WESTCHESTER, ILL. — Ingredion, Inc. globally will distribute and market quinoa flour from the Northern Quinoa Production Corp. (NorQuin) under an exclusive commercial agreement between the two companies. A financial agreement includes the option of Westchester-based Ingredion making a future equity investment in NorQuin.

The quinoa flour, which will be grown and milled in Canada, expands Ingredion’s portfolio of plant-based proteins, which already includes pea, chickpea, lentil and fava bean.

“We are excited to enter into an agreement with NorQuin to further expand our specialties portfolio with quinoa flours and capitalize on the plant-based protein trend shaping the global food industry,” said James P. Zallie, president and chief executive officer of Ingredion.

Tony DeLio, senior vice president, corporate strategy and chief innovation officer for Ingredion, added, “Quinoa is a grain, which has nutritional value that is complementary to pulses, such as peas and lentils. NorQuin has invested more than two decades of research to develop proprietary and high-yielding quinoa. Working with NorQuin, we have the opportunity to further innovate and commercialize novel quinoa-based protein offerings for food manufacturers.”

Based in Saskatchewan, NorQuin is a vertically integrated supplier of quinoa and quinoa-derivative products. The company is 26 years old and has developed novel varieties of quinoa that are optimal for Canada’s growing regions. Quinoa historically has been grown in Colombia and Peru, but NorQuin has growing partners in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Denver-based Ardent Mills in the past has contracted with NorQuin growers.