Fermentation

Canada’s Renaissance BioScience Receives Government Funding to Develop Yeast Solution for the Off-Flavors of Plant Proteins

The Vancouver-based yeast bioengineering company Renaissance BioScience has been awarded CAD $232,000 in funding from the Canadian Food Innovation Network to develop a revolutionary product for plant-based protein products. 

Renaissance is working on a pioneering project with food industry partners to develop and commercialize a non-GMO solution to neutralize compounds that lead to off-flavors and undesirable aromas in plant-based flours and proteins.

“Our team is confident that we can neutralize the off-aromas and flavors in plant-based protein foods”

In addition to enhancing taste, the yeast aims to eliminate the need for commonly used “flavor masking” ingredients by providing a clean-label solution for manufacturers; on a product’s ingredient list, the yeast solution will be simply identified as “yeast.”

Renaissance BioScience Corp. has been awarded funding from the Canadian Food Innovation Network to develop a revolutionary product for plant-based protein products.
© Renaissance BioScience

Better flavor for a growing market

Despite the health and sustainability benefits that plant-based alternatives to animal products offer, widespread consumer acceptance is hindered by the challenge of unpleasant flavors and odors of plant proteins.

A Protein Industries Canada‘s 2023 Global Market Forecast study shows that among consumers who have reduced their plant-based protein intake, 58% say they find the taste and texture of these products unappealing. Meanwhile, the study shows that 44% of consumers desire a wider variety of plant-based products.

Furthermore, according to its 2023 market projections, the worldwide plant-based protein market is expected to grow from US$40 billion in 2021 to more than US$200 billion by 2035, demonstrating the significant potential for innovative solutions. 

Renaissance BioScience 's logo
© Renaissance BioScience

Yeasts for functional ingredients

Renaissance has developed a yeast technology that uses fermentation to create cost-effective, functional ingredients for environmental, health, and industrial challenges. The biotech company has previously successfully applied its yeast bioengineering expertise to reduce hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg smell and similar aromas) in wine and beer. A range of out-licensed wine and beer yeast strains are sold worldwide.

The Government of Canada’s International Trade Commissioner Service has included Renaissance in its 2024 Food Technologies Canadian Technology Accelerator program to propel the commercialization of the yeast solution.  Dr. John Husnik, Renaissance’s CSO and Office of the CEO, comments: “We’re excited to receive this funding from CFIN and to be accepted into the 2024 Food Technologies Canadian Technology Accelerator program for our clean-label, non-GMO yeast technology. 

“Our team is confident that we can neutralize the off-aromas and flavors in plant-based protein foods, and we look forward to mutually beneficial outcomes for our company, our partners, and plant-based food makers around the world.” 




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