The $25.7-million project seeks to improve pulse-based ingredients
Farmers in Western Canada will hopefully have another market for their pulses soon.
Representatives from Protein Industries Canada (PIC), Ingredion Inc., Ingredion Plant Based Protein Specialties (IPBPS) (Canada) Inc., Verdient Foods Inc., T Base 4 Investments and O.M.D. Food Products recently announced a project focused on improving pulse-based ingredients for food processors and manufacturers.
“We expect to produce multiple generations of highly functional pulse-based ingredients for consumer food and beverages expanding into numerous applications,” Beth Tormey, Ingredion’s vice-president of plant-based proteins, said in the virtual announcement on Nov. 10.
IPBPS staff will work with the Verdient team at the facility in Vanscoy, Sask., said Blair Knippel. He was the former general manager of Verdient and is now the senior adviser to IPBPS and Ingredion.
“The Verdient team will naturally pre-process substantially all the feedstocks that will be consumed by the project and provide feedstock to Ingredion after the completion of the project,” Knippel said, in the annoucement. “The Verdient team is ready and eager to partake in the creation of new products for consumers and continuing to ensure that Saskatchewan and Canada maintain their places as the centre of plant-based food production.”
PIC provided $12.8 million for the project, while the other partners contributed a total of $12.9 million.
The partners are constructing a new facility in Vanscoy to support this project and slated to be open in mid 2021.
“It will be well over 100,000 metric tonnes going into the primary facility and then a component of that will be the value-added technology applied to the feedstock. The plant was designed to double in capacity as soon as consumer and manufacturer demand begin to grow,” said Knippel.
This facility could create a strong market for famers in Western Canada, said Bill Greuel, CEO of PIC.
“The more opportunities and options we have for sale and processing here on the Prairies that mitigate some of the issues related to trade disruption and some of the transportation issues that sometimes happen in Western Canada – that's a great day for farmers,” he said in the announcement.
Yellow peas are the main focus of the project to begin with and the partners plan to commercialize new technology to improve the functionality of them. Eventually, crops like lentils, chickpeas, green peas and faba beans will also be worked on, said the release.
“The most critical functionality of plant-based proteins in food products is really related to taste and texture. So, those are the functionalities that we're looking to improve with the processing work that will go on up there in Vanscoy,” said Tormey.
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