Canadian canola protein specialist BioExx has filed for bankruptcy protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) for an initial period expiring on October 31.
BioExx, which recently claimed it held the keys to “the biggest opportunity in the biggest global protein market in 50 years”, has developed a patented solvent-free extraction process claimed to boost the solubility, functionality, flavor and odor of canola proteins.
However, it has not been able to convince investors to part with the money to support canola protein manufacture on an industrial scale, and recently parted company with its CEO and chairman and hung a ‘for sale’ sign over its front door.
Under CCAA protection, creditors are stayed from enforcing any rights against the company. Trading of BioExx’s common stock on the Toronto Stock Exchange has been halted, while BDO Canada LLP has been appointed as monitor in the CCAA proceedings.
The problem is the financial markets. Everyone has become very risk averse
While canola protein ticks all the right boxes - non-allergenic, sustainable, good amino acid profile, great functionality - it has not taken off in the way that soy and pea protein have - yet.
Speaking to FoodNavigator-USA last month, BioExx executive VP Samah Garringer added: “The challenge is not convincing food and beverage manufacturers about canola protein... Canola is the second largest oilseed crop in the world with an amino acid profile and functionality that make it the best vegetable protein on the market.
“The problem is the financial markets. Everyone has become very risk averse and the environment has changed a lot from when we were first talking [to investors]."
Fellow plant-protein expert Burcon told us bosses were still convinced of canola protein's potential but have been prioritizing pea and soy protein.
Burcon's corporate development director Michael Kirwan added: "In short the interest in canola is still there. [But] Clarisoy [soy proteins commercialized by ADM] and Peazazz [pea protein] had more immediate potential for a number of economic reasons, however as the category grows we would anticipate seeing canola going to market as well."
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