At first glance, the off-white brick looks like any other block of tofu. For staff at Red River College Polytechnic’s Prairie Research Kitchen, however, the unassuming rectangle made from fava beans is a new frontier in plant-based protein and the culmination of years of work.
"To the best of my knowledge, this is the first ever commercialized soy-free tofu," research co-ordinator Kyle Andreasen says. "Getting this product to market has been the highlight of my time here… it’s been really exciting to be part of it."
The fava tofu is being manufactured and distributed by Big Mountain Foods in Vancouver, but the product has strong local ties. It was developed in the food science lab on the top floor of Red River’s Paterson Global Foods Institute and is made from Canadian beans processed by Prairie Fava in Glenboro.