Burcon: Market timing right for pea protein

By Maggie Hennessy

- Last updated on GMT

Burcon: Market timing right for pea protein

Related tags: Pea protein, Trade, Soybean, Soy milk

Functional plant protein supplier Burcon NutraScience Corp. continued its focus on commercializing its “invisible” pea protein isolate Peazazz during the second quarter of fiscal 2014, beginning operations at its semi-works facility, ramping up discussions with potential manufacturing and distribution partners and expanding its IP portfolio.

Earlier this year, the Vancouver, BC-based supplier failed to reach a deal​ to commercialize Peazazz before the exclusivity period with the potential partner lapsed, though president and COO Johann Tergesen was optimistic given the ingredient’s reception at this year’s IFT Expo as a lower-priced alternative to dairy protein.

“The completion of our Peazazz semi-works facility coincided with our launch of Peazazz at the IFT Expo in July,”​ Tergesen said during the second quarter earnings call.

“It’s clear our market timing couldn’t be more ideal with producers and end users looking to replace higher-priced dairy proteins. In fact, we have had initial discussions on the commercialization of our Peazazz protein with some major food and beverage makers as well as potential alliance partners.”

Unlike the major animal-based and plant-based proteins, pea protein is hypoallergenic, in addition to being more environmentally sustainable compared to other protein sources, Tergesen noted. It can be incorporated into numerous beverage applications, dairy-alternative products, and can fortify gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan food products.

During the quarter, the firm also received six US. patent grants and allowances covering processes for extracting plant protein, as well as three for soy and three for canola. Following the quarter’s Sept. 30 end, Burcon received another canola patent grant.

Burcon’s IP portfolio now includes 252 issued patents in various countries, with 48 in the U.S., as well as more than 445 active patent applications, including 84 in the US. Tergesen noted that these efforts will remain a major area of focus for the firm in the near term.

ADM, which commercialized Burcon’s well-known soy protein isolate Clarisoy in 2011​, continued to facilitate development activities in the global food and beverage market, as the company operated the first commercial-scale plant for Clarisoy production, said Tergesen.

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