Protein Industries Canada is heading a consortium that is launching a $20-million study into the viability of building a soybean processing plant in Canada.
It would produce edible proteins that currently are imported from the United States.
The study includes plant breeding to develop soybean varieties well suited to this type of processing.
Protein Industries Canada is putting up $7.3 million to create a new company, Canada Protein Ingredients.
The other members of the consortium are DJ Hendrick International and Semences Prograin, which will develop the special soybean varieties, Agrocorp Processing Singapore and Synthesis Network, an Ontario consulting and communications firm specializing in agriculture and food.
They hope to produce 25,000 tonsne of food-grade soybeans per year. The plant could be located in Ontario, Quebec or Southern Manitoba.
Bill Greuel, chief executive officer for Protein Industries Canada, said “we hope to be running by end of 2022, which means we will be purchasing the 2022 soybean
While pulses and other crops have made inroads, Greuel and representatives of other organizations involved in the collaboration emphasized soybeans continue to dominate the plant protein market with a 90 per cent share.
Jim Millington, chief executive officer for Canada Protein Ingredients, said the “clean, neutral flavour” of soybeans makes them ideal for this purpose.