RiceBran Technologies has upped production at its Dillon, Montana plant by 25% to meet demand for fibers from rice bran, revealed bosses at the second quarter earnings call this week.
The firm, which extracts value-added ingredients from rice bran (a by-product of rice-milling), stabilizes the bran in West Sacramento and then ships it to Montana for further processing into a nutrient-rich ingredient called RiBalance.
This can be further separated into RiSolubles (a soluble fiber in powder form ideal for dairy and beverages) and RiFiber (an insoluble fiber suitable for multiple food applications).
Orders for RiBalance, RiSoluble and RiFiber are growing as more firms develop healthier, higher-fiber bars and beverages, said CEO John Short, while the firm’s new Proryza rice bran proteins had also received positive feedback at the IFT show, with a “couple of hundred” customers experimenting with samples.
We want to grow much more and we want to grow faster
However, life remained challenging, he acknowledged, with consolidated gross profit down $0.5m to $1.3m in the three months to June 30, primarily due to high raw bran costs, and sales down 3.3% over the same period to $9.4m.
“Clearly anyone can do the math you can look and see that we’re continuing to burn cash although we continuing to monitor our expenses and control them pretty well”, he told analysts on the earnings call.
“We’re never satisfied. We want to grow much more and we want to grow faster. But one of the things we’re seeing is that growth is faster in the human ingredient side of the business than in the animal nutrition side of the business.”
By arresting the enzymatic reaction that causes raw rice bran to deteriorate after milling, RiceBran Technologies can stabilize the bran and produce a range of ingredients from rice bran oil to soluble and insoluble fibers.
Click here to watch our video with RiceBran Tech at the IFT show.