- DSM, a Dutch company involved with health and nutrition products, and Avril, a French agro-industrial group, will collaborate on a plant-based protein made from non-GMO canola. DSM said in a release the partnership benefits from its global expertise in food and beverage solutions and Avril's experience with agricultural supply and innovation in plant-based proteins.
- The companies said the new product could be commercially available by the end of 2021. DSM and Avril said the protein will have excellent functional properties, high nutritional value and a balanced taste profile. It could potentially be used in meat and dairy alternatives, beverages, baked products, bars and ready-to-mix items.
- "With 10 billion inhabitants by 2050, experts predict global demand for both animal and plant-based protein to grow, with exponential growth in plant-based proteins due to dietary shifts," Jean-Philippe Puig, Avril's CEO, said in the release.
According to DSM, more consumers are choosing flexitarian, vegetarian and vegan diets due to personal, health and environmental reasons, so it makes sense to develop more plant-based protein sources to respond to this demand.
The prospective applications the two companies are targeting with this new protein seem on-trend as well. They said its functional properties, high nutritional value and balanced taste profile make it ideal for meat and dairy alternatives, baked products and bars. That could mean manufacturers of plant-based burgers and cheeses, nut-based beverages, vegan bakery items, protein bars and other products consumers are increasingly trying out these days decide to turn to the protein.
The market potential for this type of protein product is encouraging. According to a recent report from The Good Food Institute, $673 million was invested last year in plant-based meat, egg and dairy companies. Meanwhile, retail sales of plant-based foods replacing animal products jumped 17% to more than $3.7 billion in 2018, GFI said.
It's also a smart move to make this new canola protein product non-GMO. Not only might marketing it in the U.S. benefit from the upcoming federal GMO labeling requirements, but surveys show consumers remain skeptical about genetically modified food even if they aren't really all that knowledgeable about what they are.
Other companies have already been making canola-based protein products, including Burcon Nutrascience in Canada, where it is one of that country's most important crops. Specialized canola with high levels of omega-3 is also attracting industry attention, with a subsidiary of Australia's Nufarm, Ltd., gaining U.S. Agriculture Department approval last year to start planting the genetically modified crop variety containing genes taken from microalgae.
Most canola is grown for oil or oilseed meal, with the latter containing 36% protein. The meal is used to feed cattle, pigs and fish and also for pet food and fertilizer. Besides cooking oil and oilseed meal, canola is used to make biodiesel and bio-plastics. If the product from DSM and Avril ends up being widely used, canola could be in high demand among all the competing entities using it, potentially increasing its cost.