Avena Foods and partners secure funding for developing pulse flour products


Protein Industries Canada has announced a partnership that will research and develop new applications for pulse flours.

Avena Foods, Big Mountain Foods, Daiya Foods, Bakenology, and The Village Bakery have joined forces to test and develop new applications for Avena Foods’ proprietary tempered pulse flours.

Big Mountain Foods and Daiya Foods, both based out of Vancouver, B.C., will utilize the flours in the development of new products for the growing vegan and flexitarian markets, both in North America and overseas. Bakenology and The Village Bakery, based in the United Kingdom, will utilize the Canadian plant-protein ingredients in food products that will be shipped across Europe.

Gord Flaten, chief executive officer of Avena Foods — a speciality miller in Regina and Rowan, Sask., and Portage La Prairie, Man. — says that this move is extremely important when it comes to our export markets.

“A lot of our customers are outside of Canada. We’re a Canadian company. We have plants in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and buy crop from farmers all across Western Canada. We process everything here. Canada is an important market, but most of our product actually goes to the U.S., Europe, South America, the Middle East, some to Asia, and even some to Australia,” Flaten says. “Export markets really are critical to our business. And we want to work with customers — like our two customers in the U.K. — to help them explore the potential for these ingredients that they in turn are selling to their consumers.” (Story continues below video)

Tempered pulse flours are a flour that goes through a special process where it undergoes a thermal-treatment process that alters the starches and the proteins. The flours that are produced will be used in the development of a pulse-based egg replacement. They also have the potential to be applied in a wide range of food products such as bakery, extruded snacks, confectionary, noodles and pasta, plant-based meat alternatives, soups, sauces, dressings, baby food, and specialty applications such as flavourings.

This is the fourteenth project announced by Protein Industries Canada. Together with industry, Protein Industries Canada has committed more than $272 million to the Canadian plant-protein sector. They are currently accepting Expressions of Interest (EOIs) for research and capacity building projects as part of their third open call.

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