Protein Industries Canada (PIC) is announcing a project to establish lupin as a staple crop in the Canadian agri-food sector.
Lupin Platform Inc., Hensall Co-op, Lumi Foods, and PURIS have come together to establish an integrated ecosystem to increase the production and processing of lupin in Canada. The $7.3 million project will develop a lupin supply and value chain, from crop production through to the development and manufacturing of functional ingredients and products.
Lupin is a pulse crop with high seed protein content, and a unique starch and oil composition. Lupin is an emerging crop for Canada with significant growth potential, presenting an opportunity for Canada to meet the growing demand for high-quality plant-based protein ingredients, PIC says.
The consortium — with each member representing a link in the value chain — will focus on identifying the lupin varieties that are best suited for Canadian growing conditions, developing and improving seed cleaning, and processing technologies, determining the value of lupin’s co-products, and creating new food formulations and products.
Bill Greuel, chief executive officer of PIC, says lupin is an exciting crop for Canada that will bring new value to Canada’s plant-based food and ingredient ecosystem.
“[Lupin] will benefit the entire value chain, from farmers to end consumers,” Greuel says. “This project is a demonstration of the importance of innovation in energizing Canada’s economy. By supporting Canadian SMEs in innovation new crops, ingredients and products, new companies are being created and new products are being commercialized, leading to the creation of good-paying jobs for Canadians.”
The project will be led by Lupin Platform Inc., a new company that will oversee the development of the ecosystem and contribute inputs and expertise to activities related to agronomic research, commercial-scale lupin production, protein extraction and functional characterization, and ingredient and value-added product development such as lupin beverages and a baking mix.
Hensall Co-op, one of Canada’s largest farmer co-operatives, will take on agronomic research and testing for the crop, as well as utilize in-house equipment and know-how to develop effective and scalable cleaning, dehulling and milling technologies that are suitable for commercialization at the processing level. Additionally, Hensall hopes to develop data related to the feed value of lupin in monogastric and ruminant nutrition.
The lupin ingredients will then be used by Lumi Foods and PURIS to develop new plant-based products for consumers across North America.