Plant-based meal replacements will offer consumers options on par with existing whey protein

Toronto, Ont., April 30, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, Protein Industries Canada announced a new project with Enhanced Medical Nutrition (EMN), Acenzia and Gruppo Nutrition to bring new protein products for Canadians with special nutritional requirements. The project partners are utilizing innovative solutions to offer alternative plant-based protein options that meet the quality, sensory and muscle health benefits of whey protein isolate.

In addition to options that address medical nutrition needs, including those associated with surgery, critical illness and chronic disease, this project will also create products for the active living and high-performance sports markets. The end products will contain a novel plant-based protein ingredient blend with high functionality and taste quality, reformulated from a past project.

“The development of a reformulated plant-based protein ingredient blend represents a significant advancement in medical nutrition,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “With support from Protein Industries Canada, this project could help offer Canadians, including those in hospital, long-term or outpatient care settings, new plant-based meal-replacement options that meet the quality and functionality of existing animal protein products.”

The total project will see $5.4 million invested into the development, reformulation and commercialization, of three consumer-ready protein products: a modular, a ready-to-mix and a ready-to-drink low-volume liquid protein. Protein Industries Canada will invest $2.3 million, with the partners investing the remainder.

“These innovative companies are rising to the challenge to provide Canadians with alternative options that offer exceptional health and nutritional benefits,” CEO of Protein Industries Canada Bill Greuel said. “With the support of the Global Innovation Clusters program, our partners are collaborating to bring important new products to the market that will offer Canadians a more diverse selection of protein-rich food choices to help them manage health challenges, as well as support a healthy lifestyle.”

Building from EMN and Gruppo Nutrition’s previous project of creating the original ingredient blend, this project will reformulate the blend using new inputs of yellow pea and canola protein isolates, while also researching other potential protein isolate options, such as hemp and sunflower. EMN and Gruppo Nutrition will collaborate with Acenzia to optimize manufacturing processes, to expand their consumer-ready products within current and new markets. This commercial scaling will allow for a larger return on investment for the consortium, product end-users and the sector.

“EMN is excited to be a part of this forward-thinking initiative aimed at diversifying plant protein options for Canadians,” said Néma McGlynn, Manager of R&D at EMN. “By collaborating with these partners and leveraging our expertise in clinical nutrition, we will improve access to high quality plant-based nutrition interventions for people undergoing treatment for or living with a wide range of medical conditions.”

"Cultivating innovation and advancing health and wellness are at the core of Acenzia's mission,” said Grant Bourdeau, Co-founder and President of Acenzia. “Acenzia has a longstanding history of science-based product innovation and development of proprietary technology which has been a key to our development and distribution of effective health and wellness product solutions. As a proud partner in this Protein Industries Canada-supported project, we are excited to harness our expertise in contract manufacturing, product formulation, R&D and sustainable packaging to develop ecologically friendly, evidence-based, plant protein products that cater to the evolving needs of consumers in the active living market.”

"As pioneers in ultra-premium sports nutrition, we are thrilled to join forces with EMN and Acenzia in this collaborative endeavor,” said Darcy Haggith, CEO of Gruppo Nutrition. “Our commitment to excellence drives us to push boundaries and create innovative products that enhance athletic performance while optimizing health. This project will help empower athletes with cutting-edge, plant-protein nutrition solutions, while contributing to the advancement of the high-performance sports market."

Protein Industries Canada is one of Canada’s five Global Innovation Clusters. Protein Industries Canada and our members are working to embrace the $25 billion opportunity presented by Canada’s ingredient manufacturing, food processing and bio-product sector. Projects such as these add value to, and create new markets for, Canadian crops, generating local jobs and supporting new economic development in locations across Canada. More information can be found at


About EMN:

EMN is a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) specializing in creating and commercializing evidence-based nutrition products for the medical nutrition market. Incorporated in 2016, EMN has had a successful track record developing, researching, validating, and commercializing nutrition products locally and internationally. Their products are designed to address the unique nutrition needs of surgical and critically ill patients, while also being compatible with hospital frameworks like Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS®) and Prehabilitation.


About Acenzia:

Acenzia is a SME contract manufacturer with substantial experience in developing evidence-based products for consumer-packaged goods (CPG) brands in the active living market. With a mission rooted in advancing health and wellness, Acenzia offers a comprehensive suite of services, including manufacturing evidence-based products, pioneering research diagnostics, and providing companies with sustainable packaging solutions.


About Gruppo Nutrition:

Gruppo Nutrition is a SME producing and commercializing evidence-based, ultra-premium sports nutrition products for the high-performance sports market. Gruppo Nutrition’s range of product offerings include Polar Joe, a specialized line designed to provide athletes with a protein supplement infused with coffee for enhanced performance, and carbohydrate beverages that can be fully personalized to meet athletes' unique energy, protein, and sodium requirements.


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