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Canadian innovation taking plant-protein nutrition to new heights

April 22, 2024

Protein Industries Canada has held a tasting and networking event to celebrate the launch of its latest project announcement: A collaborative effort to de-risk, scale and expand Wamame Foods’ new high protein product line.

Working with project partners Apex Food Source, Crush Dynamics and AGT Food and Ingredients, Wamame Foods is using Canadian ingredients to develop, commercialize and scale a new functional athlete-focused high-protein line of food products, such as high-protein burritos, that exceeds the protein-to-calorie ratio of the average American protein bar. Soon to be available in a variety of North American and overseas retail grab-and-go locations, these high-protein products will add diversity of choice for athletes and health-conscious individuals everywhere and enable consumers to enjoy their food while maintaining an elite lifestyle.

“With support from Protein Industries Canada, Wamame and its project partners are helping to get premium plant-based meat alternatives to a wider network of food service, restaurant and grocery industries,” said François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “The demand for plant-based products is rising, and this project will help Canada capture this economic opportunity and further strengthen its global leadership as a supplier of plant-based ingredients and products.”

The project builds on the success of Wamame’s first Protein Industries Canada investment, which led to the initial launch of their acclaimed premium Waygu line. This work also included early-stage development of a super high-protein base material, which contains 64% more protein than cooked ground beef and uses a blend of Canadian proteins including pea, fava and canola.

Throughout the life of the second project, Wamame will develop new and improved high-protein products with ingredients from each AGT and Crush Dynamics – ensuring that the protein is not only Canadian, but also from environmentally sustainable sources such as wine derivatives that would have traditionally gone to waste. Apex, meanwhile, will increase production of the meat alternatives for international markets, helping the sector become more globally competitive and capturing new economic opportunity.

A total of CA$6.3 million has been committed to the project, with Protein Industries Canada investing CA$2.8 million and the partners together investing the remainder.

“Consumers around the world aren’t just looking for diverse sources of protein – they’re looking for high-quality sources of protein,” Protein Industries Canada CEO Bill Greuel said. “Each of these partners has proven they’re capable of creating such products. By coming together, they’ll be able to go even further, creating a line of high-protein foods that families around the world can enjoy.”

The partners marked the launch of the project with a tasting event of the new high-protein line of products in Toronto. Coinciding with the beginning of each Plant-Based Food Week and Plant Forward, the tasting highlighted the potential of Canada’s ingredient processing and food manufacturing sector.

“This marks a new era where alternative meats don’t just meet the nutritional components of animal proteins, but exceed them by a wide margin and do so while tasting great,” Wamame Founder and President Blair Bullus said. “With 65% more protein than cooked ground beef, we feel like Wamame has truly changed the plant-based protein space. We are so excited to finally share our vision where real chef-inspired food options will out-perform the protein-to-calorie ratio of even protein bars. We would not have been able to get here without the continued support of Protein Industries Canada and the investments they have made in building a stronger plant-protein sector across the country.”

“APEX Foodsource is excited to partner with Wamame, Crush Dynamics, and AGT Food and Ingredients to help innovate with the creation of new premium meat alternatives for the food industry,” Apex Food Source CEO Gil Goldstein added. “We are delighted to take part in this journey that will aide in further development of high a quality plant-based protein sauces for use in neo-conventional food offerings to a changing marketplace demanding change.”

“Crush Dynamics is honored to be partnering with Protein Industries Canada along with Wamame, APEX Foodsource, and AGT Food and Ingredients," stated Crush Dynamics CEO Kirk Moir said. "This project represents the kind of innovation needed to advance the alternative protein industry in Canada. Crush Dynamics is committed to enabling our plant-based protein industry partners to achieve not only sensory parity but also price and nutritional superiority when compared to incumbent protein products available to today’s consumer.”

“This project furthers AGT’s ingredient expertise in extrusion processing of high-quality plant-based proteins. Meat alternatives represent a very interesting segment of the plant-based sector and is one that AGT has been very active in. This project, along with the partners involved, is a great opportunity to further expand our production capabilities, while having direct feedback and commercialization opportunities through our customer collaborators,” noted Murad Al-Katib, President & CEO of AGT Food and Ingredients Inc.

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with us, please email info@futureofproteinproduction.com

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