The demand for plant-based proteins is driven by three things, says Christine Lewington, CEO of PIP International: “A healthier diet, a growing population, and a focus on sustainably produced food.”
PIP International embodies the mix of raw materials, innovation, and sustainability that characterizes the Canadian alternative proteins sector. The Alberta-based company recently opened a pilot facility to produce its Ultimate Pea Protein (UP.P™), a pea protein isolate for use in downstream food products.
Lewington claims it is the first product of its kind to overcome the bitter taste of earlier pea protein isolates, offering a neutral base on which to create any flavor profile. Having proven the concept, her company is constructing the largest pea processing commercial facility, able to process 136,000 MT of peas annually and due to come online in 2024.
PIP International’s focus on peas is logical. Canada is the world’s largest producer of peas and lentils. “And most of them are grown for animal feed,” says Lewington. “So, there’s a real opportunity to add value.”
Crucial for a market driven by sustainability concerns, peas have another advantage, too: Their low environmental impact.