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SunOpta Announces Agreement with MicroSoy Corporation to Provide Toasted Soy Flake Ingredients

January 21,2005
SunOpta Announces Agreement with MicroSoy Corporation to Provide Toasted Soy Flake Ingredients

TORONTO--Jan. 21, 2005--SunOpta Inc. (SunOpta) (NASDAQ:STKL)(TSX:SOY). SunOpta is pleased to announce its Grains and Soy Products Group has entered into an exclusive agreement with MicroSoy Corporation of Jefferson, Iowa to market toasted soy flake ingredients in North America Food Ingredient Market. MicroSoy Flakes(R) are produced through a patented technology system without the use of chemicals or solvents and maintains all the natural goodness of whole grain soy. MicroSoy Flakes are ideal for use in breakfast items such as hot and cold cereals, breakfast bars and pancake mixes, entree items such as cream-based soups, mashed potatoes and tofu, and dessert items such as cookies, soy-cheese cake, pie crusts and toppings for ice creams.

An all natural whole grain process assures no chemicals, preservatives or additives are utilized in the production of MicroSoy Flakes. All soybeans used are non-GMO (non- genetically modified organism). Production methods utilize state of the art mechanical processes, ensuring a clean, wholesome and high quality product. MicroSoy Flakes are also available as Certified Organic and Kosher.

Terry Tanaka, President, MicroSoy Corporation comments, "Taste and nutrition are essential to consumers who want to integrate soy more fully into their diets, and food manufacturers looking for new ingredients that make their final products not only taste great but also provide as many health benefits as possible."

Whole soybeans maintain and deliver more of the nutritional components that supply the health benefits of soy, such as the proteins that reduce cholesterol and the isoflavones that may reduce the risk of some types of cancer. "SunOpta is committed to using only whole soybeans in our ingredients and to processing them as minimally as possible to reap the full health and nutritional benefits of the soybean," said Allan Routh, President of the Grains and Soy Products Group "In the past, companies have had to rely on fractionalized, harshly processed, nutrient-deficient soy for baking and related applications. However, the arrangement with MicroSoy allows us to provide an expanded group of soy ingredient offerings with the nutrition and taste necessary to create a successful product."

SunOpta leads the way in the development of functional, organic ingredients. In addition to providing a variety of soy, corn and sunflower ingredients, SunOpta is a leader in the formulation and development of soymilk beverages and organic healthy and convenient foods, and has an extensive consumer product offering including the Sunrich Naturals line of domestically grown edamame.

MicroSoy Corporation is located in the heart of soybean country and has been producing its flakes through its patented technology, since 1991.

SunOpta Inc. is an operator of high-growth ethical businesses, focusing on integrated business models in the natural and organic food markets. For the last six consecutive years, SunOpta was included in Profit magazine's 'Profit 100' list of the 100 fastest growing companies in Canada. The company has three business units: the SunOpta Food Group, which specializes in sourcing, processing and distribution of natural and organic food products integrated from seed through packaged products; the Opta Minerals Group, a producer, distributor, and recycler of environmentally friendly industrial materials; and the StakeTech Steam Explosion Group that engineers and markets clean pulping systems using patented steam explosion technology. Each of these business units has proprietary products and services that give it a solid competitive advantage in its sector.

    CONTACT: SunOpta Inc.
             Jeremy N. Kendall, Steve Bromley, John Dietrich,
             Susan Wiekenkamp, 905-455-2528, ext 103

    SOURCE: SunOpta Inc.

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