future of protein production with plates with healthy food and protein

Developing innovative Canadian ingredients for new snack and food options

February 26, 2024

Protein Industries Canada has announced an investment into the creation of new ingredient and food options for consumers. The project sees new oat and pulse ingredients created by Avena Foods being used by Big Mountain Foods, Danone Canada and Old Dutch to replace several common ingredients and processing aids in their respective products. The result will be new offerings for consumers, including allergy-friendly alternatives.

“The global food market is in need of sustainable and nutritious ingredients, and Canada is helping meet that demand,” said François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “By supporting projects like this one, Protein Industries Canada, one of Canada’s global innovation clusters, is securing Canada’s position as a global supplier of plant-based ingredients.”

The total project will see CA$19.2 million invested into R&D related to ingredient manufacturing and the creation of new food products, with Protein Industries Canada investing CA$7.3 million. During the project, Avena will further optimize and refine specialty-milled oat and pulse flours, while also creating specialty-milled pulse grits, meals and flours that match each customer’s unique processes. These minimally processed ingredients will be used to reformulate and develop new consumer-ready food products that are nutritious and made from clean-label and sustainably sourced oat and pulse ingredients.

“Investment into ingredient manufacturing is an untapped economic opportunity for Canada, and this project is an example of what is possible when we take our widely-available Canadian crops such as pulses and oats to create new ingredients and food,” said Bill Greuel, CEO of Protein Industries Canada. “With the scale-up of ingredient processing, we can produce ingredients with enhanced functionality that can better meet the demand of consumers when it comes to taste, texture and nutritional benefits.”

Old Dutch, Danone and Big Mountain Foods will use the optimized new ingredients from Avena to create new snack options and reformulated products, including yogurt, plant-based beverages and creamers, veggie links, cutlets, pastries, fillings and alternative non-soy/non-fava tofu products.

“Avena welcomes this investment from Protein Industries Canada, and the opportunity to work collaboratively with our customers," said Wayne Arsenault, CEO of Avena Foods. "Our goal is to provide exactly what they need from our deck of functional and nutritious oat and pulse ingredients, and to further support them with sustainability metrics, such as life cycle assessment for our ingredients.”

"Big Mountain Foods is on an exciting journey into the realm of food service, marking a historic milestone for our brand," added Big Mountain Foods COO Jasmine Byrne. "With the invaluable support of Protein Industries Canada, we are poised to revolutionize the culinary landscape by crafting offerings tailored for the diverse needs of large institutions, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, restaurants, universities, and beyond. This expansion not only showcases our commitment to innovation but also underlines our dedication to providing wholesome, plant-based solutions that redefine the standards of nourishment in institutional settings. Together, we're cooking up a future where everyone can savour the goodness of Big Mountain Foods, one custom creation at a time.”

“Danone Canada’s mission is to bring health through food to as many people as possible, so we are thrilled to be part of this project with Avena Foods, which will allow us to produce even more healthy and sustainable products locally," enthused Danone Canada Vice-President of Research & Innovation Pierre Morin. "This collaboration will facilitate access to cutting-edge technology in plant-based ingredient production – allowing us to continue delivering on our promise of offering innovative and quality options for consumers.”

“Old Dutch Foods is committed to our ‘Quality Lives Here’ claim beyond traditional snack categories blending quality, taste, and innovative ingredients to build snacks that transcend expectations adding new benefits for consumers," stated Scott Kelemen, Old Dutch Foods Senior National Director Brand and Market Strategy. "We are proud to share 70 years of innovation with Canadians and this partnership fuels continued development of products like those in our Project Nice portfolio.”

Protein Industries Canada is one of Canada’s five Global Innovation Clusters. Since 2018, Protein Industries Canada and industry have invested nearly half a billion dollars into innovation related to plant-based food, feed and ingredients. Protein Industries Canada was renewed by the federal government in February 2023, receiving an additional CA$150 million in funding.

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

About the Speaker

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Every week, you’ll receive a compilation of the latest breakthroughs from the global alternative proteins sector, covering plant-based, fermentation-derived and cultivated proteins.
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.