LEADING food and ingredient companies located across Europe, North America and Australia have received samples of modified lupin protein along with an updated product information form (PIF) from Wide Open Agriculture (WOA).
It's one of a number of positive developments across the company's lupin protein project, whereby WOA is developing a number of plant-based food and beverage products using proprietary technology with verified competitive advantages.
WOA managing director Ben Cole said the internal new product development team had recognised the exciting potential of modified lupin protein and was rapidly progressing prototype development of two products that include high protein, flavoured drinks and an oat milk with protein levels similar to dairy milk.
"We have also identified a number of global food and ingredient companies and are now supplying samples to these potential partners across Europe, North America and Australia and each potential partner has been chosen based on a specific food or drink category," Dr Cole said.
"The future intent is that a number of food and ingredient companies will become off-take partners for the modified lupin protein across a variety of food and drink categories."
WOA is targeting four plant-based food and beverage sectors including milk, meat, snacks and protein, with the company conducting competitive analysis studies to determine competitive strengths.
"WOA's modified lupin protein (MLP) has a higher protein concentration than traditional legumes, this combined with its high gelation properties alongside environmental and nutritional credentials, provides an encouraging competitive edge," Dr Cole said.
In other exciting developments, WOA has secured the co-inventor of the improved lupin protein technology, Hayder Al-Ali, as the company's in-house senior food scientist.
Dr. Al-Ali has a PhD in lupin protein chemistry and has a proven capacity to develop new technologies that unlock new and important techno-functions of Australian sweet lupin.
He is supported by a proven and experienced engineering team including a project manager and project engineer.
WOA has also identified the site for its in-house, pilot manufacturing facility to be located at the company's distribution centre in Kewdale.
Dr Cole said the site had a number of advantages, including access to technical and product development team members and Dirty Clean Food's commercial kitchen.
"The first tranche of pilot equipment has been received and will unlock the ability to test the manufacturing technology to enhance gelation and build new trade secrets and know-how for potential patent applications," he said.
"The facility will eventually allow WOA to develop plant-based proteins for a range of food and beverage products for both Dirty Clean Food and future off-take and strategic partners.
"The pilot plant will also enhance opportunities for strategic partnerships and produce food grade quantities of modified lupin protein to generate initial revenues, along with the opportunity to explore applications of the patented technology for other regenerative pulses grown in Australia."
Lastly, WOA has been invited to join the X-Protein Lab, an initiative of the new Western Australian Food Innovation Precinct (WAFIP) which aims to expand the State's market reach in the burgeoning alternative protein space, with a particular focus on Singapore.
Under the mentorship program, WOA will focus on technology readiness, product-market fit, market acceptance, investment potential and global relevance.
The company will also be presented with opportunities to liaise with Singaporean start-ups and forge connections with key members of the regional and global alternative protein sector.