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BREEDING FOR PROTEIN – REFLECTIONS ON THE NEW INITIATIVE TO DEVELOP PEA AND HEMP VARIETIES

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As the world becomes more unpredictable due to climate change, we become more conscious of the food we eat, choosing more from plant-based options to contribute to a more sustainable future, and at the same time keeping our health in check. New plant-based products are rapidly hitting the store shelves, but it takes an extraordinary team and effort to develop products that are nutritious, tasty, and have fewer impacts on the environment.

One such relentless team is the consortium that was recently established by Protein Industry Canada. NRGene is proud to be a part of this consortium and our CEO, Dr. Gil Ronen, together with leaders from the Farmers Business Network (FBN), Pulse Genetics and Manitoba Harvest, participated in a virtual event announcing the joint collaboration that will enhance Canada’s plant protein industry.

This one-of-a-kind initiative ties together companies from different stages of the food industry value chain. Starting with seeds, breeding companies will utilize NRGene’s AI genomics technology to generate the best product for farmers. Breeding for alternative protein sources involves intense research and development,
a deep understanding of industry requirements, and the designing of new plant breeding objectives, platforms and workflows.

We are excited that our technology will identify high quality genes to improve the protein levels, starch and texture of the plants, as well as the taste, aroma and overall quality of pea and hemp varieties.  We look forward to participating in this collaboration and tackling the challenge to combine the qualities of pea and hemp to create a new ingredient in a significantly shorter time. In parallel with research and development of new varieties,
other members of the consortium will work with existing varieties to create a base formula towards the new pea and hemp flour.

Canada is ideally suited for this project as it is already a major player in the plant-based sector, contributing about 10% to global plant protein production. NRGene, through its new subsidiary in Saskatchewan, is happy to contribute to the Canadian agriculture, especially its farmers.

As an AI genomics company, we are used to working behind the computers, delivering data and valuable information to our customers and moving on to the next project, missing out on the other exciting stages of new product development. This new collaboration allows us to take part in the full process of creating new plant-based protein products that bring more value to the Canadian industry.

This project aspires to increase the consumption of plant-based foods, in Canada and globally, and as such, contribute to a more sustainable future.

Let’s get started!