Bunge, Verenium seek to improve oil production

by Jeff Gelski
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CAMBRIDGE, MASS. and ST. LOUIS — Verenium Corp. and Bunge Oils, Inc. have signed an agreement to develop enzyme processes for the enhanced production of edible oils. Bunge also has agreed to become Verenium’s process implementation partner for Purifine, a phospholipase C (PLC) enzyme and Verenium’s first commercial product for seed oil refining.

The Purifine process removes oil phospholipids during the oilseed degumming process. Oilseed processors using the PLC enzyme are expected to achieve a yield increase of between 1% and 2%, depending on the phospholipid content of the crude vegetable oil.

Under the terms of the agreement, Verenium and Bunge also will collaborate to develop and commercialize custom enzymes designed to further improve the economics of vegetable oil processing. Verenium will receive research funding from Bunge to develop the enzymes.

Bunge Oils is part of St. Louis-based Bunge North America, the North American operating arm of Bunge Ltd. Verenium, Cambridge, develops specialty enzymes and cellulosic ethanol technology.

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