A micronutrient fertilizer made from upcycling food processing co-products reaches commercialization
By Food in Canada StaffProducts Editor pick Protein Industries Canada upcycling
A new $19 million project by Protein Industries Canada and a consortium of companies will help Canadian farmers improve their substantiality and reduce carbon emissions through the commercialization of a new micronutrient fertilizer.
Soileos is a sustainable, non-polluting, climate-positive micronutrient fertilizer created from the upcycling of pea, lentil, and oat hulls – co-products from food processing. The use of Soileos increases crop yields and improves the health of soil, while also increasing revenues to both farmers and food processors.
AGT Food and Ingredients Inc. (AGT Foods), Lucent BioSciences (Lucent), NuWave Research, IN10T and Aberhart Ag Solutions are collaborating to scale and distribute this new product. The project includes the installation of a new manufacturing process for the production of Soileos in Rosetown, Sask., that, when completed, will produce up to approximately 6,500 tons per year of micronutrient fertilizer and create 25 jobs.
“Our government is proud to support this partnership that will enhance the quality of Canadian food crops through the production of cost-effective and sustainable fertilizer alternatives. This project demonstrates how Canada’s Global Innovation Clusters are fostering innovation, creating jobs and helping our economy grow,” said François-Philippe Champagne, innovation, science and industry minister.
This new 50-50 join venture between AGT Foods and Lucent, which operates as AGT Soileos, will also lead to improved efficiency of the fertilizer, particularly a shortening of the reaction time required in manufacturing to bind the plant-based fibres to the micronutrients from hours to minutes, reducing energy and water use, and an expansion of its availability across Western Canada.
“This project is an example of what happens when innovation and collaboration collide,” said Bill Greuel, CEO of Protein Industries Canada. “From a chance meeting in 2019, to a pilot project that produced 1 kg of Soileos a day and tested the effectiveness of pea, lentil and oat hulls through 2020 and 2021 and now to full-scale commercialization, this project proves how important innovation is to the long-term competitiveness and sustainability of Canada’s agri-food sector, and the commitment of the industry to sustainability and the environment.”
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