Merit to showcase pea and canola protein bars and powders: Natural Products Expo West 2022 Preview

The first sample is a vegan dark-chocolate-dipped cookie dough protein bar, which is made with Merit’s high-purity Peazazz pea protein and Puratein C canola protein.

Merit Functional Foods (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) will showcase product concepts made with the company’s non-GMO pea and canola protein ingredients at next week’s Natural Products Expo West trade show in Anaheim, CA, at Booth #1492.

The first sample is a vegan dark-chocolate-dipped cookie dough protein bar, which is made with Merit’s high-purity Peazazz pea protein and Puratein C canola protein. The bar boosts a nutritional profile of 20 g of protein per serving, with a 1.0 PDCAAS score, while offering a soft texture, the company said in a press release. “This proprietary protein solution offers a unique combination of functional and nutritional capabilities that allows for exceptionally soft plant-based protein bars with significantly reduced rate of bar firming over time.” The company says its proteins offer high solubility and neutral color and flavor profile so as not to impact mouthfeel, color, or taste.

The company will also sample a ready-to-mix (RTM) protein powder made with its Peazazz pea protein and Puratein C canola protein. The RTM has a PDCAAS score of 1.0 and contains 20 g of plant protein per 26-g serving. The company notes that “this protein powder concept has superb solubility that enables it to solve the mouthfeel hurdles that often drive plant-based powders to rely on gums and thickeners”—meaning that products can tout both a cleaner label and nutritional value. “It’s a game-changer for protein powder formulation,” said Dustin Cosgrove, Merit Functional Foods’ vice president of sales, in a press release.

The company’s formulation- and nutrition-friendly ingredients give plant protein product marketers expanded options. For instance, said Cosgrove on the new bar samples: “As more consumers gravitate to a plant based lifestyle, protein bars that deliver on taste, texture, and nutrition are important. But that’s an area where plant-based bars are under-delivering: they’re known for chalky mouthfeel, hardening over time, crumbling, unpleasant aftertastes, and more. Merit’s innovative, functional pea and canola proteins solve these challenges, pushing the boundaries of what’s currently possible for plant protein bar formulations.”

Merit introduced its portfolio of pea and canola proteins in 2019 and has fully commercialized its product, made at the company’s 94,000-sq-ft facility in Manitoba. Its ingredients can be used in bakery and meat-alternative products, dairy alternatives, and more.