Food In Canada

Merit Functional Foods unveils new pea protein to replace methylcellulose

By Food in Canada Staff   

Products Plant-based foods Ingredients & Additives Clean labels Editor pick Manitoba Merit Functional Foods pea protein

Merit Functional Foods, a Winnipeg-based ingredient supplier, has a new pea protein solution to replace methylcellulose in plant-based sausages, hot dogs, and burgers. The Peazazz pea protein offers gelling, emulsification, and cold and hot binding to uphold an animal meat-like texture in meat alts. Recent applications work has also demonstrated that it can replace methylcellulose, a commonly used ingredient in meat alt formulations. 

“If you ask any consumer what methylcellulose is, chances are they won’t recognize it, and it’s even more likely that they won’t be comfortable consuming it,” said Merit’s Co-CEO Ryan Bracken. “But despite this, methylcellulose is a part of the ingredient labels for many of the meat alternatives on the market today due to its unique functionality, and formulators are struggling to find a suitable clean label solution to replace it.” 

Methylcellulose is commonly used as a binding and gelling agent in meat alternative applications. Replacing it has historically been difficult, as these functional qualities are critical to upholding the springy, meat-like texture consumers have long associated with traditional animal-based meats.

“We are motivated by the potential this innovation has uncovered for formulators,” Bracken said. “We’ve heard from our customers the challenges of removing methylcellulose, and now Merit is able to provide them an opportunity to finally eliminate it from their products with our functional pea protein – Peazazz. And beyond this, there’s an added benefit of enhanced protein claims and a delicious sensory profile that’s on par with traditional products.” 


Merit is currently collaborating with brands looking to develop the next generation of clean label plant-based meat applications. For more information or to request a sample, visit 

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