Merit Functional Foods seeks to bring purity and functionality to plant-based market

March 23, 2020

Merit Functional Foods (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) is helping to solve formulation challenges in plant-based protein products with its line of pea and canola proteins. Merit’s products offer high purity and solubility. Its propriety blend of pea and canola protein called MeritPro, for example, has a Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) of 1.0.

“The PDCAAS score is the preferred measurement by the FDA and FAO/WHO of a protein’s nutritional quality, assessing its overall quality based on both the amino acid composition and the digestibility of the protein,” explains Ryan Bracken, co-CEO of Merit Functional Foods. “A PDCAAS score of 1.0 signifies that the protein ingredient is nutritionally complete, and most plant-based protein ingredients struggle to attain this score.”

“Our individual pea and canola ingredients provide high digestibility and complementary amino acid profiles, which is why together, they open opportunities to boost the nutritional value of food and beverage applications even more than the ingredients on their own,” adds Bracken.

The solubility characteristics of Merit’s proteins also offer a unique advantage, completely assimilating when mixed in water. “Our differentiation is due in part to our patented and proprietary extraction process,” said Bracken. “Through this process, which we’ve licensed through Burcon NutraScience, we’re able to develop a final product that’s higher in protein and taste-neutral, while delivering functionality that exceeds industry standards.”

Merit signed a joint development agreement with Nestle earlier this year and is expecting to complete its commercial-scale production facility by the fourth quarter of 2020, setting the stage for increased development and commercialization of plant-based products using Merit’s ingredients.