Protein industry partnership to cultivate lupin in Canada


According to the companies, lupin is the pulse with the highest seed protein content, with a “unique” starch and oil composition

Protein Industries Canada has announced a project which aims to establish lupin as a staple crop in the Canadian agrifood sector.

Lupin Platform, Hensall Co-op, Lumi Foods and PURIS have agreed to establish an integrated ecosystem for the production and processing of lupin in Canada. The $7.3m project is aimed to develop a supply and value chain, from crop production through to the development and manufacturing of functional ingredients and products.

According to the companies, lupin is the pulse with the highest seed protein content, with a “unique” starch and oil composition. The crop reportedly has significant growth potential, presenting an opportunity for these companies to meet growing demand in the plant-based protein market.

The consortium, with each member representing a link in the value chain, will focus on identifying varieties of the crop suited for Canadian growing conditions, developing and improving seed cleaning and processing technologies, determining the value of lupin’s co-products, and creating food formulations and products.

The project will be led by Lupin Platform, a recently established company that will oversee the development of the ecosystem and contribute expertise to agronomic research, commercial scale lupin production, protein extraction and functional characterisation, as well as ingredient product development.

“By supporting unique projects like this one, Protein Industries Canada is creating new possibilities for innovation and growth in the plant-based protein sector,” said François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “We are proud to be partnering with this Supercluster to give Canadian farmers more options to help feed Canadians and meet the global demand for plant-based food and ingredients.”

“The farm-to-fork ecosystem we’re announcing today for lupin – a unique pulse, new to Canada and with highly valued protein properties – will establish a foothold for this crop, and give our agriculture and agri-food sector a competitive advantage both domestically and internationally," said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “Canadian consumers will benefit in having new food products to choose from on grocery store shelves, while the Canadian agriculture sector will see increased diversity and market opportunity.”

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"Lupin is an exciting new crop for Canada that will bring new value to Canada’s plant-based food and ingredient ecosystem, benefiting the entire value chain, from farmers to end consumers," CEO of Protein Industries Canada Bill Greuel said. "This project is a demonstration of the importance of innovation in energising Canada’s economy. By supporting Canadian SMEs in innovating new crops, ingredients and products, new companies are being created, and new products are being commercialized, leading to the creation of good paying jobs for Canadians.”