When the seed of an idea takes root, good things grow quickly. Such is the case with Lovingly Made Ingredients (LMI), a plant-based ingredient manufacturing company based in Calgary, Alta., and a division of European market leader, the Meatless Farm. Since it first opened its doors in March 2021, the company has grown significantly.
“We’ve accomplished a lot in the last nine months, and we are on track to becoming a leader in the plant-based protein industry,” says Chris Shields, vice president of manufacturing for LMI. “We are now able to offer several new products and next-generation textured proteins that appeal to consumers of all ages and dietary needs.”
Next-generation textured proteins
Textured proteins made from sustainably sourced pulses and other crops offer high-protein clean-flavoured ingredients and are useful in several food applications. Some of LMI’s more notable achievements this year include producing the first-in-market textured plant protein innovations that are helping partners produce innovative new meat analogue products. These innovations include:
- Shreddable high-protein chunk made from peas: when hydrated these chunks can be shredded to make clean-tasting, high-protein chunks that shreds like chicken or pork.
- Blended textured proteins using fava, fava/pea and hemp. In 2022, LMI will be working with rice, yeast, canola, lentil, chickpea and buckwheat proteins to push the limits on textured proteins for enhanced nutrition and functionality.
- LMI’s blend of first-to-market textured hemp proteins is a unique mixture of pea and hemp to create a textured protein offering an excellent chew and unique functionality, making it perfect for beef analogue applications.
- High-protein, allergen-free crisps that are useful in nutrition bars, cereals and granolas.
- Naturally coloured and flavoured textured proteins to enhance ease of use and flavours.
LMI continues to offer custom and toll production both for dry and wet extrusion products. They are nimble and ready to bring next-generation texture into customers’ new products.
New facility & sustainability goals
LMI also recently commissioned a high-moisture extrusion facility in Europe that will produce 300 kg per hour of high-moisture meat analogues. High-moisture meat analogues are created using an extrusion process for texturizing vegetable protein into a product with fibrous texture and are known to be better for producing meat-like products. Given this area’s growth, LMI plans on investing further in larger equipment by installing and producing high-moisture extruded products in the Calgary, Canada facility ~October 2022.
LMI continues to work to make its goals a reality with carbon neutrality, water reduction, waste reduction and diversion.