Florida’s sunshine, water and flat terrain have drawn sustainable foods manufacturer Parabel USA, Inc. to lease 450 acres in Fellsmere, Florida to produce its pioneering lentil-based protein, LENTEIN, the firm announced recently in Melbourne, Florida.
With an initial total investment of approximately $10 million, Parabel expects to build a facility to grow and harvest fresh, GMO-free water lentils. Lentils are rich in protein as well as allergen-free for those sensitive to soy or gluten. The company’s LENTEIN product was honored with an Innovation Award at Chicago, Illinois’ IFT Food Expo in July.
"We are proud to introduce the first commercial processing system of water lentils in Fellsmere," Parabel CEO Anthony Tiarks said. "There are no other protein ingredients in the market that can deliver such volumes in a sustainable way and at the right price and we now have the right location to do this, and it's in the USA. Sourcing fresh, non GMO ingredients is an issue that food manufacturers are struggling with today. We hope to be part of solving these issues."
The potential for lentil consumption is considered very strong among food industry experts. In combination with the appeal of U.S.-made ingredients, the company is very optimistic about launching its Fellsmere processing plant in the second quarter of 2016.
As Parabel’s first large-scale venture, the site will utilize the company’s patented technology to initially yield 1,000 metric tons of product annually, gradually increasing to 4,000 metric tons per year. With aquafarms located internationally, Parabel operates on a global scale while making its headquarters in Florida.