The French dairy brand is interested in edible oil and vegetable proteins from the Pongamia tree (also known as Milletia Pinnata), processed by Terviva, a young American company.
The tree is valued for its ability to fight against desertification and for its productivity in Karanj oil. With this new miracle ingredient, Danone hopes to reach its objective of doubling its turnover in alternative products based on vegetable proteins.
This tree has a number of advantages over soy and palm oil:
Environmental balance sheet;
Low water consumption.
Given the potential of this tree in the food industry, Terviva has raised $54 million to continue the commercialization of its products and to support the development of new products for Danone. The next round of funding is for $24 million and Terviva plans to build a production facility in the United States in 2022.
Chris Quevedo, Terviva’s commercial manager, is confident that the Pongamia seed can also be used in the manufacture of several other products: protein drinks, bakery products, vegetable meats… Moreover, the extracted oil is an excellent texturizing excipient. Finally, the flour obtained contains few allergens.
400 hectares are currently cultivated in Florida and Hawaii, while some of the seeds are imported from fair trade farms in India.
Source : Réussir