Merit Functional Foods, Manitoba, Winnipeg, and its technology partner Burcon NutraScience, Vancouver, British Columbia, said they have entered into a joint development agreement with Vevey, Switzerland-based Nestlé. The goal of the joint agreement is to develop and commercialize Merit’s novel plant protein ingredients for use in Nestlé’s plant-based foods and beverages.

“Partnering with Nestlé — a global leader in food and nutrition — is a great milestone for Merit Functional Foods,” said Ryan Bracken, Merit’s Co-CEO. “Merit has already demonstrated the impact of our novel proteins in plant-based foods. This new partnership helps build on this, and it’s a major step in developing the next generation of nutritious and delicious plant-based products that draw on the benefits of our novel proteins.”

The joint agreement commences a long-term relationship among the parties, covering Merit’s novel proteins. Merit said it is currently building its commercial-scale production facility, which is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2020.

At its state-of-the-art facility, Merit said it will produce various plant-based protein ingredients using Burcon’s proprietary and patented extraction and purification technology. Burcon has been developing its plant-based protein technology for more than 19 years.

 “We are thrilled to be partnering with Nestlé to optimize these already exciting novel plant proteins,” said Johann F. Tergesen, president and CEO of Burcon. “This collaboration among Burcon, Nestlé and Merit is about strategically innovating for the future.”