Nonprofit consortium Protein Industries Canada (PIC) announces a $4.1 million investment to develop novel, nutritionally superior oat ingredients and products, including Canada’s first oat-based protein.
The project, which will involve a collaboration between beverage brand Oat Canada and ingredient supplier Roquette, aims to build on Canada’s status as a leading global oat producer by expanding applications for its vast oat crop. In order to meet growing demand for sustainably produced foods and to strengthen supply chains, the project also hopes to significantly grow Canada’s domestic processing capabilities.
“Increasing our domestic ingredient processing capacity is one of the most important steps in strengthening Canada’s economy and food supply chain, as well as the health of our environment,” says Protein Industries Canada CEO Bill Greuel.
New oat research opportunities
A key goal of the project is to innovate nutritionally-advanced ingredients using Canadian oats. Towards that end, Roquette plans to leverage its strong research capabilities to develop nutritious, high-protein, oat-derived food and beverage ingredients, which Oat Canada will then test in its popular line of oat-based milk products.
Roquette says PIC’s project provides a unique opportunity for exploring the potential of oat protein.
“Roquette excels at innovation and research on plant-based ingredients, it’s at the heart of our work with food innovators like Oat Canada,” said Leon Zhou, Head of Research and Development for Roquette Americas. “Through our partnership with Oat Canada and the support of Protein Industries Canada, we are well positioned to continue our innovation and research on oat protein with the goal of meeting consumer demand for new and exciting plant-based food options.”
The latest investment marks the 37th project announcement for PIC, which promotes the expansion of Canada’s plant protein industry.
“By processing and utilizing more of our plant-based ingredients at home, companies like Oat Canada and Roquette are helping reduce our sector’s carbon footprint and GHG emissions, while supplying Canadians—and consumers around the world—with healthy, sustainable food options,” said PIC’s Greuel. “Together, they’re creating a healthier, stronger and more sustainable Canada for everyone along the value chain.”