Merit Functional Foods, a solutions-based plant protein company, is pleased to announce that its new 94,000 square-foot facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba, is fully scaled to supply food and beverage customers with the highest purity pea and canola proteins available for use in plant-based applications.
The accelerated greenfield construction project, which took just over a year to build, was completed in December 2020. With construction, commissioning, and optimization complete, Merit can ensure that ample supply of pea and canola protein is locked-in to fulfill the growing demand for plant-based brands. Merit is the first commercial facility in the world with the capability to produce food-grade canola protein, a new and exciting entrant to the plant-based space.
“We know that plant-based products are here to stay, and we are proud to play a huge part in bringing more plant-based protein to the world,” Merit’s Co-CEO Ryan Bracken said. “We’re here to provide the market with non-GMO pea and canola protein that raises the bar for functionality and nutritive content.”
Merit built the facility with the utmost quality and food safety measures in mind, which has led to its recent successful achievement of an AA score with the British Retail Consortium (BRCGS) Global Food Safety Certification. BRC is a leading global quality and food safety program, and its food safety audits are considered the gold standard for food and beverage companies around the world. In addition, Merit’s ingredients are Non-GMO Project Verified, gluten-free certified, Kosher, and Halal, helping brands deliver label claims that align with consumers’ allergen- and lifestyle-related needs.
“Food quality and safety were top of mind as our facility came to life,” Bracken said. “As brands and consumers become more and more interested in the ingredients that go into their products, we’re committed to ensuring that the plant proteins we produce exceed their expectations.”Merit’s unique, proprietary membrane filtration process removes impurities and produces taste-forward product without the vegetal notes that have traditionally been associated with plant proteins. This allows the company to produce a higher quality plant protein while ensuring a transparent supply chain for its customers with ingredients exclusively grown and produced in Canada. With growing awareness of the origin of ingredients, these reduced “food miles” appeal to brands and consumers alike.
Merit is also the first to offer the market customized pea and canola protein solutions through its MeritPro Solutions platform, which offers higher levels of plant protein in formulations, including a PDCAAS of 1.0. Through this platform, the company’s R&D team evaluates customers’ unique nutritional goals, functional requirements, processing considerations, and sensory outcomes to determine the most effective pea and canola protein ratios.
“In just a year since we opened our facility, we’ve already doubled the size of our team, and every one of those people is committed to doing plant protein better,” Bracken said. “High quality, consistent supply, increased functionality, and customized solutions are what we know the market needs, and that’s why we’re here to deliver on all of the above.”
To learn more about Merit Functional Foods, visit its website.