Both firms said they would make "every effort" for supply to customers to remain uninterrupted. The acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, includes the patented membrane technology for producing isolated soy protein (ISP). According to Solae, this will enable the firm to offer a wider range of products and innovation to its customers. Solae president and chief executive officer Tony Arnold said the combination of Solae's ISP business and Cargill's Prolisse product line is a "perfect fit". "At Solae, we are excited to be a global partner in delivering innovation that improves our customers' products. With this purchase, we gain new technology that will enhance our ability to take new products to market and will allow us to offer more solutions for our customers," he said in a statement yesterday. Cargill first introduced its Prolisse soy isolates in 2002, marketed at the time as a "breakthrough in taste" that allowed manufacturers to create more consumer-friendly soy foods. Prolisse was created using a patented proprietary processing technology, which Cargill said gave it a "superior taste, solubility and mouthfeel". The line is particularly suited for use in products such as dairy-like products, infant formulas, processed meat and poultry, meat alternatives, baked goods and other prepared foods. Soy protein is said to help boost cardiovascular health. In addition, isolates also provide functional properties to products including water holding, emulsification and gelling, which help to maintain or improve food quality. For example, a high-viscosity, high-gelling isolate can be formulated to produce meat substitutes that have a meat-like texture, while a low-viscosity, highly soluble isolate would be more effective to create a ready-to-drink nutritional beverage. Many soy protein isolates have strong flavor, limiting their applications, but Prolisse claims to have a bland flavor, allowing manufacturers to tap the health benefits of the ingredient while also satisfying consumer taste expectations. Following the acquisition of the line by Solae, the products and technology will be transitioned into one of the firm's existing plants, which the company says will ensure reliability of supply. "Both Solae and Cargill are committed to a smooth transition. Both companies will make every effort to ensure that all customers will continue to be serviced with the current level of commitment without any interruption," said Solae. In other recent moves, Solae, which is owned by DuPont and Bunge, teamed up with Monsanto for the development of omega-3 from genetically-modified soy beans. The move, announced in March this year, could speed up the availability of the healthy ingredient from new non-marine sources. Solae also strengthened its soy protein reach in Asia with the unveiling of a new manufacturing facility in China. The St.Louis, Missouri-based soy protein maker had been in partnership with Henan Luohe Shineway Industry Group, a Chinese meat processor, for four years and in January it announced the unveiling of a new plant. The facility was expected to employ 200 workers to manufacture a dry soy protein that Solae said is in high demand.