plant creates and ultimately displace the need for expensive, energy- and water-intensive processing steps typically required to produce protein ingredients used in plant-based meat alternatives.
Benson Hill has expanded and upgraded the processing capabilities of its wholly owned subsidiary Dakota Ingredients, an upper Midwest-based yellow pea processor, to better serve the pet and human food plant-based markets. Through its elite grower program and closed-loop production capabilities, the operation can now test premium yellow pea varieties and supply ingredients that are traceable and meet food-grade, kosher and non-GMO certification standards. Benson Hill is currently engaged with pet and human food ingredient customers interested in the next generation of yellow pea protein ingredients and is working to establish sustainability best practices across its supply chain.
As an additional part of the Ingredient segment initiatives, Benson Hill is commercializing Ultra-High Protein soybean varieties in 2021 to reduce processing costs and water and energy usage. Benson Hill, as previously announced, is collaborating with family-owned Rose Acre Farms in Indiana to the meet the growing demand for both high-protein animal feed and plant protein ingredients for plant-based foods.
Benson Hill's Fresh segment will focus on combining the breeding power of CropOS™ with the extensive grower base, distribution network and retail relationships of its wholly owned subsidiary, J&J Family of Farms ("J&J"), a field produce company. With this combination, the business segment will be well-positioned to execute on the development and ultimately the commercialization of differentiated produce and "functional foods," with the potential to serve the growing convergence between the produce and pharmacy aisles.
Consistent with its values to deliver reliability and sustainability, Benson Hill is investing to enhance J&J's Florida and Georgia operations with breeding and testing sites, expanded processing and distribution capacity and sustainability best practices across J&J's grower base.