Friday, April 20, 2012

Alberta's NovaGreen to meet North America's inulin demand

Nova Green Inc., an Alberta-based specialty refinery that aims to make high-value nutritional and environmental products from low-value agricultural biomass, is poised to become North America’s only producer of inulin in the next 24 months.

Inulin, a soluble dietary fiber, is in high demand among retailers and processed food manufacturers because of its versatility, its low-caloric nature, and its health benefits — including its ability to increase calcium absorption and its promotion of intestinal bacteria growth.

A so-called “invisible” dietary fiber, inulin is a preferred option for fiber-fortified food and beverage products. Suitable for diabetics, it’s categorized as a “novel fiber” — with that market expected to continue to rapid growth over the next few years.

“We know that retailers and processed foods manufacturers across North America are looking to increase dietary fiber throughout their product lines. There is an enormous potential market here,” says Barry Farquharson, CEO of NovaGreen.

“And the fact that NovaGreen is based in North America will give us numerous advantages over current offshore suppliers.”

Canadian imports of inulin skyrocketed from $669,000 in 2005 to $10.696M in 2009. The U.S. market has doubled in the past five years, with 2015 estimates pegged at $250M. U.S. market research publisher Packaged Facts is bullish on the “novel fiber” category as consumers continue to seek fiber-rich foods; Packaged Facts expects the market share of “novel fibers” to increase by more than 750 per cent over a 10-year period ending in 2014.

Inulin is the only recognized dietary fiber in Canada that can be added to beverage applications to produce clear products, and earned GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) status in the United States in 1992. Its food and beverage applications include baked goods; snacks, potato chips, tortilla chips, flatbread, and pasta; soups, sauces, and salad dressings; cereals and cereal bars; functionally enhanced water; and juice and dairy products.

NovaGreen’s ultra-efficient, proprietary Sequential Extraction Technology™ (SET) will convert abundant biomass, such as wheat straw, corn stover, wood chips, and Jerusalem artichoke, into a high-value, highly regarded array of products in both the health and nutrition and the environmental industries. Those products will also include xylitol, a naturally occurring sugar substitute; XOS (xylo-oligosaccharides), another edible fiber with prebiotic function; biochar for soil amendment and remediation; and activated carbon, used in airborne and soil-based environmental cleanup.

1 comment:

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