New collaboration to develop high quality meat substitutes

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Nov. 08, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Today, Protein Industries Canada announced a co-investment in a project that will diversify the supply of meat alternatives in Canada and further position the Canada as a world leader in the production of plant-based foods and ingredients.

Wamame Foods, Merit Functional Foods, Wismettac Asian Foods and Winecrush Technology are teaming up to develop and distribute soy-free plant-based alternatives to Wagyu pork and beef. Through the use of plant protein ingredients and innovative processing technologies, beef alternatives will match the high quality Wagyu range in terms of texture and taste. The partners will also help diversify the plant-based foods available across Canada while meeting the high-quality taste, health and sustainability benefits that consumers expect from plant-based foods and ingredients, as new meat substitutes will be sold under three product lines.

Merit Functional Foods and Winecrush Technology will develop ingredients for new products from Canadian crops, including non-GMO peas and canola, which will then be used in research and development activities to perfect new alternatives to beef and pork. The new products will be sold under Wamame Foods’ Waygu brand in addition to their pre-existing soy-based Waygu product, as well as a co-branded private label under the Wismettac Asian Foods product line.

“Consumer demand for high quality, delicious and nutritious plant-based meat substitutes is growing, and meeting it in a sustainable manner will require new, innovative ingredients and products,” said Bill Greuel, CEO of Protein Industries Canada . “Wamame Foods, Merit Functional Foods, Wismettac Asian Foods and Winecrush Technology are proof that Canadian companies have the knowledge, skills and innovative spirit to develop these new ingredients and products. Their diversification of the plant-based meat substitutes market is an important step towards Canada’s goal of becoming a world leader in the supply of plant-based foods and ingredients.

The new lines of meat substitutes will be sold throughout Europe, Asia and North America, expanding the footprint of the Canadian plant-based meat substitutes market. This will support Canada’s goal to be an innovative leader in the production of plant-based foods and ingredients, while increasing national transformation, creating jobs and strengthening our economy.

A total of $ 7.6 million is invested in the project, while Protein Industries Canada is investing $ 3.8 million.

“The partnership with Protein Industries Canada has allowed Wamame Foods to bring together a world-leading consortium of like-minded companies and universities to achieve our goal of creating top quality, vegetable-based beef,” said the President. by Wamame, Blair Bullus. “This project will take advantage of the best of Canadian and Japanese agriculture, technology and culinary tradition to create a premium plant-based substitute that rivals the world’s most revered beef, Wagyu. Wamame’s Plant-Based Waygu will offer a new, sustainable alternative that promises consumers the flavor and that melt-in-the-mouth dining experience that premium Wagyu beef offers. Support from Protein Industries Canada will strengthen our key partnerships nationally and help grow Waygu globally with amazing companies like Wismettac Asian Foods.

“As the first to market non-GMO food grade canola protein, we are committed to providing the industry with highly functional plant proteins that enhance the taste and texture of plant-based food products, including substitutes. of meat that meet specific texture and flavor preferences. regional cuisine, ”said Jeff Casper, director of research and applications at Merit Functional Foods. “We look forward to collaborating with these key players and applying our knowledge to new food innovations that deliver flavor and nutrition in high moisture extrudates. “

“As a leading distributor of Asian products, we are delighted to partner with Wamame Foods, Merit Functional Foods and Winecrush Technology to bring the first Wagyu-inspired plant-based products to market,” said Jeff Stutsman, director of research and development. Asian food Wismettac. “We have seen our customers rapidly expand their range of plant-based menus. We are delighted to offer them and their guests the absolutely indulgent Wagyu experience, with all the benefits of sustainable plant-based meat. “

“We are pleased to partner with Protein Industries Canada, Wamame Foods, Wismettac Asian Foods and Merit Functional Foods as world-class partners to create the next generation of foods,” said Kirk Moir, CEO of Winecrush Technology. “Our mission is to promote agricultural sectors with the power of fermentation. In collaboration with the University of British Columbia, we are improving the performance of our patent-pending recycling process focused on the power of polyphenols from winemaking by-products to produce food-processing ingredients that enable producers to Plant-based foods fill critical gaps in clean label taste, texture, price and nutrition.

The project is Protein Industries Canada’s 22nd under its technology program, and its 26th overall. Working with industry, Protein Industries Canada has committed more than $ 425 million to Canada’s food, feed and plant-based ingredients ecosystem.

Media can contact:

Miranda BurskiProtein Industries CanadaRegina, SK


[email protected]

About Wamame Foods

A subsidiary of Vancouver’s Top Tier Foods (founded 2013), Wamame Foods is a food technology company dedicated to the development of premium quality vegetable-based beef with its Waygu brand. Inspired by Japanese Wagyu, widely regarded as the best beef in the world, Wamame’s Waygu plant-based alternative is a collaborative effort between a consortium of leading research and development facilities, ingredient suppliers , manufacturers, investors and distributors who represent the best of the Canadian and Japanese food industries.

Launched in 2020, Waygu has been praised by chefs and the global media for its texture, flavor, and similarities to wagyu beef.

About Merit Functional Foods

Founded in 2019, Merit Functional Foods is a Canadian company committed to exceeding expectations for plant-based protein, providing the market with the highest quality protein ingredients that deliver unmatched purity, exceptional taste and excellent solubility. Merit has built a state-of-the-art 94,000 square foot production facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where it produces a portfolio of non-GMO pea and canola protein ingredients with high functionality and nutrient profiles for use. in plant-based foods. and drinks. For more information, visit

About Wismettac Asian Foods

Wismettac is a global company with over 100 years of history and a proud Japanese heritage (the holding company of the Wismettac group is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange). They are committed to making the agri-food industry an accelerator of global well-being. In North America, they do this by sharing the rich flavors and healthy foods of Asian cuisine with food service operators and retail stores.

With over 22 locations and $ 1 billion in sales in the United States and Canada to foodservice and grocery store operators, they offer an unrivaled portfolio of Pan-Asian products that exceeds the needs of the most discerning customers.

About Winecrush technology

Winecrush Technology Inc. is an innovative agro-technology company based in British Columbia, Canada focused on transforming wine derivatives and other agricultural by-streams into high-performance food ingredients using targeted fermentation pending patent. By developing a new biomechanical process, they harness the power of polyphenols for food innovation while improving the sustainability of the global food chain. Thanks to natural and exclusive recycling, they transform food so that it tastes better, is healthier and is always profitable.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Vegetable alternative to beef. Provided by Wamame Foods.

Vegetable alternative to beef. Provided by Wamame Foods.

Source: Protein Industries Canada

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