Creating a clean-label soy protein



January 2022 to March 2023
Fund I: Complete

Consortia Contribution

Cluster Contribution


New Protein International Inc. (NPI)

Hensall Co-op

Huron Commodities


To develop a unique proprietary process to produce a clean-label soy protein to satisfy the growing demand for Non-GMO hexane-free soybean protein in the market. To build a state-of-the-art pilot facility in Ontario to optimize the processing conditions and end product with the ultimate goal of commercializing the technology in Canada.

Project Summary

Project partners and subcontractors worked together to build Ontario’s first demonstration-scale pilot plant to test, refine and optimize a proprietary hexane-free processing method using Non-GMO Canadian soybeans. In place of hexane, the facility utilizes New Protein International’s proprietary extraction process, BioPur, which incorporates CO2 extraction and bio-based solvents. Huron Commodities provided 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 tested and provided feedback on the ingredients’ by-products, ensuring a full-seed utilization that drives toward both sustainability and additional value for Canada’s soybean crop. NPI plans to commercialize the technology that is currently being optimized at the pilot plant into a commercial-scale facility that will be operational within the next five years.

This project helped partners to optimize technology, find new value-added uses for soybean protein, find new domestic markets, and scale their companies, while collaborating on other oilseed proteins (such as canola or hemp) with other plant protein companies across Canada.

Results and Impact

  • Built the first pilot facility of its kind in Ontario to test, refine and optimize for Non-GMO hexane-free soybean protein, while providing infrastructure for future innovation.
  • Increased Canada’s global recognition as a leader in plant-based protein through NPI’s engagement with global food companies based in Europe, Japan and the US, and in some cases, agreement to future collaboration and/or supply relationships.
  • Innovation in food production by furthering the development of hexane-free soy protein, leading to a cleaner-label food ingredient than what is currently used in food production.
  • Huron Commodities was able to take a tangible step forward toward commercializing their proprietary varieties and creating long-term partnerships with NPI
  • Due to supply chain issues in receiving critical equipment, some key milestones were not met.