Canadian collaboration to develop high-quality meat alternatives

The partnership aims to create beef and pork alternatives that rival Wagyu beef
calendar icon 21 November 2021
clock icon 6 minute read

The partnership brings together Wamame Foods, Merit Functional Foods, Wismettac Asian Foods and Winecrush Technology in a collaborative effort to develop and distribute plant-based, non-soy alternatives to pork and Wagyu beef, the press release announced.

Using innovative plant protein ingredients and processing technologies, the aim is to match the high quality of Wagyu beef in both texture and taste.

The partners hope to diversify plant-based food products available across Canada.

The partners aim to diversify the plant-based foods available across Canada, while meeting consumer expectations in terms of the taste, health benefits and sustainability of those products.

“Canadian farmers grow some of the world’s highest quality crops," said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. "Thanks to the work of the Protein Industries Supercluster, we are developing new uses for them by leveraging existing expertise and connecting global partners to create premium, healthy and sustainable food products."

"This great initiative will further Canada’s reputation as a world leader in plant-based food innovations,” he added.

Merit Functional Foods and Winecrush Technology will develop the ingredients for the new products using Canadian-grown crops, including non-GMO peas and canola. The ingredients will be closely evaluated for their use in beef and pork alternatives.

The new products will be sold under Wamame Foods’ Waygu brand. They will be featured alongside Wamame Foods' already established soy-based Waygu product, as well as products under a co-branded private label from Wismettac Asian Foods’.

“Consumer demand for high-quality, delicious and nutritious plant-based meat alternatives is growing, and meeting it in a sustainable manner will require new ingredient and product innovation,” Protein Industries Canada CEO Bill Greuel said. “Wamame Foods, Merit Functional Foods, Wismettac Asian Foods and Winecrush Technology are proof that Canadian companies have the knowledge, skills and innovative mindset to develop these new ingredients and products."

The new lines of meat alternatives will be sold throughout Europe, Asia and North America.

“As first to market with food-grade non-GMO canola protein, we are committed to providing the industry with highly functional plant proteins that improve taste and texture in plant-based food products, including meat alternatives that satisfy the specific texture and flavour preferences of regional cuisine,” said Jeff Casper, Director of Research and Applications at Merit Functional Foods.

A total of $7.6 million is being invested in the project, with Protein Industries Canada investing $3.8 million. To date, Protein Industries Canada, along with others in the industry, has committed more than $425 million to Canada's plant-based food, feed and ingredients ecosystem.

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