Top Crop Manager

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Protein supercluster expected to grow demand and value for Canada’s pea and canola crops


January 10, 2020
By Top Crop Manager


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The Protein Industries Canada supercluster announced a new project to commercialize new highly soluble, highly functional pea and canola protein isolates. These novel isolates will eliminate the grittiness experienced with less soluble proteins and will improve the flavour profiles of plant-based products, including in plant-protein beverages and meat alternatives. This project aligns with the shift in consumer trends, which has led to a growing demand for more options, and will provide Canadians with better tasting plant-based alternatives.

Merit Functional Foods, Pitura Seeds, Winning Combination and the Manitoba Food Centre are collaborating to use patented technology from Burcon NutraScience to produce the new protein isolates with more than 90 per cent purity. The project is expected to increase the demand for and value of Canadian pea and canola crops, enabling our farmers to sell more of their product.

A Government of Canada investment of up to $9.5 million in this project will be matched at least dollar for dollar by industry and other partners. Under an agreement signed with Protein Industries Canada, the Government of Canada is investing up to nearly $153 million in the supercluster, with industry expected to match dollar for dollar in project value over a five-year horizon.

The federal government’s Innovation Superclusters Initiative was created in 2018 to bring together small, medium-sized and large companies, academic institutions and not-for-profit organizations to serve as anchors of innovation, growth and job creation across the country.

“I know how important the Protein supercluster is to Winnipeg and the region. This new project will help position Canada’s plant-based proteins industry for new markets around the world,” said Jim Carr, the Prime Minister’s special representative for the Prairies and Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre.

“This will increase the demand for and value of some of Western Canada’s biggest agricultural commodities—peas and canola—and create new products to sell to customers across the globe.”

“This project is a great example of why the Innovation Superclusters Initiative was created. The consortium consists of businesses from across the value chain coming together to create new products not currently produced anywhere else in the world. This will increase the demand for and value of some of Western Canada’s biggest agricultural commodities—peas and canola—and create new products to sell to customers across the globe,” added Bill Greuel, CEO of  Protein Industries Canada.