Mexico Soy Product Takes Off, Plant Prospers

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MEXICO - A new product launched at the Missouri Plant Science Center on Feb. 16. A company called Reliv International distributes LunaRich Soy Powder. Since the company began distributing the product about one month ago, sales have increased about 30%. LunaRich is also the best launch in the company's history.

LunaRich powder is made up of Lunasin soy peptide, and the product is used for health benefits such as lowering cholesterol. Reliv distributes the product internationally. 

Soy Labs employees work at the MPSC and they manufacture the new product about one day a week.

"It has actually  gained more momentum faster than we anticipated," Soy Labs President Ryan Schmidt said. "Reliv Intl. has a right to this particular technology and it's a collaboration between our company, Reliv and the plant science center."

The new product's success also means a boost to the local economy. Lab technician Allie Haberthier grew up in Montgomery County, Missouri. "I am very proud, being from a small, farm community."

The MPSC is a public-private partnership between the University of Missouri System, the City of Mexico and the Missouri Technology Corporation. Officials said the purpose of the partnership is to create jobs while creating innovations for Missouri's natural resources. UM resources such as students and lab technicians were also used in the development of the LunaRich product.

Soy Labs expects to launch more new projects at the MPSC in the near future. The company plans to hire six new workers by this summer. These new workers could range in skill levels from entry level manufacturing to trained lab technicians. Schmidt also expects to hire more entry-level positions for this upcoming round of hires.

The city of Mexico also feels work at the MPSC will boost the local economy in light of the new jobs. "We can see nothing but future benefits to us and to Soy Labs, which is our partner," Assistant Mexico City Manager Russell Runge said.

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