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20th September 2022  Content supplied by: Burcon Nutrascience Corporation

Burcon Announces Breakthrough in Sunflower Protein Development

Burcon NutraScience Corporation, a global technology leader in the development of plant-based proteins for foods and beverages, has announced that it has developed an economical, scalable process to extract high-purity protein ingredients from sunflower seeds for use in foods and beverages.

Leveraging its core protein technology platform and expertise, Burcon has developed a proprietary extraction and purification process to convert sunflower meal, a by-product of the production of sunflower oil, into high-quality sunflower protein isolates that feature a neutral taste and off-white color. These unique properties make them ideal for use in a variety of valuable food applications, in particular those featuring delicate flavors. Sunflower proteins currently on the market consist of concentrates in the range of 50–60% protein content, while Burcon’s new sunflower protein isolates are greater than 90% pure protein. Like all Burcon proteins, our sunflower proteins feature exceptional taste and functional attributes that can address many of the formulation challenges currently facing plant-based protein product developers as they address rising global consumer demands for protein-rich foods and beverages that have clean labels and are natural, tasty and more sustainable.

Commenting on the new sunflower protein innovation, Peter H. Kappel, interim CEO and Chairman of the Board, said: “This latest development further validates Burcon as a global technology innovator in sustainable protein ingredients, leveraging its leading-edge expertise to create significant value in the global food supply chain. A source of clean-label, plant-based protein that offers excellent taste and texture is exactly what food and beverage product formulators are seeking. We are highly encouraged by the positive feedback we’ve received to date for our sunflower protein and are working diligently to bring this next-generation protein ingredient to market as soon as possible.”

Sunflower is the world’s third-largest oilseed crop — behind soy and canola/rapeseed — and is a natural oilseed source of non-GMO, non-allergenic, clean-label protein. Once the oil is extracted from the seeds, the leftover meal is normally fed to livestock to develop animal protein. However, the Burcon process innovation allows high-quality, food-grade plant protein to be upcycled directly from the meal much more effectively, making it a highly sustainable protein ingredient for use in various food and beverage applications around the world.

Burcon is collaborating with Pristine Gourmet, a processor of 100% pure Canadian, non-GMO cold-pressed virgin oils, to further optimize Burcon’s novel sunflower protein technology. The parties are working together under a previously announced $1 million project that included a co-investment from Protein Industries Canada. In addition, Burcon intends to develop ideal food and beverage applications for its unique sunflower protein isolate while establishing a market for this new class of plant-based protein ingredients.

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Date Published: 20th September 2022

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