Bakers Journal

Partnership to develop lupin farm-to-fork ecosystem in Canada

January 5, 2022
By Bakers Journal

Companies will work together to promote and support the adoption of lupin across the agrifood industry

Calgary – Protein Industries Canada recently announced a project to establish lupin as a staple crop in the Canadian agrifood sector.

Lupin Platform Inc., Hensall Co-op, Lumi Foods and Puris together intend to establish an integrated ecosystem to increase the production of, 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 widely acknowledged as the pulse with the highest seed protein content and a unique starch and oil composition. It is an emerging crop for Canada with significant growth potential presenting a great opportunity for Canada to meet the growing demand for high-quality plant-based protein ingredients, the company said in a news release.

The consortium 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.

“Lupin is an exciting new crop for Canada that will bring new value to Canada’s plant-based food and ingredient ecosystem, benefiting the entire value chain, from farmers to end consumers,” said Bill Greuel, CEO of Protein Industries Canada.

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.

“Lupin has a unique composition that makes it an exciting source for plant-based protein ingredients,” said Lupin Platform Inc. CEO Tristan Choi. “It also fixes nitrogen to the soil and is naturally disease resistant, which reduces the need for inputs, reducing emissions for sustainable farming practice, and benefiting Canadian farmers that add it to their rotation.”

Hensall Co-op, one of Canada’s largest farmer co-operatives, will take on agronomic research and testing for the novel crop, as well as use in-house equipment and know-how to develop scalable cleaning, dehulling and milling technologies suitable for commercialization at the processing level. Hensall hopes to develop data related to the feed value of lupin in monogastric and ruminant nutrition.

The novel lupin ingredients will then be used by Lumi Foods and Puris to develop new plant-based products for consumers across North America.

Lumi Foods (formerly Blue Heron Creamery), a plant-based cheese and products manufacturer, will use lupin ingredients in their proprietary cheese-making process. Over the past three years, the company has been exploring different ingredients to develop a nut-free line of dairy alternative products, and lupin’s high protein content makes it an attractive ingredient in formulation.

Puris, a company that works at the intersection of growers, makers and eaters to deliver sustainable nutrition from plants, will support the effort through innovation and product development.

“We believe the alternative protein industry will grow for years to come and that being involved at this stage will help provide future growth opportunities for both our Co-op and member base,” said Hensall Co-op CEO Brad Chandler.

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