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New partnership will lead to development of Canadian protein ingredients focused on functionality and taste

March 12, 2024

With the demand for a wide variety of flavorful, affordable protein options is rising across Canada, Protein Industries Canada has announced a new project to help meet the growing need for ingredients that will help meet this demand, with a co-investment with partners Burcon NutraScience, HPS Food & Ingredients and Puratos Canada.

Prioritizing functionality and taste, Burcon is increasing the value of each hemp and sunflower flour by extracting hemp protein isolate, sunflower protein isolate and sunflower protein concentrate. These first-in-the-market ingredients will meet the growing needs of food and beverage companies, as they work to provide Canadian consumers with a wide variety of nutritious, sustainable and flavor-neutral protein options.

“This Global Innovation Clusters project is another example of our commitment to fostering innovation in the development of plant-based products and technologies, recognizing their potential to drive sustainable economic growth and provide healthy food options to consumers,” said François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science & Industry. “By leveraging hemp and sunflower proteins for innovation, Protein Industries Canada and its partners are helping strengthen Canada’s ecosystem and the economy.”

“Canada’s plant-based food and ingredients sector continues to be at the forefront of innovation," added Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. "The development of these new hemp and sunflower protein ingredients will help strengthen our agricultural value chain and expand the number of plant-based food and beverage options available to Canadians.”

“This innovative project will offer new healthy and sustainable food ingredient options to Canadians while supporting Canada’s economic growth by helping to secure domestic and international supply chains,” said Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.

In partnership with Burcon, HPS is assessing hemp crop varieties to determine which are best suited for the new ingredients, while also developing, commercializing and scaling the technology needed to process the hemp into the new ingredients. Further along the value chain, Puratos and Burcon will each focus on using the hemp and sunflower ingredients in new food and beverage products, particularly baking applications, beverages and meat alternatives.

“The development of new ingredients and food manufacturing is integral to growing and strengthening Canada’s agrifood sector. Increasing ingredient manufacturing can help diversify our agriculture sector and increase our productivity, creating new economic growth for Canada,” said Bill Greuel, CEO, Protein Industries Canada. “Together, Burcon, HPS and Puratos are developing a line of ingredients, food and beverage products that will do this, while also bringing new, diverse protein options to market.”

A total of CA$6.9 million has been committed to the project, with Protein Industries Canada committing CA$3 million and the partners together committing the remainder.

“There is a significant gap between the needs of consumers today and the performance of plant proteins on the market,” Burcon Chief Executive Officer Kip Underwood said. “We are excited to launch new-to-the-world high purity hempseed and sunflower seed protein ingredients that exhibit superior taste, texture, colour and functionality. Better products start with better ingredients and Burcon has the proteins to meet this need.”

“HPS Food & Ingredients (HPS) is thrilled to be launching this pivotal project in partnership with Burcon, Puratos and Protein Industries Canada,” HPS Food & Ingredients CEO Marc van Burck said. “As consumers and brands continue to expand their knowledge of hempseeds as a leading superfood, manufactures will look to incorporate functional hempseed ingredients into their formulations. This project will fill a unique gap in processing for the industry, and will result in a portfolio of products customers have been seeking for years. We appreciate PIC’s support as we believe we are at a hempseed food inflection point and this project will be remembered as a keystone for the successful growth of the hempseed food industry.”

“Puratos Canada strives to move the planet forward by creating innovative food solutions for the health and well-being of people everywhere. We are thrilled to help further the development of plant-based proteins and look forward to bringing the applications of sunflower protein to life in multiple patisserie, bakery and chocolate products. This new ingredient has the potential to improve the overall quality of baked goods, while both reducing the reliance on animal by-products and increasing nutritional value,” said Julie Istead, Puratos Canada Vice President of Research & Development .

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

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