Benson Hill Inc., a St. Louis-based food technology company that unlocks the natural genetic diversity of plants with its cutting-edge food innovation engine, has been selected as winner of the Overall FoodTech Company of the Year award in the 2021 AgTech Breakthrough Awards. It’s the second-consecutive year Benson Hill has won an award from AgTech Breakthrough, having also won 2020 AI-based AgTech Solution of the Year.
AgTech Breakthrough is a market intelligence organization that recognizes the top companies, technologies, and products in the global AgTech market today, and its awards were created in 2020. The mission of the annual awards program is to conduct the industry’s most comprehensive analysis and evaluation of agricultural and food technology categories, including Internet-of-Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) based agricultural technologies, farm management, indoor farming, food quality, and data analytics. This year’s program attracted more than 1,500 nominations from over 15 different countries throughout the world.
Benson Hill was lauded for developing CropOS, a technology platform that combines data analytics and artificial intelligence with food science and plant biology to leverage the vast, untapped natural genetic diversity within plants to optimize nutrition, flavor profiles, and yield. The proprietary technology can enable the design of novel seeds that Benson Hill then intends to use to create food and ingredient options with quality characteristics such as greater nutrition density and better taste. Benson Hill also seeks innovative solutions with fewer food processing steps and reduced reliance on food additives, all while conserving resources.
The platform uses predictive analytics to simulate millions of genetic outcomes for plants while referencing an ever-expanding data library. The technology aims to shave years off the traditional crop breeding process in order to shorten the time to market and decreases development costs for new food and ingredient products.
“It is an honor to be recognized by AgTech Breakthrough for two consecutive years, which signifies support for our vision to create food and ingredients that are better from the beginning: for people, farmers and the planet,” said Matt Crisp, Chief Executive Officer of Benson Hill. “I am incredibly proud of the Benson Hill team, who together are building the modern and resilient food system of the future — one that responds to climate change and meets consumer demand for high-quality, more nutritious, and sustainably made food ingredients.”
Benson Hill’s products and integrated model have been designed to contribute to food system sustainability, establishing top-to-bottom best practices for the entire food industry.
The company is currently working on a pipeline of soy and pea products with the potential to significantly reduce off-flavors, increase protein content 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.