DAVIS, CALIF. — Agriculture technology firm GreenVenus™ established a strategic partnership with Plant Research (NZ) LTD on March 1 to develop climate-resilient field peas that would provide clean protein solutions for the human nutrition and pet food markets. Together, the companies aim to develop novel field pea varieties devoid of undesirable attributes, while also enhancing their climate resiliency to ensure global cultivation.

Plant-based proteins are gaining traction in various nutrition markets, including pet food. These proteins are believed to be more sustainable and are poised to play a key role in carbon offsetting by substituting carbon-intensive animal-based proteins in human and animal nutrition, according to GreenVenus.

Currently, soybeans dominate the plant-based protein sector, accounting for an estimated 60% of plant protein sales. However, demand for pea-based proteins is witnessing exponential growth throughout the globe, according to GreenVenus. This growing popularity is attributed to peas’ superior amino acid compositions, bioactive peptides, fiber profile and allergen-free nature compared to other plant-based protein sources.

Though field peas offer superior dietary benefits to people and pets, their cultivation remains a challenge in achieving maximum yield and demonstrating resilience to changing climate conditions, according to GreenVenus and Plant Research (NZ) LTD. Current breeding efforts have focused on enchanting field peas’ tolerance to common diseases, however, they have proven to be insufficient against climate change, according to the companies.

Through the partnership, GreenVenus and Plant Research (NZ) LTD will focus on developing premium, clean protein ingredients from field peas for human and pet consumption. GreenVenus will leverage its cutting-edge gene technology to advance the resiliency of field peas, as well as reduce undesirable attributes, like beany smells and indigestibility.

“GreenVenus’ cutting-edge Primavera™ gene editing technology and gene discovery tool, integrated with state-of-the-art machine learning approaches, are poised to accelerate the creation of next-generation cultivars,” said Shiv Tiwari, Ph.D., chief executive officer of GreenVenus. “These cultivars are expected to swiftly adapt to climate fluctuations and showcase sought-after traits that align with the industry’s requirements for clean, taste-neutral proteins.”

Plant Research (NZ) LTD will bring its extensive breeding expertise to the partnership, supporting GreenVenus.

“Plant Research (NZ) Ltd brings competitive elite pea lines and breeding expertise to GreenVenus's research,” said Adrian Russell, chief executive officer of Plant Research (NZ) Ltd. “This collaboration is primed to expedite the development of groundbreaking, high-yield varieties, consequently enhancing grower profitability and offering superior protein options for consumers and the animal feed sectors.”

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