NZ government ties up with Leaft Foods to produce greener foods

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  • The NZ Government has partnered with Leaft Foods on a new R&D programme.
  • The programme's mission is to assist the agriculture sector in fulfilling growing market demand for greener foods.
  • The Ministry of Primary Industries will contribute NZ$8 million to the NZ$20 million programme. 

The NZ government announced that it was collaborating with Leaft Foods, a Canterbury-based start-up, for a $20 million R&D programme. The 5-year programme would build technology that separates edible proteins from green leafy crops grown in NZ.

Leaft Foods was launched in August 2019 and was created by Dr John Leyland Penno and Maury Leyland Penno. The global food industry, according to John and Maury Leyland Penno, needs to adapt in order to feed the exponentially expanding population efficiently while still protecting the environment. With that aim, the duo had created Leaft Foods .

Leaft Foods's goal is to manufacture leaf protein-concentrate elements for the prominent consumer product corporations across the globe. These protein products can have a higher nutritional benefit and a lower environmental impact than animal or grain-based protein sources.

Source: © Elnur |

The programme, according to the company's general manager, Ross Milne, will enable the firm to focus on initial research and continue to develop its staff.

In the swiftly increasing global demand for plant proteins, Leaft Foods's technologies can be used to manufacture high-quality protein in the form of gels or powders, which can be used in a variety of foods. The start-up, which produces plant-based protein, will also create an animal feed, which is augmented for ruminant feeding and has the ability to reduce nitrogen shortages and pollution on the farm.

Rising demands of crop proteins to come from a viable source

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor stated that more and more global food manufacturers as well as consumers were claiming that their proteins came from a viable source.

He added that by supplying low-impact, locally grown feed, and the ability to diversify into low-emission farm systems, this might be a transition point for pastoral businesses looking to take the environmental leadership.

Through its Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) will commit NZ$8 million toward the programme's estimated expense of NZ$20 million. The additional NZ$12 million will be covered by Leaft Foods.