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Industry NewsCanadian company develops 100% protein-based solution to replace methylcellulose in meat alternatives

Canadian company develops 100% protein-based solution to replace methylcellulose in meat alternatives


Burcon NutraScience Corporation’s joint venture company, Merit Functional Foods Corporation of Manitoba, has developed an innovation utilizing its non-GMO Peazazz pea protein as part of a 100 per cent protein-based clean label solution to replace methylcellulose in food and meat alternative applications. 

“We are very pleased with Merit’s latest innovative protein-based solution that has the potential to disrupt a $1.96 billion methylcellulose market. The food industry has long been searching for a suitable methylcellulose replacement,” said Peter G. Kappel, Burcon’s interim CEO and Chairman of the board, adding “In particular, it is rewarding to see substantial, value-driven applications such as a methylcellulose-free solution launching in the commercial marketplace.” 

Merit achieved an innovative new solution in utilizing its Peazazz pea protein to replace a synthetic ingredient. When used as part of Merit’s methylcellulose-free solution, its non-GMO Peazazz pea protein affords plant-based formulators a clean label option, while also contributing to the total protein content with the potential to add several grams of protein per serving depending on the product. 

Additionally, the Peazazz-based methylcellulose-free solution provides key sensory and functionality attributes that assist in creating superior plant-based products for Merit’s customers. These include a neutral-flavour profile, meat-like texture, good water binding & emulsification properties, and exceptional gelling properties. Merit’s unique protein-based solution is expected to be suitable for replacing methylcellulose in applications such as plant-based burgers, hot dogs, sausages and more. 

“We are motivated by the potential this innovation has uncovered for formulators,” Merit’s Co-CEO Ryan Bracken said. “We’ve heard from our customers the challenges of removing methylcellulose and now Merit is able to provide them an opportunity to finally eliminate it from their products with our functional pea protein – Peazazz. And beyond this, there’s an added benefit of enhanced protein claims and a delicious sensory profile that’s on par with traditional products.” 

Merit is currently collaborating with brands looking to develop the next generation of clean label plant-based meat applications. 

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