Merit Functional Foods seeks to change perception of plant-based proteins
The new company supplies proprietary pea and non-GMO canola protein ingredients.
Newly launched Merit Functional Foods, Manitoba, Winnipeg, said it is seeking to uproot the food and beverage industry’s perception of plant-based proteins by producing high-quality plant protein ingredients that exceed standards for purity, solubility, taste and more.
According to Merit, while plant-based protein’s usage has continued to grow over the past several years, these ingredients have traditionally been associated with undesirable taste, poor solubility and low purity. With its proprietary product portfolio, Merit seeks to redefine how the food and beverage industry perceives plant-based protein ingredients.
“Quite simply, our plant protein ingredients look, taste and function better than anything that’s currently available in the marketplace,” said Ryan Bracken, co-CEO, Merit. “We’ve sought to collaborate with CPG companies to help change consumer perception of what a plant-based protein tastes like and functions like, especially in beverages.”
Merit said its product portfolio currently consists of three product family offerings: pea, non-GMO canola and MeritPro — a unique lineup of nutritionally complete proteins. Merit’s entire ingredient portfolio aligns with numerous key consumer concerns, including clean label, allergen-free, gluten-free, non-dairy, non-GMO and vegan, all while being produced sustainably.
The company is currently building an 88,000-square-foot production facility in Winnipeg to produce its proprietary plant-based ingredients. The state-of-the-art facility, which is scheduled to be completed by the third quarter of 2020, will be the only commercial facility in the world with the capability to produce food-grade canola proteins, Merit said.
“We’ve been meticulously planning this facility, and we’re eager to get it functional,” Bracken said. “Part of that plan includes anticipating further growth, and because of that, we have chosen our location and designed our facility to enable us to scale our initial throughput by up to five times the initial capacity when the time is right.”
Merit is a joint venture between former executives of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods and Burcon NutraScience Corp. Merit said its commercial-scale protein extraction capabilities allow the company to meet market demand for Burcon’s specialty protein ingredients, which have been in development for more than 19 years and are supported by an extensive patent portfolio.
Merit said it debuted its company, product portfolio and brand at SupplySide West. At the show, Merit sampled almond milk prepared with Peazazz and MeritPro HS, the company’s high-purity uniquely soluble pea and canola protein isolate that eliminates the undesirable taste attributes that plague many popular protein sources.
For more information on Merit Functional Foods, visit www.meritfoods.com.
About Merit Functional Foods
Established in 2019, Merit Functional Foods is committed to exceeding expectations for plant-based protein by providing the market with high-quality protein ingredients that offer unmatched purity, excellent solubility, and exceptional taste.