NETHERLANDS – Global health and nutrition company, Royal DSM has partnered with the French agro-industrial group, Avril to meet growing consumer demand for plant-based proteins.

The companies will collaboratively produce a new protein based on non-genetically modified canola.

The product will find application including in meat and dairy alternatives, beverages, baked products, bars and ready-to-mix foods with an objective to promote excellent functional properties, a high nutrition value and a balanced taste profile.

The partners will also develop a state-of-the-art industrial production facility fully dedicated to canola proteins at Avril’s Saipol facility in Dieppe.

Commercial availability from first production could be as early as end 2021.

“With 10 billion inhabitants by 2050, experts predict global demand for both animal and plant-based protein to grow, with exponential growth in plant-based proteins due to dietary shifts,” said Avril CEO Jean-Philippe Puig.

Through this collaboration, Avril and DSM intend to join forces to contribute through innovation to meet the growing demand.”

DSM brings in expertise in food and beverage solutions through science-based innovations for human and animal nutrition, personal care and aroma as well as industrial applications.

Based in Paris, France, Avril has a 35-year legacy in agriculture and ability to consistently deliver high-quality agricultural supply for the partnership, as well as its ambitious strategy of innovation in plant-based proteins.

The partnership combines the companies’ capabilities in human nutrition and health.

“More people are opting for flexitarian, vegetarian and vegan diets for personal, health and environmental reasons,” said DSM Chief Innovation Officer Trish Malarkey.

“With our expertise, DSM can support all forms of proteins produced to the highest sustainable standards.

“With Avril as a partner, we will be uniquely positioned to serve this growing market and look forward to helping our customers deliver great tasting, healthy, and sustainable food and beverages.”

According to DSM Consumer Insights Series, 46% of people who consume dairy daily also occasionally consume dairy alternatives.

The report suggests that rise of vegan and vegetarian diets or flexitarians is attributed to demand for healthier alternatives to meat and dairy, something that brings both opportunities and new challenges for food producers.