Protein Industries Canada (PIC) has announced a co-investment into the development of a plant-based protein blend designed to meet the protein needs of hospitalized and outpatient individuals, as well as highly active athletic consumers.
The $2.2. million co-investment will be led by Enhanced Medical Nutrition (EMN) and Infinit Nutrition Canada (INC). The partners are focusing on meeting the rising demand for high-quality plant-based protein options within the clinical and athletic markets. The partnership’s target consumer finds that sufficient protein intake poses a challenge, particularly individuals recovering from surgery, the critically ill, and athletes building muscle mass.
Marie-Claude Bibeau, minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), says there are endless opportunities for plant-based protein products, and this is a terrific example of one.
“Demand is growing for these products around the world, and we need to encourage the Canadian innovators so they are the ones who meet the demand,” Bibeau explains. “This announcement is just one more solid example of how the Protein Industries Supercluster is adding value to our farmers’ crops and keeping the sector at the forefront of innovation.
EMN and INC will create ready-to-mix and modular protein powders that claim to be allergen-free, clean label, and ethically sourced and manufactured from Canadian raw materials. The modular powders will be used in healthcare settings where they can be mixed into beverages or soft foods, increasing the protein content of the meal, or flushed through feeding tubes to deliver a dose of protein on top of the prescribed tube feed. The ready-to-mix powders will also be designed for hospital use, as well as for outpatient settings and at-home use.
Bill Greuel, CEO of PIC, says this investment is another way to tackle the increasing demand by consumers that are turning to plant-based diets.
“The amount of protein they need differs depending on factors such as their lifestyle and health situation. The rising demand and difference in needs makes it crucial that plant-based protein options are available in all settings and all forms — from grocery shelves to hospital kitchens, and from ready-to-mix powders to mixtures compatible with enteral feeding syringes,” Greuel says. “Making these products easily available helps ensure that all Canadians have access to a healthy, nutritious diet.”
EMN and INC are also engaging with Dr. Stuart Phillips, an internationally recognized dietary, protein, exercise and nutrition scientist, on the project. Phillips will conduct research to investigate the plant-protein blend at the Protein Metabolism Research Lab (PMRL) at McMaster University.
This is PIC’s 15th technology project announcement.