OMAHA, NEB. — On June 16, The Scoular Company and Montana Microbial Products announced they have signed an exclusive licensing agreement to produce and market barley protein concentrate (BPC) for pet food and aquaculture feed in the North American and Asian markets.

The BPC product is a sustainable, plant-based protein alternative made from non-GMO barley. The BPC ingredient is produced without the use of harsh chemicals or solvents, according to Scoular. It is intended to be a non-GMO, clean-label solution for pet food manufacturers producing high-protein formulations.

“After years of development and testing, we are excited to partner with The Scoular Company to get this product into the market,” said Bob Kearns, co-owner of Montana Microbial Products.

Montana Microbial Products is awaiting a patent for technology used to manufacture the BPC. Scoular is planning construction of a $13 million processing plant specifically for producing the plant-based ingredient as part of the new partnership.

The location for this facility has not been officially determined, although Scoular said it will likely be constructed in Idaho, where the companies would have ample access to barley farmers. Once completed, the facility is expected to process 1.9 million bushels of barley annually at first, with plans to scale up production “over the next several years,” Scoular said.

The project is slated for completion by May 2021 and will create approximately 13 new jobs.

Additionally, a high-energy liquid feed supplement for cattle feed manufacturers will be co-produced at the new facility.

“We’re excited to work with Montana Microbial Products to commercialize barley protein concentrate and look forward to collaborating with many industry stakeholders,” said John Messerich, senior vice president and division manager of feed ingredients at Scoular. “In a world of growing protein demand and an uncertain economic environment for farmers, BPC will contribute to Scoular’s mission of adding value to multiple industries with sustainable products.”

This comes as Scoular is expected to complete its new freeze-dried pet food protein ingredient manufacturing plant in Seward, Neb. in the fall of this year. This new business division was deemed Petsource by Scoular in December 2019.

With this new venture, Scoular builds on its long, 127-year history of supplying grain, food and feed ingredients to global manufacturers.

Montana Microbial Products is currently producing BPC ingredients at its pilot plant in Melrose, Mont. and research lab in Missoula, Mont.

Read more about product development, ingredients and formulation.