Glenboro-based Prairie Fava, the leading Canadian fava bean ingredient supplier, is joining forces with Big Mountain Foods, an award-winning innovator of plant-based consumer packaged goods (CPG) foods, to create a new line of fava-based food products, such as non-allergen tofu.

Protein Industries Canada is also investing in the project.

This partnership will result in more healthy food options for Canadians produced right here at home in a next-generation manufacturing facility purposely designed to meet and exceed sustainability requirements.

“To meet the evolving needs of Canadian and global consumers for healthier food options, it is key to support the expansion of innovative companies. Through collaborative partnerships that support the development on Canadian plant-based products, we are creating a greater variety of food options for consumers and driving forward sustainability in Canada’s agri-food sector,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

This partnership builds on two earlier Protein Industries Canada projects in which each company worked with other consortiums to build out capacity around the creation and application of new ingredients and food products. The success of those innovations led to this partnership.

“At Protein Industries Canada we bring together trailblazing companies to create new opportunities for innovation,” said CEO of Protein Industries Canada Bill Greuel. “Through the work of companies like Prairie Fava and Big Mountain Foods, we are building capacity and creating a globally competitive ecosystem that will support Canada’s economic growth and prosperity.”

Currently, most plant-based foods are made using soy, wheat and yellow or green peas, however as the market grows, there is an ever-growing demand by consumers for more and different products plant-based food products. This project will incorporate low vicine and co-vicine (LVLCV) fava varieties into Big Mountain Foods’ line of CPG and food service products. These products will meet the request of several leading Canadian food manufacturers and food service providers. Potential products include a non-allergen tofu and other fava-based food products.

“Prairie Fava is excited to partner with Big Mountain Foods to supply our high protein fava flour and splits and to support new product development through nutritional, functional and sensory data,” said President and Co-Founder of Prairie Fava Hailey Jefferies. “The results will lead to the creation of new fava CPG and food service products with higher demand being translated back to fava growers. This project will provide benefits to the entire value-chain as the activities will positively impact fava producers through to Canadian food and ingredient companies who are increasingly interested in using fava in new products”.

Big Mountain Foods will produce fava-based products at the first ever allergen and soy free tofu factory in the world. This allergen-free tofu is superior in protein content to soy tofu, but has the same taste, colour, functionality, and texture as traditional tofu.

“Big Mountain Foods is honored to be in partnership with Prairie Fava and Protein Industries Canada,” said President of Big Mountain Foods Jasmine Byrne. “We believe Fava to be the next big thing in plant protein and are working towards bringing more consumer awareness to the benefits of fava including taste, nutrition, and sustainability. At Big Mountain Foods, our goal is to be the leader in alternative tofu products with the capacity to produce 15 million units a year.”

Over the past three years, Protein Industries Canada and industry partners have invested more than $485 million into growing Canada’s plant-based food, feed, and ingredient sector.