“This new project truly showcases the innovation happening right now in Canada. With this innovation, we will be able to provide locally made food options for Canadians looking for dairy-free options or who follow a plant-based diet. The Protein Industries Supercluster’s investment in this project will assure us that we are producing the next generation of plant-based cheese, here in Canada,” said François-Philippe Champagne, minister of innovation, science and industry.
Once developed, the plant-based cheeses will be sold in Save-On-Foods locations across Canada. To help ensure the plant-based cheeses are shelf-stable for longer lengths of time, Winecrush Technology will test shelf-extending ingredients in the recipes, including dietary fibre and unsaturated fatty acids.
“It takes true dedication to evolve a sector, and that’s exactly what’s happening with this project,” PIC CEO Bill Greuel said. “Lumi Foods, Save-On-Foods and Winecrush Technology are proving that through innovation and collaboration, new plant-based products, specifically cheese, can be made with Canadian-grown ingredients – a first for Canada. It is through innovation like this that our country will become a world-leader in the production of plant-based foods, helping us reach our goal of $25 billion in sales by 2035.”
In addition to expanding this line of cheeses, the partners are also dedicated to strengthening Canada’s plant-based cheese sector as a whole. To help make this happen, they’ll work with the University of Alberta to perform complimentary research, focused on identifying strains of microbes that can be specialized for plant-based cheesemaking. This research will help improve the flavour, structure and aroma of plant-based cheeses, meeting consumer demand for plant-based products that are healthy and sustainable while also tasting delicious.
The partners have together invested $5.4 million into the project, with PIC investing an additional $5.4 million. The total project co-investment is $10.8 million.