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Canada's plant-based cheese market enhanced by new partnership

21 January 2022

Consortium will use innovative techniques to use Canadian-grown crops in plant-based cheeses

Protein Industries Canada has announced a new project that brings together Lumi Foods, Winecrush Technology and Save-On-Foods. The aim of the collaborative effort is to enhance Canada’s plant-based cheese market. This includes developing new products, as well as giving them a more prominent placement in grocery stores across the country.

Using Lumi Foods’ cultured cheesemaking methods, which enables the continued use of the term “cheese," the partners will create a new line of plant-based cheeses made from Canadian-grown crops, including oats, legumes and pulses.

Once developed, the plant-based cheeses will be sold in the deli sections of Save-On-Foods at locations across Canada. According to the Protein Industries Canada press release, this will be the first time plant-based cheeses will be placed alongside dairy cheeses.

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.

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 specialised 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 Protein Industries Canada investing an additional $5.4 million. The total project co-investment is $10.8 million.



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