Investments & Finance

Protein Industries Canada and Partners Invest $6.2M to Expand Lupin Industry in Canada

Protein Industries Canada has announced a collaborative initiative with Lupin Platform, the first commercially grown lupin in North America, PURIS Holdings, and YOSO Canada to bolster the lupin value chain in Canada. The project aims to enhance opportunities for farmers and ingredient processors while introducing new plant-based protein products to the market.

Lupin, a high-protein legume containing all nine essential amino acids, is gaining attention for its versatility in plant-based products. It can be processed into flour or extracted for protein to create dairy alternatives such as yogurt, cheese, and ice cream. Additionally, lupin protein serves as a fat substitute in products like dressings and mayonnaise.

Current market applications

Companies currently utilizing lupin ingredients include Wicked Kitchen with its lupin-based ice cream, Wide Open Agriculture’s enriched oat milk, Germany’s PLANT B with its plant-based liquid egg, and Mikuna Foods’ Chocho protein powders.

Mikuna Lupin Protein Powder Range
©Mikuna Foods

François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, stated, “This Protein Industries Cluster project, led by Lupin Platform and its partners, will drive new opportunities for Canadians and bring more plant-based food options to market. This project will not only boost Canada’s economic advantage and foster strong supply chains but also has potential for meaningfully impacting Canada’s food landscape for generations to come.”

Development and scale-up

Building on a previous project supported by Protein Industries Canada in 2021, the new project brings in YOSO, a plant-based yogurt and spread company. Together, they aim to elevate the profile, utilization, and distribution of Canadian-grown lupin and related products. The partnership will focus on developing and scaling up new and existing consumer packaged goods (CPG) products and ingredients, including plant-based egg and dairy products, flour, bakery mixes, and a B2B ready-to-mix powder.

“De-risking innovation is crucial to fostering a more dynamic marketplace for growers, processors, and manufacturers alike. Investments into this type of platform technology will help Canada reach our goal of a $25 billion ingredient processing and food manufacturing sector,” commented Bill Greuel, CEO of Protein Industries Canada.

Lupin Platform
© Lupin Platform

Expanding the lupin value chain

The project involves a $6.2 million co-investment to expand the lupin value chain, making the crop a viable and economically sound option for Canadian farmers. The investment will also optimize processes for cleaning, dehulling, and milling lupin, and develop and improve new ingredient and CPG products. Protein Industries Canada will contribute $2.6 million, with the remaining funds provided by the project partners.

Tristan Choi, CEO of Lupin Platform Inc., commented, “I am thrilled to embark on the second round of the Protein Industries Canada project. Reflecting on the triumphs of our earlier milestones, we are poised to advance even further, enhancing agronomic practices for farmers and broadening the scope of lupin ingredient characterization for consumers.”

PURIS Executive Director Jake Achterhoff added, “Through our consumer-branded AcreMade® products, we are developing egg alternatives that harness the power of plants. By combining pea protein and lupin flour, we are creating products that have all the functions of hen eggs but with the added benefits of being cholesterol-free, non-GMO, top 9 allergen-free, and great-tasting, all while supporting a more sustainable food system that’s powered by plants.”

PLANT B egg
© PLANT B

Erik Lo, Chief Technical Officer of YOSO, also noted: “As a Canadian family business pioneering plant-based cultured foods and beverages, my team and I are excited about developing the next generation of plant-based cultured foods using Canadian-grown lupin.”

Future prospects

Protein Industries Canada, one of the country’s five Global Innovation Clusters, is working towards a $25 billion opportunity in Canada’s ingredient manufacturing, food processing, and bio-product sector. Projects like this aim to add value to Canadian crops, create new markets, generate local jobs, and support economic development across the country.

Choi concluded, “This journey with lupin isn’t merely about discovering new flavors; it represents a commitment to sustainability, nutrition, and versatility. By integrating lupin into our diets, we are embracing an ingredient with the power to transform the way we think about food.”

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