Protein Industries Canada Invests to Support Whole Seed Utilization

PIC in the News
Bill Greuel speaking at Tuesday's announcement in Vancouver

On Tuesday, Protein Industries Canada (PIC) announced its fifth approved Supercluster project.

The project will see $3 million invested ($1.3 million from Protein Industries Canada and $1.7 million from the consortium) to create a novel approach to improving the value of fibrous co-products from the pulse processing industry by transforming them into an organic micronutrient fertilizer.

The consortium consists of Lucent BioSciences from Vancouver and AGT Foods and Ingredients from Regina.

"From the very beginning we have said that being part of the Supercluster would require companies to do business differently," said PIC CEO Bill Greuel. "This project is the perfect example of what can happen when two companies bring their collective strengths to collaborate and create new opportunity. We are proud that we had a small part to play in these two companies meeting each other and coming together for this project."

Lucent will use the hulls of pea and lentil seeds which are a co-product from value-added processing completed by AGT Foods and Ingredients. Lucent will convert the hulls into Soileos: a novel carbon-neutral micronutrient fertilizer that uses organic fibre as a carrier to provide micronutrients to plants.

"The Protein Industries Canada project is a great example of how Superclusters are bringing about new connections and opening avenues for collaboration between small and medium-sized enterprises, larger companies, and academia. This project takes an SME-developed technology to the next level by putting it to the test in fields across western Canada. By helping Canadian processors find new uses for by-products that were once considered waste, we're diversifying the agricultural sector and creating more jobs for Canadians," said Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Navdeep Bains.

The delivery of micronutrients increases yield and nutrient density in crops, in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. The project takes what has historically been considered a waste stream from processing and adds further value, utilizing the entire seed.

Protein Industries Canada and industry has invested more than $70 million through five projects into Canada's plant protein ecosystem.

Published by Pembina Valley Online

Written by Cory Knutt