Client Projects

Juno Food Labs

As our global population continues to grow, so does consumer demand for meat. According to the World Resources Institute, there will be three billion more mouths to feed in 2050 than in 2010. The problem is, the earth is running out of space to raise enough animals and grow the feed crops to sustain them.

That challenge is what motivated James Battershill to develop a hybrid meat that combines plant and animal protein. His goal was to create meat that takes fewer resources to produce, has a low environmental impact, and maintains the flavour and quality consumers expect from animal-based proteins. Blended products like these signal another step forward in helping consumers – and the meat industry – reduce their environmental footprint.

Initial trials showed that the concept was viable, but James needed some culinary and food science expertise on his team to take this novel idea from his own kitchen counter to grocery store shelves. Enter Prairie Research Kitchen.

An initial two-year project with PRK encompassed ingredient selection, hydration, and ratio refinement – a surprisingly complex process, owing to the variety of ingredient and processing options. James and PRK’s culinary researchers eventually decided that pea-based plant proteins worked best, thanks to pea’s ability to hold taste and texture throughout the cooking process. The final formulation they arrived at for Bump Beef + Plant Blend, the first-ever plant-enhanced ground beef, was 70 per cent beef to 30 per cent pea protein.

The PRK team then conducted a thorough series of production tests and sensory trials. Students developed four recipes to test Bump’s performance and functionality, including the three we share here, and Anna Borys’s kebab recipe on page 115.

James says working with the PRK’s culinary research team “took the product from an idea to something that was refined and ready for commercialization.”

Bump Beef + Plant Blend has proven a success from the test kitchen to the research kitchen and beyond. James and Juno Food Labs continue to introduce Bump to new retailers and develop new products, including burger patties and several varieties of plant-enhanced pork sausage.