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Japanese plant-based ingredients startup gets investments

Roquette, a global leader in plant-based ingredients and a pioneer of plant proteins, is pleased to announce its investment in DAIZ Inc., a Japanese food tech startup that has developed breakthrough technology utilizing germination of plant seeds combined with an extrusion process to enhance texture, flavor and the nutritional profile for plant-based foods. This partnership will allow Roquette and DAIZ to continue realizing their strong growth ambitions and meet rising global demand for innovative and sustainable plant-based ingredients combining great taste and high-quality nutritional value. 

Plant proteins are one of the most promising answers to contribute to sustainability while providing healthy and tasty food. Thanks to DAIZ’s proprietary technology initially developed for soy and now applied to pea, Roquette further strengthens its position as the pioneer in plant innovation and contributes to the development of disruptive solutions to better answer market needs. 

Partnering with DAIZ is a perfect fit with Roquette’s commitment towards innovation and long-term ambition of creating a better and healthier tomorrow based on its plant-based solutions. The coming months will allow building a stronger collaboration to offer the best textured pea-based ingredients that would enable food innovators to create wide-ranging choices in meat alternatives that are both delicious and healthy for today’s demanding consumers. Roquette and DAIZ will also explore technical collaborations to develop a new approach of selective plant-based protein extraction for future generations by leveraging seed germination. In addition to meat alternatives, they will explore joint development in other applications such as fish alternatives or dairy and other food sectors. The launch of the first products on the market is expected in 2023. 

Pierre Courduroux, CEO of Roquette, said: “Our objective is to be the best partner for our customers as they develop delicious products that will encourage more consumers to enjoy plant-based food more often. This investment in DAIZ reflects our commitment to developing plant-based ingredients to meet those expectations. This latest initiative comes a year after we opened the world’s largest pea protein plant in Canada and adds to our NUTRALYS® plant protein range extension in organic pea and rice protein. We have also continued to build an impressive set of capabilities to co-develop with our customers and scale new plant protein ingredients.”

Tsuyoshi Ide, President and Representative Director of DAIZ, added: “We are very glad to partner with the Roquette group, the France-based worldwide leader in pea protein as well as in plant-based ingredients for food, nutrition and health markets. Pea protein is an indispensable ingredient for plant-based meat alternatives that are expanding in Europe and North America. Through the partnership, we anticipate that DAIZ’s germination technology (Ochiai Germination Method JP-5795679) would be able to contribute to the further enhancement of functionalities of pea protein to the market of plant-based meat alternatives and beyond. DAIZ’s goal is to expand Miracle Meat to the market of plant-based alternatives not only in Japan but also in Europe and North America. We are confident that the partnership with the Roquette group will represent a significant leap forward.”

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