Healthy, tasty and sustainably produced proteins

Shortly, foodstuffs made with DSM Vertis™ plant proteins will start hitting the shelves. Third parties will make protein shakes, bars, milk alternatives and meat and fish alternatives with them. This launch is the result of research that DSM started more than a decade ago. Researchers investigated the potential for the untapped resource of canola. DSM also recently acquired Norwegian pea and faba protein producer Vestkorn. Thus, the Business Unit Proteins of the Future (POFU) makes a significant statement in the realm of plant proteins.

Plant proteins are key to feed the world population by 2050. “We recently passed the threshold of eight billion inhabitants on our planet”, Director New Business Development of POFU Melanie Luangrath illustrates. “In 2050, there will be ten billion people living on this earth. By then, 60% more food is needed, whereas there will only be 10% in arable land available.” A steak a day for ten billion people? That is just not a feasible option. But everybody needs proteins. Plant proteins provide the answer. Luangrath: “We have to use what we have smarter and more efficiently than we do now. Innovations are necessary.”

Innovative process 

It is exactly what DSM has been working on. Canola is a major source for edible oil. After the oil is pressed out, the remaining 'meal’ or ‘press cake' is used as animal feed. Luangrath: “This meal, however, still contains 30 to 40 % of valuable proteins. But it was not suitable for human consumption as there was no technology to remove the anti-nutritional factors.” Now there is: non-GMO CanolaPRO® is produced in a proprietary process with minimal water use, low temperatures, and no solvents. What's more: it is also free from major allergens, gluten free and has the lowest CO2 footprint of all common plant proteins. “It's halal and kosher as well”, Luangrath adds.  The innovation lies in the mild pH, low temperature and water-based process DSM developed for this CanolaPRO®. In the process the anti-nutritional factors are removed to create a high-quality protein isolate with more than 90% protein content. 


This protein has excellent functional qualities, such as solubility and foaming, to integrate it in various foodstuffs. The recent acquisition of Norwegian pea and faba beans protein producer Vestkorn makes the story even more interesting. The combination of canola protein and pea protein is a complementary power-pack both from the functional and the nutritional perspective.

Luangrath: “At the Food Ingredients Europe fair in Paris in December 2022 DSM has shown ready-to-mix shakes, vegan yoghurt and plant-based milk and protein sports bars. On top of that comes a range of textured veggie proteins in various shapes and forms. The canola and pea combination makes an excellent alternative for beef burgers.”

But the first product to appear on the market will be a protein bar. Luangrath: “It could be available in two variations in a major Dutch drug store chain as early as January.”     

Fit & vital

In the Netherlands, the public will be made aware of these protein products in a campaign with TV personality Wendy van Dijk, former speed skater Hein Vergeer and former cyclist Leontine van Moorsel. They will promote the products with the payoff 'Fit & vital'. DSM collaborates with its partner company Just2Bfit in this. In January 2023, Just2Bfit will launch three sports food products – all with DSM ingredients.