New investment to support the commercialization of high-protein canola seed, as well as sunflower meal

Calgary, Alta., March 27, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, Protein Industries Canada announced a $31 million investment along with Corteva Agriscience, Botaneco, Bunge, Rainfed Foods and Northeast Nutrition Inc. to increase the demand and market opportunities for high-protein canola, sunflower protein and novel oilbody products. Protein Industries Canada is investing $13.4 million, with the consortium partners investing the remainder.

This project will support the commercialization of a high-protein canola meal for use in the aquaculture, feed and food sectors as well as improve sunflower protein characteristics for a wide range of plant-based food applications. Through the development of high quality, high-protein products, Canada will improve the competitiveness and profitability of Canadian canola and sunflower in both domestic and international markets.

“Projects like this demonstrate how Protein Industries Canada and its project partners are positioning Canada as a leader in sustainable food and feed production,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “By developing higher-quality feed and food ingredients from canola and sunflower meal, and helping bring them to market, this project will foster new economic opportunities and create more jobs for Canadians.”

“Made in Canada innovations like these are vital to the continued growth and success of the sector. This investment in getting high-protein canola and sunflower meal to market will help strengthen our agricultural value chains and create new opportunities for Canadian crops,” The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food said.


Helping to increase the value of Canadian canola meal

The latest effort builds off a Protein Industries Canada project led by Corteva which successfully created the genetic platform for creating, selecting and  commercially testing high-protein, reduced-fibre canola germplasm. Now, the project will transition into  commercialization and market acceptance of high-protein canola meal in feed applications for non-ruminant livestock, including farmed aquaculture fish.

“As the demand for oil increases, it is important that Canada is a competitive player for that investment,” CEO of Protein Industries Canada Bill Greuel said. “Deriving the full value from every component of the seed is key to the future growth of our sector and achieving a $25 billion industry by 2035. This revolutionary project will transform the canola value chain from farmer to end-use, creating more value for Canadians and further establishing Canada as a global leader.”

Corteva and Botaneco are the project’s leading collaborators and will work with Bunge and Northeast Nutrition to introduce and test canola meal in end-use feed rations.

Corteva will continue its focus on delivering high-protein canola seed, which will produce meal characterized by an increase in protein and reduction in fibre, enhancing its usability in animal feed.

"Developing innovations that revolutionize farming is at the heart of what we do at Corteva,” said Tyler Groeneveld, North America Director of Grains and Oils for Corteva. “We are investing in seed genetics that will help ensure both canola oil and meal are highly valued in end-use markets. Transforming meal into a high-protein product helps support profitability for Canadian farmers and delivers optimal downstream benefit for every canola seed planted."

Bunge will partner with Corteva to produce high-protein canola meal for feeding studies and consumer sampling, building commercial acceptance and increasing the nutritional value in end-use products.


Testing new end-use markets for sunflower and canola meal

Using their novel aqueous processing method, Botaneco will continue to scale up their Alofin™ canola protein concentrate production, while also prototyping Purezome™ sunflower and canola-based oleosomes and sunflower protein isolates for use in plant-based dairy and meat alternatives.

“Our novel oilseed processing technology platform creates high value products from canola and sunflower for new markets. Alofin canola protein brings a scalable, cost-effective solution to support the long-term demand growth in aquaculture feed, while our unique Purezome oilbodies and protein isolate ingredients, bring solutions needed by the plant-based food industry,” CEO of Botaneco James Szarko said. “We are excited to work with our project partners to help accelerate our path to commercialization and bring new solutions to the sector.”

Northeast Nutrition will test Botaneco’s Alofin™ canola protein in their aquafeed formulations, while Rainfed Foods will incorporate Botaneco’s Purezome™ sunflower oilbodies and protein isolates in their millet-based alternative milk products to enhance nutrition.

“Our feeds are manufactured using carefully selected ingredients to ensure that farmed fish receive the nutrients they require for healthy growth and development.  We are always searching for new and more effective ingredients, especially ones produced in Canada. As a Canadian aquafeed manufacturer, we are eager to conduct research on new high-protein products from plant crops grown in Canada,” says Alan Donkin, Nutrition Manager, Northeast Nutrition Inc.

Protein Industries Canada is one of Canada’s five Global Innovation Clusters. Protein Industries Canada and our members are working to embrace the $25 billion opportunity presented by Canada’s ingredient manufacturing, food processing and bio-product sector. Projects such as these add value to, and create new markets for, Canadian crops, generating local jobs and supporting new economic development in locations across Canada.


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