New partnership will lead to development of Canadian protein ingredients focused on functionality and taste

First-of-their-kind hemp and sunflower ingredients will provide food manufacturers with more protein choices

Vancouver, BC, March 12, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The demand for a wide variety of flavourful, affordable protein options is rising across Canada. Today, Protein Industries Canada announced a new project to help meet the growing need for ingredients that will help meet this demand, with a co-investment with partners Burcon NutraScience, HPS Food & Ingredients and Puratos Canada.

Prioritizing functionality and taste, Burcon is increasing the value of each hemp and sunflower flour by extracting hemp protein isolate, sunflower protein isolate and sunflower protein concentrate. These first-in-the-market ingredients will meet the growing needs of food and beverage companies, as they work to provide Canadian consumers with a wide variety of nutritious, sustainable and flavour-neutral protein options.

“This Global Innovation Clusters project is another example of our commitment to fostering innovation in the development of plant-based products and technologies, recognizing their potential to drive sustainable economic growth and provide healthy food options to consumers,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “By leveraging hemp and sunflower proteins for innovation, Protein Industries Canada and its partners are helping strengthen Canada’s ecosystem and the economy.”

“Canada’s plant-based food and ingredients sector continues to be at the forefront of innovation. The development of these new hemp and sunflower protein ingredients will help strengthen our agricultural value chain and expand the number of plant-based food and beverage options available to Canadians,” said The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

“This innovative project will offer new healthy and sustainable food ingredient options to Canadians while supporting Canada’s economic growth by helping to secure domestic and international supply chains,” said the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.

In partnership with Burcon, HPS is assessing hemp crop varieties to determine which are best suited for the new ingredients, while also developing, commercializing and scaling the technology needed to process the hemp into the new ingredients. Further along the value chain, Puratos and Burcon will each focus on using the hemp and sunflower ingredients in new food and beverage products, particularly baking applications, beverages and meat alternatives.

“The development of new ingredients and food manufacturing is integral to growing and strengthening Canada’s agrifood sector. Increasing ingredient manufacturing can help diversify our agriculture sector and increase our productivity, creating new economic growth for Canada,” Protein Industries Canada CEO Bill Greuel said. “Together, Burcon, HPS and Puratos are developing a line of ingredients, food and beverage products that will do this, while also bringing new, diverse protein options to market.”

A total of $6.9 million has been committed to the project, with Protein Industries Canada committing $3 million and the partners together committing the remainder.

“There is a significant gap between the needs of consumers today and the performance of plant proteins on the market,” Burcon Chief Executive Officer Kip Underwood said. “We are excited to launch new-to-the-world high purity hempseed and sunflower seed protein ingredients that exhibit superior taste, texture, colour and functionality. Better products start with better ingredients and Burcon has the proteins to meet this need.”

“HPS Food & Ingredients (HPS) is thrilled to be launching this pivotal project in partnership with Burcon, Puratos and Protein Industries Canada,” HPS Food & Ingredients CEO Marc van Burck said. “As consumers and brands continue to expand their knowledge of hempseeds as a leading superfood, manufactures will look to incorporate functional hempseed ingredients into their formulations. This project will fill a unique gap in processing for the industry, and will result in a portfolio of products customers have been seeking for years. We appreciate PIC’s support as we believe we are at a hempseed food inflection point and this project will be remembered as a keystone for the successful growth of the hempseed food industry.”

“Puratos Canada strives to move the planet forward by creating innovative food solutions for the health and well-being of people everywhere. We are thrilled to help further the development of plant-based proteins and look forward to bringing the applications of sunflower protein to life in multiple patisserie, bakery and chocolate products. This new ingredient has the potential to improve the overall quality of baked goods, while both reducing the reliance on animal by-products and increasing nutritional value,” Puratos Canada Vice President of Research & Development Julie Istead said.

Protein Industries Canada is one of Canada’s five Global Innovation Clusters. Protein Industries Canada and our members are working to embrace the $25 billion opportunity presented by Canada’s ingredient manufacturing, food processing and bio-product sector. Projects such as these add value to, and create new markets for, Canadian crops, generating local jobs and supporting new economic development in locations across Canada. More information can be found at


About Burcon NutraScience

Burcon is a global technology leader in the development of plant-based proteins for foods and beverages. Their proteins exhibit superior functionality, taste and nutrition, making them ideal ingredients for food formulators. With over two decades of experience, Burcon has amassed an extensive patent portfolio covering its novel plant-based proteins derived from pea, canola, soy, hemp and sunflower seeds, among other plant sources. Burcon is committed to delivering next-generation, best-in-class protein solutions, positioning itself as a key player in the rapidly expanding plant-based market. Supporting the growing trend towards a plant-based diet, Burcon offers sustainable protein ingredients that they believe are better for you and better for the planet. For more information, visit


About HPS Food & Ingredients

HPS Food & Ingredients is a global leader in value-added processing of plant proteins, seeds and grains, oils, flours, fibers and starches, for premium food markets and food companies around the globe. They produce nutritious, non-GMO, gluten-free ingredient products at their GFSI certified production facilities, specializing in hemp and fava products. They provide quality ingredient solutions for the global food marketplace.


About Puratos Canada

Puratos Canada is based in Mississauga, Ont., and offers a full range of innovative products and application expertise for artisans, industry, retailers and food service customers in the bakery, patisserie and chocolate sectors. At Puratos, they believe that food has extraordinary power in our lives. This why they aim to help customers be successful with their business, by turning technologies and experience gathered from food cultures around the world into new opportunities. Together, we move the planet forward by creating innovative food solutions for the health and well-being of people everywhere.


Creating a new line of flavourful, functional hemp and sunflower protein options

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