On Thursday, Protein Industries Canada announced a new project to supply meat and other food processors with plant-based ingredients for the growing flexitarian market.

Together, Griffith Foods, Persall Fine Foods and k2MILLING will focus on researching and developing new plant-based protein ingredients such as flours and texturized protein blends. The partners will work with food processors to ensure the ingredients complement pre-existing manufacturing infrastructure, while still tasting great and having a pleasing texture for consumers.

Approximately $1.2 million is being invested in the project: $611,000 from Protein Industries Canada and $611,000 from the partners collectively. It is Protein Industry Canada's first Ontario-based project.

"The demand for plant-based protein is expanding both in Canada and internationally," said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. "This investment from Protein Industries Canada will expand our ability to be a global leader in the production of plant protein. It will make it easier for Canadian firms to capitalize on this trend, grow their businesses, and create good jobs."

Griffith Foods is a large-scale supplier of high-quality ingredients, k2MILLING is an artisanal miller with significant experience creating flavourful flours from unique sources and Persall Fine Foods specializes in producing gourmet cold-pressed oils from Canadian-grown crops. Together, the companies have more than 200 years of experience. Other plant-protein businesses and research organizations along the value chain will also be involved in the project. This includes the National Research Council of Canada, which will aid by providing analytical testing solutions of the raw and finished ingredients for nutritional purposes.

"This project truly exemplifies a strengthening of our agrifood ecosystem," said Protein Industries Canada CEO Bill Greuel. "Together the consortium will develop ingredients that work for other companies wanting to enter the growing flexitarian market. They are contributing to Canada's food and ingredient sector and bringing value to a wide array of companies—including meat processors, a group many don't always associate with the plant-protein sector. As the demand for diverse protein options increases, it is an opportunity for innovative companies like these to become global leaders and set Canada apart in the protein market."

The ingredients developed by Griffith Foods, k2MILLING and Persall Fine Foods will allow food and meat processors to enter the plant-protein market, expanding and diversifying Canada's plant-based protein ecosystem. Final products will be sold as new vegan, vegetarian and/or flexitarian meal options to foodservice and retail locations throughout Canada and the United States.

To date, Protein Industries Canada and consortium members have invested more than $163 million into Canada's plant-protein sector. This is the eighth project announced by Protein Industries Canada.