Investment strengthens Canadian agri-food and biofuel industries
By Western Economic Diversification Canada
Feb. 11, 2013, Saskatoon, SK - A POS Pilot Plant will be the first commercial organization in Canada to offer short-path distillation (SPD) services, on a contract basis to its clients with the support of the Government of Canada. Brad Trost, Member of Parliament for Saskatoon-Humboldt, on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification (WD), announced investments in the POS Pilot Plant in Saskatoon.
“This equipment will provide western Canadian companies with unparalleled access to ingredients only available through a short path distillation process and will mean increased profits for our farmers,” said Trost.
Federal investments of up to $911,000 will help the POS Pilot Plant to purchase and install short-path distillation (SPD) equipment, which purifies ingredients from plant feedstock. These ingredients can then be used in agri-food, biofuels, functional foods and nutraceuticals.
A first investment of $461,000 through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP) as well as an investment of $450,000 from WD will enable POS to offer additional services to clients seeking ingredients, such as essential oils, which can be purified by this process. POS clients are also keen to separate edible oils into highly unsaturated and saturated fractions. The unsaturated fractions may be Omega-3 fatty acids, for higher value functional food and nutraceutical markets.
“Commercial scale short path distillation equipment in POS would be the first of its kind in Canada,” says Dr. Rick Green, VP, Technology, at POS Bio-Sciences. “Small and medium sized businesses in Western Canada will benefit by finally being able to export value added extracts from feedstock grown in Western Canada. For example, several companies in Western Canada have products ready for export but need commercial scale SPD equipment to realize their potential.”
Short path distillation separates specific substances, or fractions, from the feedstock by a process of repeated evaporation and condensation. The name ‘short path’ refers to the length of the path travelled by the distillate between the vaporized and condensed stages.
With access to key ingredients, Canadian companies will be able to develop new products and gain entry to new markets. Greater value-added processing of local grains, fruits and other prairie plants will result in a stronger, more competitive Canadian agricultural sector.
The Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP) is a five-year, $163-million initiative to help the Canadian agricultural sector adapt and remain competitive. The regional component of CAAP is delivered in the province by the Agriculture Council of Saskatchewan.