Canola crusher inks supply deal with Viterra

A Toronto company proposing a new method for getting oil out of canola seed has reached a long-term canola supply deal with Viterra.

Bio-Extraction Inc., also known as BioExx, said it plans to build a processing plant at Saskatoon using a process that it says will recover more quality oil than traditional solvent extraction or cold pressing.

A canola supply deal is another step toward the BioExx Saskatoon facility’s start-up in January 2009, CEO Chris Carl said in a release.

The 10-year deal calls for 40,000 tonnes of canola per year at “commercially competitive” prices and makes Viterra the exclusive supplier to the plant. It also provides for two automatic two-year renewals starting from the date the plant reaches its full production capacity.

Regina-based Viterra, Canada’s largest grain handling firm, also gets the right of first offer to supply facilities BioExx may build in the future.

Solvent extraction, the process used by most canola crushers, uses hexane to scrub as much oil as possible from the seed. Cold pressing doesn’t use solvents but its canola meal byproduct after crushing has greater oil content as a result.

BioExx said its process involves a new, non-flammable, “eco-friendly” solvent to extract food-grade oils from various oilseeds.

Under development are processes to extract biodiesel- and food-grade proteins from high-erucic acid rapeseed as well as food-grade oils and proteins from canola and soybeans, the company said on its web site. Its later plans include extracting food-grade oils and proteins from flax and hemp and food-grade lycopene from tomato skins.

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