Plant protein specialist Burcon has failed to reach a deal to commercialize its ‘invisible’ pea protein isolate Peazazz before the exclusivity period with a potential partner lapsed.
Two months ago, Burcon said Peazazz was its “top commercialization priority”, while talks with a potential partner had “progressed to an advanced stage with Burcon agreeing to a period of exclusivity while the two parties continue their due diligence investigations and negotiations with the goal of forming an alliance”.
Yesterday, however, chief executive Johann Tergesen said the exclusivity period had lapsed without a deal being struck, although discussions with the party in question were "ongoing".
Bosses are considering “various routes-to-market” for Peazazz,which is heat and water soluble, transparent in low pH solutions and clean tasting, he added.
“We are pleased with the level of interest we have received... We will explore a variety of partnering opportunities for commercialization of this exciting product.”
The long game
Burcon, which is best known for developing soy protein isolate Clarisoy (recently commercialized by ADM ), has also been talking to potential partners about manufacturing canola protein isolates on an industrial scale using its patented extraction technology, but has yet to persuade anyone to sign on the dotted line.
While it had signed a license and development agreement with ADM about taking its canola protein isolates Puratein and Supertein to market, this terminated on March 1.
However, like Canadian rival BioExx , which is also seeking a partner to help scale up its canola production technology, Burcon remains convinced other plant proteins will be just as successful as soy given the growing interest in alternatives to meat and dairy proteins.
"Our unchanging goal is to commercialize all of our novel protein technologies and that includes our canola protein,” said Tergesen.
The rise and rise of plant protein
Several trends are fueling the growth of the plant protein ingredients market, including the growing desire for meat alternatives as people look to reduce their consumption; high and volatile dairy prices and the desire to find more sustainable food ingredients, he said.
While soy, pea and canola are some of the best known vegetable proteins, Burcon has also developed proprietary processes to extract proteins from other plant sources including hemp, flaxseed and mustard seed.
Mustard protein had untapped potential, Tergesen said: “Burcon's proprietary process allows for the protein to be separated out from mustard seed meal resulting in a protein isolate with unique nutritional and functional attributes.”
Click here to read more about Burcon’s Peazazz ‘invisible’ pea protein.
Click here to read about Clarisoy, ADM’s invisible soy protein isolate producing using Burcon’s technology.
Click here to read about protein as a hot trend at IFT’s Wellness 2012 conference.