Co-generation of pulse protein isolates and ethanol through a novel biorefining strategy involving air currents assisted particle separation (ACAPS)

Project Details

Status: Completed
Investment: $204,000
Commodity: Pulse
Organization: University of Alberta
Investigator: David Bressler

The global market for plant-based protein is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 6.7%. Legume pulse/bean grains are produced annually in Canada at significant quantities and are rich sources of nutritive and functional proteins.

Why is this research important for Alberta ag?

According to Alberta Pulse Growers, 2.4M acres in Alberta are dedicated to the growth of pulses, which are the edible seeds of legumes. Global demand for pulses has increased dramatically over the last decade due to their growing recognition as an excellent source of dietary fibre and protein.

Alberta is already well-positioned as a major pulse producer in Canada, with significant crop seeded areas for dry peas, lentils, fava beans, and dry beans. The further development of the pulse industry in Alberta would be greatly enhanced through the development of biorefining approaches that would facilitate more than one value-added product from the pulse feedstock.

What benefits can producers expect from this research?

This project will benefit Alberta pulse producers by expanding the novel biorefining approach to enable co-generation of dietary fibre concentrates, protein isolates and ethanol from pulses.

Along with pulse producers, pulse processors and the ethanol industry will also positively benefit. Successful commercialization of the biorefining strategy for pulse grains will improve the process economics of the ACAPS process by generating multiple high-value product streams from a single pulse feedstock. Integration of pulse grains into the ACAPS process is anticipated to increase demand for pulses, which will translate into higher pulse prices. This research has the potential to provide ethanol producers with a novel and cheap feedstock for fermentation, as well as an opportunity to increase the protein content and value of their DDG.

How will these research findings reach producers on-farm?

Good working relationships have already been established with crop producers in Alberta, which will help facilitate integration of pulse crops at commercial scale.

Funded in part by the Government of Canada under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.