The refocusing will service the growing demand for plant-derived ingredients and high value plant-based extracts, including industrial hemp/cannabis.
When it opened its doors in 1977, POS originally stood for protein, oil and starches. It began life being funded by the Canadian government but is now a private company. Between 60 and 70% of the company’s business has been in the dietary supplement and functional food sector, including omega-3s and novel plant proteins and bioactive peptides.
POS/ Keyleaf president and CEO, Dale Kelly, told NutraIngredients-USA that the decision was made in the fall of 2017 to move beyond contract R&D work, and this has already resulted in two spin out companies: Algarithm (algal omega-3s) and Lakessence (Essential Oils and Oleoresins)
“Pivoting away from applied contract R&D work to producing finished plant-based ingredients of all types under our new name (Keyleaf) reflects a strategic move toward commercializing a pipeline of plant-derived products under our own brand. The new business model is also anticipated to take advantage of burgeoning market opportunities and produce consistent growth,” said Kelly.
Over the past four decades, the company has completed more than 5,400 projects for clients in nearly 50 countries.
“With over four decades of high level proficiency in plant extraction, concentration, isolation, and modification of material properties, the company will monetize soaring interest in the emerging hemp/cannabis category with proprietary extracts of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other high-value components for use in medicinal or nutritional applications,” added Kelly.
The new corporate name was chosen to better define the value proposition of the company, said Kelly, and allow for better acceptance with new potential clients in trending markets, while positioning the brand to be more reflective of its new direction.
Keyleaf’s ability to provide finished ingredients to the larger food, supplement, flavor, cosmetic, pharma, and advanced materials industry is a natural extension of the company’s previous model of engagement in partnerships that showcased its ability to scale from bench to high volume commercial production, with the capacity to process from grams to tons-per-week of finished extracts.
“In the 1970’s, POS Pilot Plant Corporation took canola from the fields as its first project and virtually created the entire North America canola oil industry. We then did the same with soybeans. We’re currently doing it again with legumes and hemp. No other company in the world has comparable innovative technology and expertise to take raw materials from the farm and convert into top-grade plant-based functional ingredients on any scale required,” said Kelly.
POS Bio-Sciences/Keyleaf has a staff of 135 scientists, technicians and operators manning facilities in Saskatoon, Canada and Batavia, Illinois.