Protein Industries Canada, Ingredion, and others invest over $19m in advancing plant protein production

By Mary Ellen Shoup

- Last updated on GMT

©GettyImages / September15
©GettyImages / September15

Related tags plant protein Pea protein Ingredion

Protein Industries Canada – an industry-led, not-for-profit organization aimed at positioning Canada as world leader in plant-based protein production – along with partnering companies Ingredion, Ingredion Plant Based Protein Specialties (Canada), Verdient Foods, T Base 4 Investments, and OMD Food Products, have invested CA$25.7m (US$19.6m) to commercialize new technology to improve the functionality of pulse-based ingredients, starting with yellow peas.

Ingredion, Ingredion Plant Based Protein Specialties (Canada), Verdient Foods, T Base 4 Investments, and O.M.D. Food Products have committed CA$12.8m (US$9.8m) and Protein Industries Canada​ (PIC) has committed an additional CA$12.8m to the project, which is expected to lead to the expansion of applications for pulses and broaden Canada’s market opportunities.

“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," ​said Beth Tormey, Ingredion’s vice president of plant-based proteins.

"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."

The investment will also lead to improvements in Verdient Foods’ production facility in Vanscoy, Saskatchewan, which is now fully owned by Ingredion​.

“Our goal is to add value within Canada, rather than just shipping megatonnage overseas at commodity prices. To add jobs and grow our GDP,”​ commented Verdient co-founder James Cameron.

Following the processing of yellow peas, the partners expect to shift their work to other plant-based commodities such as lentils, chickpeas, green peas, and fava beans targeting the interest of large-scale food processors and manufacturers both in Canada and international markets. As it progresses, the project is expected to create up to 30 new Canadian jobs.

Suzy Amis Cameron, founder of finished products manufacturer OMD Food Products, added: “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.”

Investments in Canada's plant protein sector build

The recent collaborative effort is part of a series of investments Canada (and PIC’s 12th​ project announcement bringing its total investment into plant protein production to CA$272m) has made into the plant protein sector to ensure it remains on the cutting edge of the rapidly-growing industry.

In June 2020, PIC announced an $11.3m project​ partnering with AGT Food and Ingredients and startup ulivit​ to process pea, lentil, and fava bean protein concentrate into high-moisture meat analogues, texturized pulse protein (TPP), tempeh, tofu, pasta, and non-dairy analogues.

Then in August of this year, PIC together with Griffith Foods, Persall Fine Foods, and k2MILLING committed $1.2m​ for research and development of new plant-based protein ingredients such as flours and texturized protein blends.

“The partnership announced today will help the plant proteins sector remain on the cutting edge of agricultural innovation,”​ said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

“This investment will both add value to Canadian pulse farmers’ crops and grow our exports.”

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