Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Plant-based proteins get $6.3-million boost

The federal government is investing $6.3 million in a group of researchers and companies interested in developing plant proteins for their foods.

Two aim to replace eggs.

Protein Industries Canada is the source for the federal funding to Avena Foods which is heading the work.

The food processors involved are Big Mountain FoodsDaiya FoodsBakenology and The Village Bakery,.

The researchers will be trying to determine which seed varieties serve as best inputs in terms of flour functionality, optimizing processing methods, and formulating consumer products. 

“I am delighted to see the Protein Supercluster continuing to help enhance our agri-food sector with tangible benefits for consumers,” said Navdeep Bains, federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

Federal agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said “this collaboration will benefit the entire Canadian plant protein supply chain, from improving efficiency for farmers and processors, to getting high-quality plant-based food made from a new Canadian creation to consumers,”

Big Mountain Foods and Daiya Foods, both based out of Vancouver, B.C., will use the flours to develop new products for vegans both in Canada, the U.S. and overseeas.

Bakenology and The Village Bakery, based in the United Kingdom, will use the Canadian plant-protein ingredients in food products that will be shipped across Europe.

Bill Greuel, chief executive officer at Protein Industries Canada, said creating new products will add value to every enterprise from farms to markets.



Avena Foods’ tempered pulse products undergo a thermal-treatment process that improves flavour and functionality. 

For example, it can replace eggs in bakery, extruded snacks, confectionary, noodles and pasta, plant-based meat analogues, soups, sauces and dressings, and  baby foods, the company said. It also has specialty applications such as flavorings.

Gord Flaten, chief executive officer for Avena Foods, said “we are thrilled to be launching this project with customers, farmers, employees, service providers, technical experts and Protein Industries Canada.” 

He predicted it will “will open up a new, important market for farmers and provide significant benefits to consumers.”