Protein Industries Canada, Verdient Foods and partners commit $25.7 million for yellow pea processing

Protein Industries Canada (PIC) has announced a new partnership with the goal of opening new markets for pulse-based proteins and increasing the functionality of these ingredients.

Ingredion Inc., Ingredion Plant Based Protein Specialties, located at Vanscoy, Sask.,  O.M.D. Food Products, Verdient Foods, and T Base 4 Investments have formed a consortium to focus on commercializing new technology that will “improve the functionality of pulse-based ingredients,” focusing on yellow peas.

A total of $25.7 million has been committed to the project, with $12.8 million coming from partners, and the remaining $12.8 million from PIC.

This is PIC’s 12th project announcement regarding plant-protein technology projects.

The project is expected to improve the functionality of pulse-based ingredients and expand on their use in plant-based protein products. Following the processing of yellow peas, the partnership will shift to lentils, chickpeas, green peas, and faba beans. The project is expected to create up to 30 new Canadian jobs, according to a press release.

“The difference these partners are going to make in the lives of Canadians is incredible to think about,” says Bill Greuel, CEO of PIC. “From the farmers who’ll have new markets for their crops, to the processors who’ll have new ingredients to work with, to the families who’ll have new products on their plates, everyone along the value chain will have something to look forward to. It represents a true expansion and strengthening of the plant-protein ecosystem.”

“The Verdient Foods team is thrilled to be a part of a such a critical project to bring new plant-based ingredients to a global marketplace,” says Blair Knippel,  former GM of Verdient Foods and senior advisor to IPBPS and Ingredion Incorporated. “Protein Industries Canada’s contributions will lead directly to ongoing improvements to the manufacturing capabilities in Vanscoy. The project solidifies Verdient Foods’ original vision, which is to position as key contributor to the plant-based protein movement and leader in sustainable food ingredient production.”

The value-added processing facility at Vanscoy, Sask., is expected to open in 2021 and will purchase approximately 100,000 metric tonnes of raw product for the primary facility, says Knippel.

When asked by RealAgriculture about Verdient Foods’ view on maximum residue limits in pulse crops, particularly diquat, in light of the U.S.’s recent changes to its MRL, Knippel says that sourcing of raw product for Ingredion’s “bespoke manufacturing” will depend on the end client’s needs.

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