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Renaissance BioScience awarded grant to progress yeast-based solutions to neutralize off-flavors in plant-based protein products

February 9, 2024

Renaissance BioScience Corp, a company involved in bioengineering yeast for the global food, beverage, and agriculture industries, has announced its project to develop a yeast-based solution to address the prevalent challenge of off-flavors and aromas in plant-based protein products.

Renaissance has been awarded CA$232,000 in funding from the Canadian Food Innovation Network (CFIN) to fuel the company’s  work with food industry partners in developing a clean-label, non-GMO solution that will showcase Renaissance’s ability to transform and neutralize compounds which lead to off-flavors and undesirable aromas in plant-based flours and proteins.

Plant-based protein products offer certain health and sustainability benefits versus traditional animal-based proteins. However, the challenge of unpleasant flavors and odors hinders product diversification and widespread consumer acceptance. Protein Industries Canada’s 2023 Global Market Forecast study noted that 44% of consumers wish for a wider variety of plant-based products and 58% of consumers who reduced their consumption of plant-based protein cited unappealing taste and texture as a reason.

Renaissance addresses the plant-based protein flavor challenge by applying its clean-label, non-GMO yeast technology that uses natural fermentation. Among its achievements, the company has previously had success in applying its yeast bioengineering expertise to reduce the presence of the off-aroma contaminant hydrogen sulfide in a range of out-licensed wine and beer yeast strains that are seeing commercial sales around the world.

This plant-based project has the support of Pulse Canada, and Renaissance is also collaborating with food industry partners to ensure the yeast’s effectiveness and efficiency in commercial settings. The end objective is to create a clean-label, non-GMO solution that aligns with evolving consumer expectations.

To further propel the commercialization of this innovative technology, the Government of Canada’s international Trade Commissioner Service has included Renaissance in its 2024 Food Technologies Canadian Technology Accelerator program. This strategic initiative connects Canadian corporations with export, investment, and partnership opportunities in global markets.

According to Protein Industries Canada 2023 market projections, the worldwide plant-based protein market is expected to grow from US$40 billion in 2021 to potentially more than US$200 billion by 2035, demonstrating significant potential for innovative solutions.

“We’re excited to receive this funding from CFIN and to be accepted into the 2024 Food Technologies Canadian Technology Accelerator program for our clean-label, non-GMO yeast technology," commented Dr John Husnik, Renaissance’s CSO & Office of the CEO, commented on the project: . Our team is confident that we can neutralize the off-aromas and flavors in plant-based protein foods, and we look forward to mutually beneficial outcomes for our company, our partners, and plant-based food makers around the world. Our innovative yeast platform technology will contribute to Canada’s growing role as a global leader in plant-based foods and sustainable protein innovation.”

As consumer expectations evolve and the global plant-based protein market expands, Renaissance is excited to be at the forefront of efforts to shape the future of food innovation.

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

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