Protein Industries Canada announced a new investment into the development of new food options for Canadians—their first project investment under their second mandate. The project will see New School Foods, Liven Proteins and NuWave Research combine their expertise to commercialize a whole-muscle cut of plant-based salmon that transforms from raw to cooked. The first of its kind to reach the market, the product will offer consumers an experience that offers the same taste and texture as its seafood counterpart.
“Our government is pleased to see the Protein Industries Cluster and its project partners build on the success of this truly Canadian innovative solution,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “These new technologies will support the increased production of a high-quality plant-based salmon fillet alternative, expanding sustainable and nutritious options available to Canadians and helping meet domestic and global demands.”
The project will see $11.4 million invested into R&D to help commercialize the revolutionary product. Protein Industries Canada is investing just over $4.5 million, with the consortium partners investing the remainder. Building off New School Food’s and Liven Proteins’ first project, which proved out the technology necessary to formulate a full, muscle-cut type product, this project will focus on the scale-up of production and the sale of a fully commercial, market-ready product.
“Innovation is an ongoing process. It is the continual improvement of ideas, and the generating and stacking of IP to ultimately create a revolutionary product or service,” CEO of Protein Industries Canada Bill Greuel said. “This project exemplifies the Global Innovation Cluster program and the benefits of collaborative innovation. By building off IP generated in the first project, and by bringing in new partners and their IP, new technology is being created, leading to a premier, commercial, first-to-market product.”
New School Foods will use its newly developed production technology to create a plant-based whole fillet of salmon that transforms from raw to cooked. Liven is creating animal-free proteins through precision fermentation that will provide functional and nutritional benefits to this product and other plant-based products. While NuWave Research is contributing through the development and validation of new production techniques for their core vacuum microwave technology, which will accelerate the production for New School Foods and others.
“Building on the success of our previous project, which yielded a world-first whole-cut seafood alternative that looks, cooks, tastes and flakes like salmon, we are excited for this new project to bring this product to market,” said Chris Bryson, Founder & CEO New School Foods. “In addition to optimizing our novel food processing technology with the support of our consortium partners, we’ll be building out our own production assembly line, providing a competitive advantage to fine-tune product quality and optimize costs so that we can create a plant-based alternative built for a wide audience.”
“NuWave is excited to support Canadian innovation alongside our Protein Industries Canada partners. Utilizing our patented vacuum microwave technology, our team will help empower New School Foods to bring their product to the next stage of commercialization,” said Greg Stromotich, CEO of NuWave Research Inc.
Protein Industries Canada is one of Canada’s five Global Innovation Clusters. Since 2018, Protein Industries Canada and industry have invested nearly half a billion dollars into innovation related to plant-based food, feed and ingredients. Protein Industries Canada was renewed by the federal government in February 2023, receiving an additional $150 million in funding. This is the first technology project announcement made under the new funding.