A joining of forces on the Prairies will elevate Canada's plant-protein ecosystem
REGINA, SK, June 25, 2020 /CNW/ - Today, Protein Industries Canada ("PIC") announced a project focused on creating new plant-based foods using pulses grown and processed on the Prairies.
The $11.3 million-dollar project will see a consortium of AGT Food and Ingredients ("AGT") and ulivit, work together to process pea, lentil and faba bean protein concentrate into high moisture meat analogue, Texturized Pulse Protein (TPP), tempeh, tofu, pasta and non-dairy analogues. These ingredients will then be further developed into market-ready food for the consumer and restaurant.
This project brings together AGT, considered one of the founders of Canada's plant protein industry, with ulivit, – a young company led by two talented women entrepreneurs, to execute projects that will contribute to revolutionising the plant-based food market. Building off each other's experience and expertise, they will use dry fractioned pulses as feedstock to create high-protein products using green production methods that will consume less energy and water than existing commercial processes.
"This project is exciting on so many levels," CEO of Protein Industries Canada Bill Greuel said. "First of all, it is a classic example of how the cluster is supposed to work – a collaboration between large and micro companies to bring new innovations to the market. Secondly, its benefit to Canadians - from the farmer growing the pulse crops who will now have more options to sell their product closer to home, to the processors and packagers in the middle who employ Canadians across the country, to the consumer looking to introduce more tasty and innovative plant-protein products into their diet."
It is expected that the demand for plant-based products will only continue to grow, and that increasingly consumers will look for many food products that are flexitarian in nature – meaning that they blend the type of products that AGT and ulivit will create, such as TPP and other pulse ingredients with meat to provide an alternative that is not one or the other, but both.
"We are very happy to work with ulivit on innovative new projects through the PIC Supercluster program," said Murad Al-Katib, President and CEO of AGT. "Development of applications for plant-based foods and the ingredients that are used to make them has been a significant part of AGT's strategy over the past decade. We were at the forefront leading what is now seen by many as the plant-based revolution. Meat alternatives, like those we see in many products in the marketplace, have really gained traction with consumers as they search out new and innovative products that are good for them and taste good as well. The critical R&D and production work needed to predict what consumers may be looking for and provide products that fit their tastes is key, not only to AGT's growth but for emerging companies like ulivit and the pulse food sector overall. Saskatchewan and Canada are the first stop on the protein highway, and we look forward to continuing to innovate, produce and assist in growing a new segment of an exciting sector. PIC helps us to accelerate this growth trajectory we are on."
"We are super excited to collaborate with Protein Industries Canada and AGT on this project. At ulivit we want to make the world a healthier and happier place with plant-based foods," Founder of ulivit Laura Gustafson said. "The Supercluster program is a game changer for ulivit. It creates opportunities that would have been difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. Opportunities associated with AGT's global leading team, ingredients, infrastructure, experience, and relationships that will propel our company. We are thrilled AGT and PIC are part of our plant-protein journey and look forward to creating delicious and sustainable plant-based foods for Canadians and the world."
This project represents the seventh project announced by Protein Industries Canada. Since June of last year Protein Industries Canada and industry consortiums have invested more than $100 million into Canada's plant protein ecosystem. Protein Industries Canada's third call for Expressions of Interests (EOIs) is now open.
About AGT Food and Ingredients
AGT Food and Ingredients Inc. (AGT) is a Saskatchewan-based processor of value-added pulses, staple foods and food ingredients for export and domestic markets; a producer of food ingredients such as pulse flours, proteins, starches and fibres as well as pulse-based food products such as texturized pulse proteins used as meat substitutes and pulse-based pasta; and a supplier of retail packaged and canned foods to retail and food service sectors. AGT's pulse-based food ingredient products are used by food companies around the globe to enhance and fortify their products and brands with pulse ingredients that are non-GMO, high in fibre, high in protein, low in glycemic index, gluten-free and whose production is low in greenhouse gases, low in water usage and promotes soil health without the application of fertilizer. Through its offices and processing facilities located in some of the best agricultural growing regions in Canada, the U.S., Turkey, China, Australia and South Africa, merchandising and sales offices in the U.K., the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and India and origination offices in Russia, AGT produces a full range of pulses and specialty crops including lentils, peas, chickpeas, beans and canary seed and staple foods such as pasta, rice, and milled wheat products, including bulgur and semolina. For more information on AGT Foods, please visit www.agtfoods.com.
ulivit superfood inc., is a start-up company based in the heart of the Canadian prairies. An innovative food company using the best Canadian pulse protein grown by our trusted Canadian farmers and blended with old-fashioned human taste buds and a sprinkle of science to develop plant-based food that is all good. Soy-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, high in fibre, high in protein, low on the glycemic index, and dare we say, carbon positive?! We believe there is a happy and healthier way to feed the planet. Inspiring joyful connections between families and friends over good food. At ulivit, we're feeding the change we want to see in the world by creating tasty and healthy plant-based foods with a featherlight footprint on our planet's resources. We think this is really important for the future of the world and hope you do too! For more information on ulivit, please visit www.ulivit.ca.
SOURCE Protein Industries Canada
For further information: Tiffany Stephenson, Protein Industries Canada, Regina, SK, 306-519-8202, [email protected]