Media Moves

Nestle teams up with Canadian plant ingredients maker

January 24, 2020

Posted by Irina Slav

Nestle has teamed up with Burcon, a Canadian plant-based food ingredients manufacturer to pursue new products.

Silke Koltrowitz reported the news for Reuters:

Food group Nestle (NESN.S) has teamed up with Canadian plant-based food ingredient makers Burcon (BU.TO) and Merit to speed up innovation in the fast-growing business segment, it said on Friday.

The collaboration will allow Nestle, which launched soy and wheat protein-based “Incredible Burgers” in Europe last year, to tap into Burcon’s proprietary plant protein extraction and purification technology as well as Merit’s plant protein production capabilities.

Burcon Nutrascience specializes in making novel plant-based proteins derived from pea, canola, soy, hemp, sunflower seed and various other crops, while Merit Functional Foods is building a commercial-scale production facility to produce plant-based protein using Burcon’s technology.

Emma Upshall from Foodbev Media wrote:

According to the companies, the agreement combines Nestlé’s expertise in the development, production and commercialisation of plant-based products with Burcon’s proprietary plant protein extraction and purification technology and Merit’s protein production capabilities.

Merit is currently building its commercial-scale production facility, which is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2020.

Meanwhile, Burcon has been developing its plant-based protein technology for more than 19 years for the the application and manufacturing of proteins derived from pea, canola, soy and hemp.

“Developing nutritious and great-tasting plant-based meat and dairy alternatives requires access to tasty, nutritious and sustainable raw materials as well as proprietary manufacturing technology,” says Stefan Palzer, Nestlé chief technology officer.

Palzer added: “The partnership with Burcon and Merit will give us access to unique expertise and a new range of high-quality ingredients for plant-based food and beverages.”

The joint collaboration will commence a long-term relationship between the parties covering the future supply of plant-based proteins produced in Merit’s commercial-scale facility using Burcon’s technology.

Johann Tergesen, Burcon’s president and CEO, said: “This collaboration among Burcon, Nestlé and Merit is about strategic innovation to deliver unique, sustainable, great tasting, and highly nutritious plant-based products.”

Nestlé said it has roughly 300 R&D staff located in eight centres that are dedicated to the research and development of plant-based products.

Food Ingredients First’s Gaynor Selby noted:

Nestlé’s plant-based product range includes pea, soy- and wheat-based burger patties, sausages, mince meat, chicken filets and various prepared dishes. The company also has developed pea and oat-based dairy alternatives, almond-, coconut- and oat-based creamers, plant-based coffee mixes as well as a range of non-dairy ice creams. 

This partnership closely follows Nestlé unveiling its vegan sausages in Europe and US last week. It also recently announced plans to launch vegan alternatives to cheese and bacon, designed to complement its existing plant-based burger patties.

Last November, Nestlé entered into a partnership with Corbion to develop the next generation of microalgae-based ingredients. Microalgae ingredients have several advantages, as they are a vegan source of protein, healthy lipids and various micronutrients. In addition, the production of microalgae has a low carbon, land and water footprint. 

Burcon Nutrascience is a global technology leader with a portfolio of patents related to composition, application, and manufacturing of novel plant-based proteins derived from pea, canola, soy, hemp, sunflower seeds and various other crops.

Established in 2019, Merit Functional Foods provides high-quality protein ingredients and blends that are touted for their purity, taste and solubility.


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