Pure protein – Food In CanadaFood In Canada

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By Treena Hein

Everyone in food production knows that consumers’ attention to health consciousness is not likely to wane anytime soon. Indeed, the demand for healthy products continues to grow. “As part of the trend, high protein options are receiving huge and widespread fanfare in many packaged food categories,” notes Beatriz de Llano, research associate at Euromonitor International. De Llano adds that with cheese, meat products and hummus, yogurt is now a healthy, high-protein snack, “especially among the younger generation, including Millennials, who often skip meals.”

Consumers are increasingly wary of artificial ingredients, she notes, so natural gelatin-free and synthetic yogurts. the ingredients are requested. Yoplait and Loblaws, for example, have phased out preservatives over the past two years.

Demand for high-protein Greek yogurt continues to be strong – so strong that de Llano says the new offerings have reduced sales of other dairy protein products such as cottage cheese. Two new innovations include Metro’s Irresistibles Cream Cheese and Greek Yogurt Spread (finalist at the 22nd Canadian New Product Grand Prix) and Liberty Greek Seeds and Fruit, with sunflower, pumpkin and flax seeds.

Sales of Icelandic skyr yogurt (pronounced “skeer”) are also strong. Skyr contains even more protein than Greek yogurt, with less sugar and no lactose or fat. Shepherd Gourmet Dairy of St. Mary’s, Ont. was the first in Canada to make it in 2014. Loblaws sells Canadian made skyr under its President’s Choice brand, now in Plain, Strawberry, Vanilla and Powerfruit varieties.

Bars & Cereals

Healthy and convenient fruit and nut bars are another high protein snack that is also seeing growth, according to de Llano. She mentions KIND bars, for example, which entered the Canadian market three years ago with 12 varieties. The company has since “expanded to 24 different products,” de Llano explains, “including granola bars, fruit / nut bars and bunches in early 2016”.

Biscuits Leclerc in Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures, Que. recently launched Chocomax protein bars to meet the ever increasing demand for fast and healthy protein. Marketing coordinator Cristina Ramirez Salazar notes that compared to Special K, Nature Valley, Vector or Fiber 1 protein granola bars, Chocomax bars “are the only ones coated with real chocolate and have the best protein / bar ratio: 10- g of protein per 32 g bar. The protein comes from nuts and soy, and the flavors are strawberry, mochaccino, and salted caramel.

Holy Crap cereal from Gibsons, BC continues to be a convenient, clean, high protein breakfast or snack choice. All of the company’s cereals are non-GMO, organic, kosher, vegan, and gluten, lactose, salt and nut free. Chia, buckwheat, and hulled hemp provide the complete protein. “Athletes, students, business people, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and people with special dietary concerns (such as celiacs, diabetics, and people on cancer treatment) appreciate the clean, rich source of Holy Crap protein, ”notes Vice President of Marketing Claudia Howard. The company will announce a new flavor this fall.

Famous vegetarian maker Yves (owned by Hain-Celestial Canada) recently launched healthy appetizers, including kale and quinoa bites, falafel balls, and sweet potato and chia bites. Their Dream non-dairy protein shake line continues to perform well, notes vice president of marketing Sandro D’Ascanio, and the first long-life cashew-based drink on the market, called Dream Cashew, was recently launched. . “In refrigerated, we launched Dream Coconut and Dream Almond, Cashew & Hazelnut,” says D’Ascanio. “In frozen desserts, we have launched two ice creams: Café Latte and Sea Salt & Caramel.

Proteins, the last frontier

No report on what’s new in protein would be complete without a look at some very new sources. The production of cultured meat and plant-based products that look, smell, cook and taste like meat are both actively pursued due to growing global concerns over conventional farming – related concerns to the environment (land and water use), animal welfare and risks to human health such as Salmonella.

On the cultured meat front, this year marks the very first global conference dedicated to “cellular agriculture”. New Harvest 2016 took place on July 13 in San Francisco, hosted by New Harvest, a New York-based nonprofit. Isha Datar, CEO of New Harvest, is also the co-founder of Clara Foods, which just won $ 1.75 million in private funding to create an egg white substitute made from genetically modified yeast (containing chicken genes inserted ). Clara Foods hopes to bring the product to market in the next few years, said Erin Kim, director of New Harvest Communications. “Cultivated meat, however,” she notes, “will likely take longer because there are many more hurdles that must be overcome by research for the process to be commercialized on a large scale.” These barriers include cost reduction and finding a non-animal culture medium (currently fetal bovine tissue is used).

Plant-based meat substitutes are a whole different ball game, and one of the big players is Silicon Valley-based Impossible Foods. The company just introduced the Impossible Burger – the first of many planned “meat” and “cheese” products – at Momofuku Nishi restaurant in New York City, with a restaurant rollout in San Francisco this fall. The company says: “We aim to deliver, without compromise, all the pleasures meat lovers get from burgers – from the visual appearance and versatility of raw meat, to the smell and sizzle during cooking, to the ultimate taste and texture of the burger… But made entirely from plants.

How did Impossible Foods achieve this? Its scientists, leveraging money from many famous investors including Google Ventures and Bill Gates, have spent years breaking down the components of ground beef and finding, extracting, and assembling the same molecules (or molecules with the same properties). from plant sources. An important molecule for the Impossible Burger is heme, which is found in hemoglobin in blood and myoglobin in muscle tissue, but also in many plants. It gives the raw product its reddish color and turns crispy brown when cooked, just like ground beef.

Another major player in the vegetable protein-based simulated meat market is Beyond Meat, also based in Southern California. In 2012, she launched her first product Beyond Chicken Strips, which has been described as “surprisingly authentic”. The manufacturing process takes just a few minutes, involving rapid heating, cooling, and pressurization of a blend of non-GMO soy and pea protein and other ingredients in a meat-like structure. In 2015, Beyond Meat released its Beast Burger, which the company says contains higher levels of protein, iron, and other nutrients than beef burgers. Beyond Meat plans to bring a product similar to raw ground beef to market by the end of 2016 on meat shelves in supermarkets.

Another company that uses plant-based protein, this time in place of eggs, is Hampton Creek, based in San Francisco. It already sells its Just Mayo and Just Cookie Dough at more than 30,000 outlets across the United States, including Walmart, with plans to add ranch dressing, a scrambled egg alternative, and pasta.

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Tanya S. Norvell

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