Bringing the idea of canola as a protein for human consumption to the forefront is something Manitoba Canola Growers have been working on. MCGA has partnered on innovative technology that can take canola meal (currently a livestock feed) and extract protein in a way suitable for the human food market. The process is simple and only uses water and a mechanical filter to separate canola milk, then the milk is coagulated into curds that can be squished together into a cake.
Lee Anne Murphy, who manages the protein project, and her team have used the canola protein to make a tofu-like food with a natural gold colour and mild flavour. They’ve also made the product into ice cream, chocolate spread and a food similar to deep fried mozzarella sticks. When Delaney Ross Burtnack, MCGA, sampled the canola milk she found it virtually flavourless with a silky texture, making it easy to add to food without needing to mask the taste.
This technology is giving Manitoba Canola Growers opportunities to start talking about canola and its use in human protein products rather than the livestock channel it has been up to this point. This ‘golden tofu’ will be a complete novel plant-based protein product in the world.
Manitoba Canola Growers are actively involved in:
- The Protein Industries Canada as they get the Protein Industry Supercluster up to speed to ensure canola has the opportunity to be researched for food protein products
- The Protein Highway as they expand innovation in plant-based protein
- National and International protein-related events in Canada to discuss innovation in canola
- Provincial consultations to develop the future strategy for plant-based protein to ensure canola is part of that conversation