Canadian company developing high protein pulse-based ingredient

Sunnydale Foods developed a faba bean protein concentrate at 65% and is working on increasing protein levels up to 80%.

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Credits: Sunnydale Foods
April 13, 2023

Sunnydale Foods is a producer of protein, starch and fiber from pea and faba beans based in Saskatchewan, Canada. The company developed a faba bean protein concentrate at 65% and is working on increasing protein levels up to 80%.

“Faba beans come in with 30% protein and we are able to easily get to 65% using mechanical means. We are now working to reach 80% without chemicals,” said Shannon Hood-Niefer, CTO at Sunnydale Foods, in a recent talk with “The starting protein content of the seeds is what really facilitates being able to reach 80%.”

Sunnydale Foods is one of the seven companies that Natural Products Canada is supporting with $4.3 million in commercialization activities. “Natural Products Canada granted us to help the company scale and finalize this process and develop an environmentally friendly protein,” Hood-Niefer stated.

The company

Sunnydale Foods is owned by two shareholders, Sunnydale Hutterite Colony and agriculture entrepreneur Heidi Dutton. The company started five years ago and has been in operation for three years producing protein, starch and fiber from pea and faba bean.

The group is vertically integrated owning land and growing its own crops in Western Canada, also procuring from local farmers. Pea and faba beans are grown and made-in-Canada. Pea and faba bean are non-GMO with no soy contamination.

Sunnydale Foods is currently selling to food, pet food, aquaculture and animal feed. It has an expanding food product portfolio of solutions with proteins, textured proteins, high protein crisps and great tasting snacks. Sunnydale Foods’ carbohydrate fractions work well in binding applications, particularly during extrusion. The products are available in Canada and the US, with some selling to Europe and looking to expand into Mexico.

“We were surprised at some of the regions we were able to reach. Originally, when we started our marketing strategy investigation we were mainly thinking about the North American market but we witnessed traction in Europe,” Hood-Niefer said.

In terms of production capacity, the company is adding a new line to expand capacity and is working on improving efficiency and throughput. “Scale is not an issue,” Hood-Niefer stated.

Aquafeed trials

The company has performed aquaculture trials with feed manufacturers with good results and has already started shipping ingredients to these feed companies. Through the partnership with Natural Products Canada, Sunnydale Foods plans to expand the testing, particularly at the testing facility of the University of Saskatchewan.

“We are also looking for partners to test real-world applications for these new ingredients as they come up,” Hood-Niefer said.