ZeaKal Unveils Breakthrough High-Oil Hemp Results


TORONTO and SAN DIEGO – June 1, 2021 – RIV Capital Inc. (“RIV Capital” or the “Company”) (TSX: RIV, OTC: CNPOF) and Finistere Ventures portfolio company ZeaKal, Inc. (“ZeaKal”) announced that its PhotoSeed™ technology is believed to be the first plant trait proven to enhance the oil profile of hemp, offering the industry a sustainable way to improve the crop’s value while capturing more carbon.

According to ZeaKal’s analytical chemistry data, PhotoSeed increased oil composition in hemp biomass by up to 50% relative to controls, comprising up to 8% of the plant’s dry weight. The development comes amid a spike in global demand for plant oils as renewable diesel inputs. ZeaKal anticipates that PhotoSeed hemp could produce approximately 800lbs of oil per acre—nearly triple that of soybeans, the largest oilseed crop in North America and one commonly used as an input for renewable diesel. The first commercial PhotoSeed hemp plants were developed in partnership with Wisconsin Crop Innovation Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“This new data validates our thesis that PhotoSeed could be transformative for the hemp sector,” said Mary Dimou, Senior Director, Corporate Development at RIV Capital and Board Advisor, ZeaKal. “We believe that by offering significant composition and sustainability benefits, PhotoSeed has the potential to advance hemp cultivation to a greater level of efficiency, consistency, and sophistication. High-oil PhotoSeed hemp may also be immensely valuable for complementary industries, including renewable diesel and bioplastics.”

“We are proud to develop what is believed to be the first traited high-oil hemp, a feat that complements our efforts to improve oil production in key crops such as soy,” said Han Chen, ZeaKal co-founder and CEO. “By capturing carbon to oil in hemp, PhotoSeed creates additional value for cultivators and processors on a smaller footprint. With global demand for plant oils exceeding production, PhotoSeed provides growers with a new crop opportunity to produce a versatile, low-carbon-intensity and most importantly non-food-competitive feedstock in the long-term.”

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