May 26, 2022

Alberta Stories

Phytokana puts the pea in protein: A sustainable alternative in Alberta agriculture 

The growing interest in plant-based protein has changed the way producers and consumers are looking at health, wellness, self-care and sustainable choices. Alberta-based plant-protein producer, Phytokana, formerly Phyto Organix, recognized just that – and is setting the stage for more accessibility and sustainability in Alberta. 

In a win for Alberta’s tech, innovation, and agriculture sectors, Phytokana announced on May 24, 2022 its plans to build a new state-of-the-art, net zero emission plant protein processing facility in Strathmore, Alberta. The new facility will add 40,000 metric tonnes per year of wet fractionation capacity to process soluble and insoluble protein isolates, processed fibre and starch and high-quality dietary pea hull fibre – marketed as Phyto Optimate.  

With a drive to offer the market more sustainably processed food, Phytokana has developed a wet fractionation process to produce a yellow pea protein isolate that yields 90% of the protein contained in yellow peas and is notable for being high in purity, distinctively white and odourless, and well suited for alternative meat and dairy applications. This process also produces starch used as a versatile texturizing agent for breads, processed meat, glass noodles and vegan cheese. Lastly, remaining processed pea fibre can be used in breads, baked foods and the processed meat industry as sources of high soluble and insoluble fibre. 

Phyto Organix announcement on May 24, 2022. (L-R): Pat Fule, Mayor of Strathmore; Chris Theal, President and CEO, Phyto Organix; Nate Horner, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development; Leela Aheer, MLA for Chestermere-Strathmore; Martin Shields, MP for Bow River;  Scott Klassen, Deputy Reeve of Wheatland County.

Phytokana is also committed to establishing the first net-zero plant protein processing facility in North America that will minimize emissions from transporting peas supplied by local farmers, employ industry-leading water recycling and reusing technology – recycling 75% of its water process, employ industry leading heat integration to reduce energy consumption and emissions, and power the facility with renewable energy sources.  

Invest Alberta is excited to support Phytokana as they continue to expand in Alberta. Invest Alberta will continue supporting their growth in the province and has been working alongside the organization to facilitate investor connections and introduce them to qualifying grants and funds. 

Phytokana’s $225 million investment, the largest commercial investment in the area, will contribute to Strathmore’s economic growth, in addition to its economic benefits in the province, and employ 80 Albertans in new full-time positions. Breaking ground in fall 2022, the facility is projected to have its first production in mid-2024. With its core values focused on health, wellness and sustainability, Phytokana is on a fast track to leading Alberta’s plant protein industry – setting a new standard for ESG in Alberta agriculture. 

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