Canadian company plans to produce xylitol, inulin
BakingBusiness.com, May 18, 2012
by Jeff Gelski

EDMONTON, ALTA. — NovaGreen, Inc. expects to begin producing xylitol, a polyol that may aid in sugar reduction, and inulin, an ingredient that adds dietary fiber to products, over the next 24 months. The company’s proprietary sequential extraction technology will convert biomass such as wheat straw, corn stover, wood chips and Jerusalem artichoke (jart) into an array of products.

Sustainable Development Technology Canada, a not-for-profit corporation funded by the Canadian government, has awarded $1.8 million to NovaGreen for a project to further develop cultivation and processing of jart into xylitol, inulin and biochar. The processing will take place at a pilot-scale facility in Alberta.

NovaGreen has production facilities in Killam, Alta. The company seeks a limited number of accredited investors, via a private $300,000 offering, to augment early-stage business plan continuity.

Xylitol is about 2.4 calories per gram, which compares to sucrose’s 4 calories per gram, according to The Calorie Control Council, an international association representing the low-calorie and reduced-fat food and beverage industry. Xylitol has been shown to reduce the development of dental caries, according to the council. Potential applications include sugar-free chewing gum, ice cream, jam, bread spreads, fruit preparations, baked foods, instant sauces, mustards and confectionery items.

“North American food producers look primarily to China or Europe for their xylitol requirements,” said Barry Farquharson, chief executive officer of NovaGreen. “NovaGreen will provide a domestically available product source that provides a consistently, high-quality product for their high-demand functional food solutions.”

Potential applications for inulin, which is soluble, include baked foods, potato chips, tortilla chips, pasta, soups, sauces, salad dressings, cereal, cereal bars, enhanced water, juice products and dairy products.

“We know that retailers and processed foods manufacturers across North America are looking to include dietary fiber throughout their product lines,” Mr. Farquharson said. “There is an enormous potential market here. And the fact that NovaGreen is based in North America will give us numerous advantages over current offshore suppliers.”