Nepra Foods, creator of hemp-based, gluten-free foods, announces the full operation of its first dedicated extrusion line, which was installed in their Colorado facility last November. This new addition is set to exponentially increase ingredient output and boost overall sales revenue, particularly for its textured hemp protein.
Founded in 2016, Nepra Foods is a multi-category market leader in allergen-free and plant-based food ingredients. Following a successful IPO in Canada in September 2021, the alt-protein company also entered the US securities market two months afterwards.
The company is best known as the developer of an innovative hemp protein that it describes as “game-changing” textured hemp protein, or THP. Conventional TVP is usually made with soy, wheat, or pea proteins, but as these are common allergens, they are not accessible to everyone.
Hemp is on the rise
Hemp is emerging as a go-to ingredient for plant-based alternatives such as plant-based meat alternatives. Being allergen-free, hemp has an excellent nutritional profile, as it is high in protein and fibre, contains all the essential amino acids, and has an optimal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. Additionally, hemp is naturally pest-resistant and therefore doesn’t require pesticides.
Nepra’s specialized equipment can produce Texturized Hemp Protein, THP™ (800,000 lbs./year) for use in plant-based meat analogues such as vegan meatballs and chunk chicken, which are used in the Company’s PROPASTA™ line of ready-to-eat frozen meals with additional capacity sold wholesale to other food producers.
Nepra CEO David Wood says, “Having our own textured protein equipment is key to our plan of being vertically integrated. Producing our own proprietary textured proteins gives us a huge advantage over most smaller producers who rely on third-party suppliers. Being able to produce our own allows us to formulate the proteins specifically for what we need while retaining the intellectual property of that formulation and keeping the costs as low as possible.
“Although we don’t consider ourselves a meat analogue company, the analogues we produce for our PROPASTA™ line of frozen entrees are unique in the industry. While most everyone in this space is using pea, soy, gluten, and faba bean, our texturized hemp protein has superior flavor, texture, and, most importantly, nutrition. It will be the first like it on the market.”