New Protein International announces the creation of a clean-label soy protein processing method
by CM Staff
While NPI will own and operate the plant, its upstream partner Huron Commodities and downstream partner Hensall Co-Op will provide input into the soybeans and the end products respectively.
SARNIA — On Jul. 6, New Protein International (NPI), Huron Commodities and Hensall Co-operative’s Animal Nutrition division announce that they are combining their expertise to optimize a proprietary clean-label soy protein processing method.
As part of a co-investment with Protein Industries Canada, NPI is building a demonstration-scale processing facility in which they will test, refine and optimize a proprietary hexane-free processing method using Canadian soybeans. By removing hexane from the soy protein extraction process, NPI will be able to supply manufacturers, retailers and consumers with a new non-GMO, clean-label product, helping meet consumer demand for sustainable plant-based foods and ingredients. While NPI will own and operate the plant, its upstream partner Huron Commodities and downstream partner Hensall Co-Op will provide input into the soybeans and the end products respectively.
“Today’s announcement highlights how the Protein Industries Cluster is creating new opportunities to cement Canada as a global leader in the plant-based food and ingredients sector,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “This project will help meet the growing demand for high-quality and sustainable plant-based protein products while increasing the value of Canadian-grown and -processed soybeans.”
In place of hexane, the facility will utilize New Protein International’s proprietary extraction process, BioPur, which incorporates CO2 extraction and bio-based solvents. Huron Commodities will provide soybean varieties for testing, allowing the partners to determine how the new method will impact protein functionality. Completing the loop, Hensall Co-op’s Animal Nutrition division will test and provide feedback on the ingredients’ by-products, ensuring a full-seed utilization that drives toward both sustainability and additional value for Canada’s soybean crop. Beyond this current project, there is opportunity to explore the application of this technology for all other Canadian oilseeds.
NPI intends to deploy the proprietary technology at its commercial-scale facility that it will begin construction on later this year. It will be the first facility in Canada to produce soy protein isolate, a critical food ingredient used in baby formula, athletic supplements, plant-based food products and many other applications. The company will focus on non-GMO, rainforest-friendly, highly functional isolates.
“Consumer demands around food production are constantly evolving, and Canada’s plant-based sector needs to evolve and adapt alongside them—whether that be through the types of ingredients we use, the varieties of crops we utilize or the processing methods we develop,” Protein Industries Canada CEO Bill Greuel said. “Removing hexane from soy protein processing while adding value to the rest of the soybean crop is the kind of innovation that will help us keep pace with what consumers want, while also helping Canada meet its economic goals related to plant-based food and ingredients.”
A total of $11.2 million has been committed to the project, with Protein Industries Canada investing $2.2 million and the partners together investing the remaining portion. The investment, combined with the partners’ dedication to removing hexane from plant protein extraction, will help Canada meet the growing global demand for products that are healthy, sustainable and produced using clean processing methods.