Stabilized rice bran expert NutraCea has changed its name to RiceBran Technologies.
Chief executive and president W. John Short said: "Our new name clearly defines who we are and what we do.
“Earlier this year we completed a three-year portfolio transformation from a multi-divisional business operator to complete focus on our Rice Bran Bio-Refining business model. RiceBran Technologies aptly describes our focused approach to that rice bran-centric business model."
Rice bran - the outer layer of the brown rice kernel after the husk has been removed - was until recently regarded as a waste by-product of commercial rice-milling and used as low-grade animal feed.
By arresting the enzymatic reaction that causes raw rice bran to deteriorate after milling, however, RiceBran Technologies has been able to stabilize it and produce high quality ingredients for the human nutrition market “with little or no additional demand on the scarce resources of arable land already used to grow rice”, noted Short.
Under a joint research and development agreement struck with DSM last August, the firm is also investigating the extraction and modification of high quality proteins from rice bran.
Details of when a product might come to market have yet to be released. However, the potential was clear, said Short on a recent earnings call, citing the fact that rice protein could be marketed as non-GMO, non-allergenic, easily-digested and with a full range of amino acids.