Food Tech Partnerships

Plant Protein Partners Developing AI Technology to Improve Crop and Ingredient Quality

Plant Protein Partners Developing AI Technology to Improve Crop and Ingredient Quality

Key Takeaways:

  1. AI Technology Development: Companies across Canada’s plant-based value chain are partnering to develop new AI technology to enhance the quality of protein crops and ingredients.
  2. Collaborative Effort: The project involves Enns Bros., Crop Sentry, DL Seeds, and AGT Foods, with support from Protein Industries Canada.
  3. In-Field Data Gathering: Optimization of in-field sensors for pea and canola crops to autonomously gather phenotype data throughout the growing season.
  4. Enhanced Crop Quality: The technology aims to provide a more consistent supply of protein for ingredient processors, aiding in developing high-quality food and beverage products.
  5. Investment and Support: $13 million has been invested in the project, with approximately $5.9 million committed by Protein Industries Canada.

Pioneering AI in Agriculture

In a groundbreaking initiative, companies across Canada’s plant-based value chain have joined forces to develop new artificial intelligence technology to improve the quality of the nation’s protein crops and ingredients. This collaborative effort, supported by Protein Industries Canada, involves project partners Enns Bros., Crop Sentry, DL Seeds, and AGT Foods.

Government Support and Vision

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, lauded the project, emphasizing how Canadians leverage AI to address complex issues and deliver impactful results. This initiative is part of the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, which aims to produce high-quality plant-based ingredients and products sustainably.

Technological Advancements and Benefits

Building on Crop Sentry’s previously developed IoT sensor system, the partners will optimize in-field sensors for pea and canola crops. This technology will autonomously gather phenotype data throughout the growing season, enabling farmers to make data-driven decisions that positively impact the entire value chain.

Impact on Ingredient Processors and Consumers

Improved crop quality will provide ingredient processors with a more consistent protein supply, facilitating the development of high-quality ingredients for consumer-packaged goods. The technology will also enhance traceability efforts related to sustainability, in-field management practices, and allergen concerns.

Partner Perspectives

Enns Brothers President and CEO Ray Bouchard expressed excitement about the partnership, emphasizing the critical role of front-line producers in the value chain. Crop Sentry Chief Strategy Officer David Hodge highlighted the importance of empowering growers with advanced technologies. DL Seeds General Manager Chris Anderson and AGT Foods President and CEO Murad Al-Katib also shared their enthusiasm for the project and its potential to drive the agriculture sector forward.

Investment and Future Outlook

The project, the first under Protein Industries Canada’s artificial intelligence stream, has received a total investment of $13 million. Protein Industries Canada has committed approximately $5.9 million, with the partners contributing the remainder. This initiative is expected to complement other projects by helping companies incorporate AI and machine learning technology into their processes, optimizing sustainability and improving the functionality, taste, and nutrition profiles of Canada’s plant-based food, feed, and ingredients.

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash 

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