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News In the Kitchen Ingredients
Partnership to develop Western Canadian plant proteins for new products


November 18, 2020
By Canadian Pizza

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Saskatoon, Sask. – A Western Canadian partnership will develop new plant-based protein products using oats, lentils, hemp, fava beans and chickpeas that will be sold to markets in Western Canada and Asia.

Protein Industries Canada, Mera Food Group, Mera Developments and Benson Farms are partnering to use Western Canadian oats, lentils, hemp, fava beans, chickpeas and other commodities to develop the products. During the first phase of their project, they’ll develop beverages and other products for consumers in Western Canada. In the second phase, they’ll target Asian markets.

Throughout the project, Benson Farms will help determine the best varieties of the commodities to use via trial plots. Mera Food Group and Mera Developments, meanwhile, will focus on developing the plant-based protein products and ingredients, including an outside partnership with Federated Co-operatives Limited. Together, Mera Food Group, Mera Developments and Benson Farms are investing $3.6 million into the project, with Protein Industries Canada investing a further $3.6 million.

While strengthening the plant-protein sector through the development of new products, the partners will also be expanding it by building additional capacity for other agrifood businesses. They will be bringing new co-packaging machinery into the Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre, and will make it available for use by other companies.

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To help their products reach Western Canadian consumers, Mera Food Group has signed a partnership alongside the Protein Industries Canada project to work with FCL to develop Co-op Gold Pure Oat Beverage. This collaboration supports communities, adds value to locally grown commodities and represents a complete farm-to-table initiative – from field to store shelf – involving Western Canadian businesses.

This $7.2-million project is Protein Industries Canada’s 13th project announcement. Together with industry, they’ve committed $272 million to the plant-protein sector through active technology projects.