Protein Industries Canada is co-investing into a project that will utilise some of Canada’s most widely grown crops in the development of new plant-based foods and ingredients.
Merit Functional Foods, TWC Nutrition, Daiya Foods and Grand River Foods are partnering to utilise Merit Functional Foods’ pea, canola and blended pea-canola protein ingredients in new plant-based products.
This could include alternative meat products, alternative dairy products and other beverages, developed by TWC Nutrition, Daiya Foods and Grand River Foods.
François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, said: “Canada has become a global supplier of ingredients and plant-based foods. This project, led by Merit Foods, will help producers reach new markets while meeting growing consumer demand for alternative protein products.
“This will help us find high-quality Canadian ingredients and strengthen the Canadian economy.”
Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food, added: “Adding value to our crops by turning them into innovative food products is a boon for our communities and the Canadian economy as a whole.
“This partnership will not only benefit Canadian pea and canola farmers by expanding their domestic market, but it will also benefit consumers of plant-based foods by giving them more options for top-quality Canadian-made products.”
Protein Industries Canada is providing half of the investment into the project, with Merit Functional Foods, TWC Nutrition, Daiya Foods and Grand River Foods together investing the remaining half for a total project investment of $7.9 million.
The project’s scaling up of Merit Functional Foods’ ingredient development represents a significant step forward not only in Canada’s intellectual property potential, but also the country’s ability to utilize its diverse crop selection in new ways that prioritize consumer health and taste.
Utilising two widely grown Canadian crops in the project also presents significant opportunity for Canadian farmers, providing them with new options for marketing their commodities.
Sourcing these ingredients domestically represents a new opportunity for Daiya Foods, TWC Nutrition and Grand River Foods, who will also be able to use them to expand both their Canadian and international markets.