ITALY, Rome. Protein Industries Canada has announced a co-investment with New School Foods and Liven Proteins to develop plant-based seafood products. The project will focus on developing a whole fish fillet that emulates real fish in texture, taste and cooking experience.
A total of $1.9 mill. has been committed to the project, with Protein Industries Canada co-investing half of the funds and New School Foods and Liven together investing the remaining half.
Founded in 2020 by Chris Bryson, New School Foods develops plant-based substitutes for seafood that emulate the same texture, taste, nutritional benefits and cooking experience of conventional seafood. The company is currently developing a whole-muscle filet of fish as its first product.
This co-investment will allow New School Foods to expand its research and development efforts by partnering with additional universities and private laboratories, allowing them to more quickly and successfully achieve their product development goals. It will also accelerate Liven’s development of protein ingredients through its precision fermentation platform and will enable the company to bring these ingredients to the marketplace. Liven will contribute their novel specialty protein ingredients to the project to enhance the sensory and cooking experience of plant-based seafood products.
The partners will test Liven’s fermentation-based, animal-free proteins in combination with other plant-based proteins, including Canadian-sourced pea, canola and fava protein. While canned and stick-form plant-based fish varieties are available in retail locations across Canada, plant-based fish products are not yet available as a whole muscle, unbreaded filet, nor do they offer texture that is as flaky as fish. This would provide consumers with new sustainable meat alternative options that more accurately mirror actual seafood.
Liven is a precision fermentation company offering novel functional protein ingredients that can be used by the plant-based food industry to enhance the sensory qualities of food formulations. They make animal-free protein ingredients with identical textures and functional properties as animal proteins. Liven’s protein ingredients are produced by fermenting agri-food co-products, creating a circular economy.
This project is Protein Industries Canada’s 20th under their Technology program, and their 21st overall. Together with industry, they have invested more than $377 mill. to the Canadian plant-based food, feed and ingredients sector. They’re currently seeking expressions of interest for short-cycle projects under their Technology program stream, with a focus on commercialization and near-term market potential. They are also accepting ongoing expressions of interest as part of their capacity building programs.