Manitoba Harvest to drive innovation in hemp and pea protein through new research partnership

The goal of the new partnership is to develop new hemp and pea varieties with higher protein content, differential starch content, and improved texture.

Manitoba Harvest is partnering with a consortium of industry leaders through Protein Industries Canada for the development of new hemp and pea varieties with increased protein content, differential starch content, and improved texture. Manitoba Harvest will lend its expertise in food innovation, product development, and formulation to improve the potency and functionality of hemp and pea protein, and together with their partners will strive to make hemp proteins suitable for a wider range of food applications.

"Diversity of ingredients within Canada's plant-based foods and ingredients sector is an essential element of helping it grow to become a global leader," said Protein Industries Canada CEO Bill Greuel, in a press release "Manitoba Harvest, through their partnership with NRGene, Farmer's Business Network and Pulse Genetics, is displaying great leadership in the area of hemp ingredient development. The hemp-pea flour blend they develop through this project will go a long way in meeting the needs of consumers and food manufacturers alike."

"As the largest and longest standing hemp food brand in North America, we are committed to providing our customers with the best hemp products available," said Jared Simon, president of Manitoba Harvest. "Developing plant-based protein products with superior taste, functionality and nutrition aligns perfectly with our objectives as a brand, and we have a history of leadership at the farm level, working directly with growers to improve quality throughout the hemp supply chain."

The development of new seed varieties and the hemp-pea flour blend is expected to create new market opportunities within Canada’s plant-based food and ingredients value chain. Manitoba Harvest, MRGene, Farmer’s Business Network, and Pulse Genetics are together investing $3.3 million into the project, with Protein Industries Canada investing an additional $1.8 million.