New partnership to improve the functionality of pulse-based ingredients

15 December 20204 min reading

Protein Industries Canada announced an investment into a project aimed at opening new markets for pulse-based proteins by increasing their functionality in high-value ingredients.

Ingredion Inc., Ingredion Plant Based Protein Specialties (Canada) Inc., Verdient Foods Inc., T Base 4 Investments and O.M.D. Food Products are partnering to commercialize new technology that will improve the functionality of pulse-based ingredients.

Initially focusing on yellow peas, the partners will use physical processing techniques to turn the commodities into ingredients that will be available to food processors and manufacturers in Canada and internationally.

“This innovative project is a great example of how the Protein Supercluster is playing an important role in the modernization of Canada’s plant protein sector.

Through this collaborative effort, these companies are demonstrating what it truly means to be global innovation leaders by creating better tasting ingredients for plant-protein alternatives, and new markets for Canadian pulse growers,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

“The partnership will help the plant proteins sector remain on the cutting edge of agricultural innovation,” said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “This investment will both add value to Canadian pulse farmers’ crops and grow our exports.”

The project is expected to lead to the expansion of applications that will broaden the markets for pulses by improving their functionality as ingredients in plant-based protein products. Following the processing of yellow peas, the partners expect to shift their work to commodities such as lentils, chickpeas, green peas and faba beans.

“The difference these partners are going to make in the lives of Canadians is incredible to think about,” Protein Industries Canada CEO Bill Greuel said. “From the farmers who’ll have new markets for their crops, to the processors who’ll have new ingredients to work with, to the families who’ll have new products on their plates, everyone along the value chain will have something to look forward to. It represents a true expansion and strengthening of the plant-protein ecosystem.”

A total of $25.7 million has been committed to the project, with the partners investing $12.8 million and Protein Industries Canada committing an additional $12.8 million.

The partners expect the pulse-based ingredients to be of interest to large-scale food processors and manufacturers throughout Canada and international markets, helping drive further investment into Canada’s economy and the plant-protein sector.

“Ingredion is excited to advance our specialties strategy by providing high-quality ingredients that address consumers’ preferences for sustainable, plant-based alternatives,” said Beth Tormey, Ingredion’s vice president of plant-based proteins.

“Protein Industries Canada’s contribution will accelerate our work by enabling the use of new technology and innovation to create a more inclusive and sustainable food system.

By coming together with other consortium members, we will produce the next generation of ingredients that can be used by food manufacturers in Canada and on a global scale.

Development of our first products are underway, and we expect that these efforts will benefit food manufacturers following continued innovation and investment.”

“Ingredion looks forward to partnering with industry leaders from the consortium to produce high-value, sustainable ingredients and contribute to the global expansion of Canada’s role in plant-based proteins,” said Jorgen Kokke, Ingredion’s executive vice president and president, Americas. “This project complements our pulse-based protein portfolio, aligns with our growth strategy and accelerates our ability to deliver consumer-preferred foods and beverages to global markets.”

“The Verdient Foods team is thrilled to be a part of a such a critical project to bring new plant-based ingredients to a global marketplace,” said former GM of Verdient Foods and Senior Advisor to IPBPS and Ingredion Incorporated Blair Knippel.

“Protein Industries Canada’s contributions will lead directly to ongoing improvements to the manufacturing capabilities in Vanscoy. The project solidifies Verdient Foods’ original vision, which is to position as key contributor to the plant-based protein movement and leader in sustainable food ingredient production.”

“We share a common vision with Protein Industries Canada, and with our valued partner, Ingredion, a leading ingredient solutions provider,” Verdient co-founder James Cameron said.

“That shared vision is to create a broad range of sustainable plant proteins and plant-based products to meet the explosive growth in demand. Our goal is to add value within Canada, rather than just shipping megatonnage overseas at commodity prices. To add jobs and grow our GDP.”

“OMD’s mission is to shine a light on the food industry and celebrate a new way of relating to food and eating,” said Suzy Amis Cameron, founder of OMD.

“Plant-based foods and beverages not only increase our health, but that of the planet. Working with Ingredion, the PIC project provides OMD with an opportunity to bring new plant-based food products to broader consumer market one meal at a time.”

With this being its 12th project announcement, Protein Industries Canada and industry together have invested approximately $272 million into plant-protein technology projects.

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