Company: Merit Functional Foods
Ingredient Snapshot: Newly launched Merit Functional Foods is seeking to uproot the food and beverage industry’s perception of plant-based proteins, producing high- quality plant protein ingredients that exceed standards for purity, solubility, taste, and more.
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 is seeking 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,” Merit’s co-CEO Ryan Bracken said. “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’s 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 better for the planet.
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.
“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 Corporation. Merit’s 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 is debuting its company, product portfolio, and brand at SupplySide West booth 7231. The annual trade show brings more than 17,000 professionals from the dietary supplement, food, beverage, and sports nutrition industries together to share the latest developments in health and nutrition. This year’s show runs Oct. 16-19 in Las Vegas.
At the show, Merit will be sampling 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.
“As veterans of the food and beverage industry, we know that seeing—and tasting—is believing,” Bracken said. “We’re excited for the industry to be able to taste our ingredients, and with its focus on health and wellness, SupplySide West is the perfect opportunity to do that.”
For more information on Merit Functional Foods, visit meritfoods.com.