22 Juli 2011

TCI Opens North American Oilseed Biorefinery

Company to control the complete specialty crop supply chain

Technology Crops International (TCI) announces the opening of its state-of-the-art oilseed processing facility at the company’s location in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Unlike other North American operations, the new facility uses innovative and sustainable refining technologies to manufacture custom refined oils that meet the most demanding industry specifications. In addition, the pilot plant and laboratory facilities situated at the same location allows for product development, providing complete analytical and evaluation capabilities, and rigorous quality control procedures.

The opening of the new facility completes the first stage of TCI’s expansion in the region, enabling the company to control the complete specialty crop supply chain from seed evaluation to delivery of safe, sustainable, traceable plant-based specialty oils for use in cosmetics and food ingredients.

From soil to oil, TCI discovers, grows, processes, and delivers their own oils, ensuring safe, sustainable, traceable, and cost-competitive products to their customers. With an increasing global demand for plant-based oils, TCI’s expansion is very timely. Not only are naturally processed plant-derived oils more environmentally friendly, they also offer greater opportunity due to their high antioxidant composition, often not found in other oils. Locally grown meadowfoam, borage, crambe, echium abyssinian and cuphea seed oils are already being manufactured.

Established for use in cosmetics because of its excellent moisturizing and UV protection properties, meadowfoam oil is also valued for its exceptional stability. Meadowfoam oil is isolated from the seeds of the plant Limnanthes Alba.

Borage oil can contain over 20% GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) and is probably the most economical source for this essential fatty acid. GLA-containing seed oils find applications in a number of areas, including nutraceuticals, medicinal foods, veterinary compositions and personal care products.

Crambe oil, with its erucic acid esters and behenic acid esters, is widely used as emollients in the formulation of cosmetic creams and lotions.

“The expanded capabilities of this new facility further enhance our ‘soil to oil’ promise to our customers, giving us the ability to provide the highest-quality, turnkey, cost-effective specialty crop supply chain solutions available, including seed and crop evaluation, crop production, processing, extraction and delivery,” says Andrew Hebard, president and CEO of TCI. “Our customers’ demand for these oils is increasing, and this new facility allows us to both elevate and streamline the services we offer.”

According to Steve Howatt, VP, business development and agronomy with TCI, Prince Edward Island was determined to be the best location for the processing facility because of the region’s focus on sustainable agriculture. “Growers here are very environmentally aware, have the equipment needed for our oilseed crops, and are experienced with identity-preserved crops,” says Howatt. “Further, the maritime climate provides ideal growing conditions for many oilseed crops and there’s a very active bioscience research community here,” he adds. “This facility really puts PEI on the map as a center of excellence for high-value crop production and processing, supported by world-class research. Already our products are attracting an international client base,” he concludes.

Source: sustainableplant, 2011-07-22.

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