BioExx completes GRAS notification process for canola proteins

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Canola proteins Canola protein Nutrition

Interest in canola protein has been growing as firms seek alternative sources of protein to soy and whey
Interest in canola protein has been growing as firms seek alternative sources of protein to soy and whey
BioExx has received a no objections letter from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to its GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) notification for canola proteins Isolexx and Vitalexx.

While Toronto-based BioExx already has self-affirmed GRAS for Isolexx (canola protein isolate) and Vitalexx (hydrolyzed canola protein isolate), “the enhanced stature​” of being GRAS notified would give it extra credibility in talks with potential partners, it said.

“The company believes this enhancement to its product portfolio will also assist its current global strategic partnering initiative.”

The GRAS notification covers the use of the proteins in bakery products, snack foods, beverages, soups, dairy products, instant milkshake mixes and protein drinks, powdered nutritional beverages, processed meat and poultry products, vegetarian foods/meat analogues and meal replacement and nutritional bars.

The Novel Food registration process, which would give BioExx access to the EU market, should also be completed “in the coming months​”, predicted the firm

Strategy change

BioExx, which has developed a proprietary low-temperature extraction process claimed to improve the solubility, functionality, flavor and odor of canola proteins, operates a commercial scale facility in Saskatoon and had planned to build a second plant in North Dakota.

However, it recently signaled a change in strategy after admitting its decision to manufacture its own canola proteins - rather than license its technology and let others make them – may not have been the right one.

Commercialization efforts have ‘not unfolded according to our original expectations’

Unveiling the change of plan in November, chief executive Chris Schnarr said efforts “todeploy our technology at a commercial scale have not unfolded according to our original expectations”.

Rather than “over-allocate limited and high-cost capital​” to increase capacity at its own facility, bosses were now resolved to keep things ticking over at Saskatoon and seek “a major strategic partner or partners​” with experience in ingredients production instead, he added.

“While we understand the frustration of our shareholders, we have successfully overcome a vast array of challenges in the development and early-stage commercialization of the first complete plant-based protein source in half a century.”

Solvent-free extraction process

On a more positive note, BioExx recently announced “a significant technologicaladvancement​” - the development of a solvent-free canola protein isolate production process - which is now being employed at Saskatoon.

The patent-pending process involves enzyme-assisted mechanical separation and filtration, and is cleaner, more sustainable, more robust and more scalable than the previous solvent-based process, claimed Schnarr.

$5.7m loss in Q3

Once a strategic partner is engaged, bosses will “determine optimal capital allocations between the Saskatoon plant and future projects in the context of this environment”, ​he said.

BioExx posted a net loss of $5.7m in the three months to September 30 compared with a $3m loss for the comparable prior year quarter. It generated revenues of $930,239 from canola oil and canola meal sales at its Saskatoon plant.

The firm, which recently struck a deal with Hormel Foods to develop a new range of sports nutrition products based on canola protein, says it has improved the flavor and odor profile of canola proteins and decreased the ‘anti-nutrients’ that have historically hindered its use as a food grade material by up to 90%.

Foaming and emulsification

Isolexx is a well tolerated 90%+ purity protein isolate comprised of un-denatured soluble proteins from non-GMO canola with excellent solubility, strong foaming and emulsification characteristics, and an excellent nutritional profile, claims BioExx.

“Isolexx is well suited to a wide variety of applications where soy, whey, or milk proteins are traditionally used.”

Vitalexx is a 100% water soluble hydrolyzed 80% + purity protein with a very low average molecular weight, allowing for excellent digestion and absorption.

The protein, which forms a clear solution across a wide pH range, has an excellent amino acid profile, and is ideal for nutritional beverages (protein drinks, fruit juices, infant formula, clinical nutrition), and a range of healthy food applications such as protein bars, says the firm.

Related topics Markets Proteins

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Learn more: Future Food-Tech Alternative Proteins

Learn more: Future Food-Tech Alternative Proteins

Content provided by Rethink Events Ltd | 19-Apr-2024 | White Paper

Future Food-Tech Alternative Proteins returns on June 17-18 in a new location for 2024 - the vibrant food and beverage hub, Chicago

Future Food-Tech San Francisco, March 21-22, 2024

Future Food-Tech San Francisco, March 21-22, 2024

Content provided by Rethink Events Ltd | 11-Jan-2024 | Event Programme

Future Food-Tech is the go-to meeting place for the food-tech industry to collaborate towards a healthier food system for people and planet.

How Tech Transforms Pea Protein Production

How Tech Transforms Pea Protein Production

Content provided by Roquette | 13-Nov-2023 | Case Study

Roquette's Canadian pea protein facility is embracing technology-driven changes in production. Key developments include:


Related suppliers

Follow us


View more