An independent assessment of the manufacturing capacities of Burcon NutraScience has confirmed that the Canadian company will be able to produce canola protein isolates Puratein and Supertein on a large scale, at significant yield and low cost.
Burcon commissioned Earth Tech Canada to prepare an engineering report on the feasibility of the company's technology and to conduct a review and assessment of the economics of producing Puratein and Supertein in a full-scale manufacturing facility. Earth Tech is an international provider of global water management and transportation, engineering and environmental services.
Earth Tech assessed the current production parameters, product quality, yield and operating costs, although it stressed that the actual cost of production could only be determined through the development of a full-scale production facility.
Despite this note of caution, Earth Tech's assessment suggests that Burcon's technology is economically viable and that Burcon's estimates of the cost of producing the isolates are reasonable.
The cost of producing plant proteins is significantly lower than that of animal proteins, casein, whey and egg, which are expensive to produce, Burcon said. One of the drivers responsible for the rapid growth of plant proteins is their ability to compete with animal proteins both nutritionally and functionally at a significantly lower price.
"The Earth Tech report confirms our belief that Burcon's separation technology is scalable and repeatable," said Randy Willardsen, Burcon's senior vice president of process. "Our process is ready to take the next step: development of a full-scale facility."
Burcon is currently investigating joint venture or licensing partnerships with US, Canadian or international entities for the production of its proteins and other bio-active products that the company develops as part of its core technology. It has already entered into confidentiality and material transfer agreements with a number of multinational agricultural processing and food ingredient companies.