Plant-based protein developer Burcon NutraScience has received a co-investment from Proteins Industries Canada for the development of protein ingredients from sunflower seeds.
The $1m project will see Burcon partnering with Pristine Gourmet, a processor of non-GMO cold pressed virgin oils, to further develop the company’s novel process for the production of sunflower protein ingredients with greater than 90% protein purity. Leveraging its core protein extraction and purification platform, the company intends to fine-tune and scale up an economical extraction and isolation process.
The company says sunflower protein ingredients are naturally non-GMO, have a favourable taste profile, low allergenicity, are particularly label-friendly, and easily understood and accepted by consumers. As the world’s third largest oilseed crop, behind soy and canola, sunflower seed has significant potential to be a major source of plant-based protein.
“Sunflower protein checks all the boxes as an ideal source of plant-based protein,” said Peter H. Kappel, Burcon’s interim CEO and Chair of the board. “With this investment, Burcon and Pristine Gourmet can accelerate the development of value-added premium protein ingredients coming from a by-product normally used as animal feed.”
“Canada’s plant-based food and ingredients sector has seen tremendous growth over the past several years, thanks largely to the innovation shown by our entrepreneurs and researchers,” Protein Industries Canada CEO Bill Greuel said. “The development of new ingredients, processing technologies and food products is key to seeing this growth continue. As our companies work together to bring these developments from idea to full-scale implementation, Canadians can look forward to a strengthened economy, new healthy and sustainable options on grocery store shelves, and an increased ability to meet the growing global demand for plant-based protein.”