NRGene, Farmer’s Business Network Canada, Inc., Pulse Genetics and Manitoba Harvest are together investing $3.3 million into the project, with Protein Industries Canada investing an additional $1.8 million. The total project investment is $5.1 million.
This project will focus on increasing the protein content and improving the starch content and texture of ingredients derived from the new varieties, potentially increasing their use in plant-based foods and beverages across Canada and internationally.
“This project is one of a kind, as it ties together companies from different stages of the industry value chain.
The fact that we can apply NRGene’s cutting-edge genomics to help our partners naturally develop and grow varieties with characteristics required to the specific end-product—the pea-hemp flour blend—will bring to the market improved product in a significantly shorter time.
I believe it will provide great value and global advantage to the Canadian alternative protein industry.”- NRGene CEO and Co-Founder Dr. Gil Ronen
Pulse Genetics will focus on improving Canada’s well-established pea sector, while Farmer’s Business Network Canada, Inc. will focus on the country’s growing hemp sector; both will utilize NRGene’s genomics technology in their efforts to develop new varieties. While commercialization of the new varieties won’t occur until after the project’s completion, Manitoba Harvest will work with existing varieties to develop a pea-hemp flour blend that will become a base formulation they will improve upon once access to the new varieties becomes available.
The development of these new varieties, as well as the pea-hemp flour blend, is expected to create new market opportunities along Canada’s plant-based food and ingredients value chain, including for farmers, ingredient processors and food manufacturers. The utilization and scaling up of NRGene’s genomics technology will also supply researchers and crop breeders with advanced breeding tools that will shorten breeding cycles, particularly for pea and hemp varieties.