VANCOUVER, B.C. — Burcon NutraScience Corp. and an investor group have formed a joint venture and will provide funding to build a C$65 million ($48.4 million) facility in western Canada to produce pea protein and canola protein ingredients.
The joint venture, called Burcon Functional Foods Corp. or Burcon Foods, will own and operate the new production facility, which initially will process about 20,000 tonnes of peas per year starting mid-2020. The facility will produce Burcon NutraScience’s Peazazz and Peazac pea proteins as well as the company’s Supertein, Puratein and Nutratein canola proteins.
The joint venture announcement came on May 23, the same day Vancouver-based Burcon NutraScience Corp. introduced two new ingredients. Nutratein-PS is a blend of Peazazz pea protein and Supertein canola protein. Nutratein-TZ is a blend of Peazac pea protein and Puratein canola protein.
“Having the capacity to produce both our unique pea proteins, as well as our canola proteins, in our own production facility is a key pillar of our differentiation strategy,” said Johann F. Tergesen, president and chief executive officer of Burcon NutraScience Corp. “The ability to blend our pea and canola proteins to create nutritionally unparalleled plant protein combinations, while preserving the highly desirable functional properties the proteins naturally possess, will give us a true competitive advantage.”
Both new ingredients are over 90% protein. Nutratein-PS offers clean flavor and high solubility, and it may fortify dairy alternative beverages such as almond milk. Nutratein-TZ may work in plant-based meat products such as veggie burgers and veggie sausages. Both new ingredients are over 90% protein. They both have a protein digestibility corrected amino acid score (P.D.C.A.A.S.) of 1.0, which equals the P.D.C.A.A.S. of dairy protein.
The joint venture, Burcon Foods, will enter into a license agreement with Burcon NutraScience Corp. for the production, sale and distribution of the plant protein ingredients. Burcon Foods will have exclusive rights across all geographic regions and all product uses for Burcon NutraScience’s pulse-protein technologies and canola-protein technologies. Burcon NutraScience will be responsible for the technology transfer to Burcon Foods and will assist, under contract, in supporting the design, construction and commissioning of the commercial protein production facility.
Burcon NutraScience will hold 40% of the issued and outstanding common shares of Burcon Foods. The investor group will own the remaining 60% of the joint venture. Burcon NutraScience and the investor group will make capital contributions of $10 million to Burcon Foods on or before July 2. Further contributions of $10 million will come on or before Sept. 3. Burcon Foods also may receive support from Canadian and provincial government agencies and organizations.