Company's new 100,000 square foot facility will be first net zero plant protein processing facility in North America.

May 25, 2022

3 Min Read
Phyto Organix building $225m plant protein processing facility

Phyto Organix Foods Inc. recently announced it has executed a letter of intent to purchase 15 acres of land in Strathmore, Alberta from the Western Irrigation District as the location of its new, state-of-the-art, net zero emission plant protein processing facility. The $225 million facility will be the largest-ever capital investment in Strathmore and provide a base for Phyto Organix to innovate and grow its plant protein business. When operational in 2024, Phyto Organix will use proprietary wet fractionation technology to annually process 40,000 metric tons of yellow peas, grown in close proximity to the facility, into soluble and insoluble protein isolates, processed fiber and starch, and high-quality dietary pea hull fiber.

"This is an exciting time to be an Albertan," said Chris Theal, founder, president and CEO of Phyto Organix. "Our $225 million investment will generate over $120 million of annual GDP, employ 80 Albertans and yield tangible economic diversification in the Town of Strathmore and the Province of Alberta. Our team has designed a net zero facility to produce food products that embody our core values of health, wellness and sustainability. We are energized to lead the plant protein industry in Alberta."

As part of the new facility, Phyto Organix received $1 million over two years, cost-shared by the federal and provincial governments through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, to support engineering costs and the purchase of equipment.

"Alberta's food processing sector is a key driver of our economy, and consumer demand for Canada's responsibly produced plant-based protein is rising worldwide," said the Honorable Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal minister of agriculture and agri-food. "This investment in Phyto Organix's new, net-zero facility supports local growers, protects the environment and increases our capacity to meet global demand for our high-quality, sustainable food."

Nate Horner, minister of agriculture, forestry and rural economic development, commented: "Plant-based protein is an emerging sub-sector with significant potential for growth and diversification of the agri-processing industry in Alberta. With demand for high-quality plant-based products increasing dramatically in recent years, Alberta's government is pleased to support companies like Phyto Organix that will work with local producers, create jobs, and help grow Alberta's economy."

Phyto Organix has engaged with technology, construction and engineering leaders in designing its state-of-the-art facility. The company will employ proprietary, integrated processing technology from SiccaDania A/S and has engaged Bird Construction and GHD Engineering to lead the design and construction of the facility and 3D connectivity to the processing equipment. SiccaDania is a Denmark-based, global leader in protein extraction technologies; Bird and GHD are proven leaders in building food and protein processing facilities in Canada.

Phyto Organix's 100,000 square foot facility will be the first net zero plant protein processing facility in North America. Key attributes of the plant include:

  • situating it in the yellow pea heartland of Alberta, with annual crop production of over 5 times the facility's processing capacity grown within 75 kilometers of the facility, minimizing emissions from transporting peas supplied by local farmers;

  • employing industry leading water recycle/reuse technology, allowing the facility to recycle 75% of its process water;

  • industry leading heat integration reducing overall energy consumption and emissions; and

  • powering the facility with low emission energy sources.

Phyto Organix's plant proteins and co-products will be marketed under the brand Phyto Optimate, notable for being high in purity, distinctively white and odorless featuring G85 globulin (meat alternative) and A85 albumin (dairy alternative) protein isolates and having strong functional attributes for food applications.

"Phyto Optimate harnesses the confluence of our differentiated product quality, our sustainability pedigree and the passion our team has in researching and developing processed ingredient solutions for the rapidly growing health and wellness-conscious food consumer segment," said Theal. "We are well-advanced on significant Phyto Optimate offtake agreements with consumer-packaged goods companies and global distributors and expect to finalize initial commitments in the coming months."

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