Merit begins commercial production of canola proteins

Canola was originally developed out of rapeseed in the 1970s after many years’ efforts by Canadian researchers Baldur Stefansson and Keith Downey

Burcon NutraScience Corporation has announced its joint venture company, Merit Functional Foods Corporation, has achieved commercial production of its line-up of Puratein canola proteins. Merit’s plant-based protein production complex produces food-grade protein from canola, the world’s second-largest oilseed crop. The company intends to continue optimising the manufacturing process in the coming weeks, with the hope to fulfil commercial commitments in Q2.

“This is a truly momentous achievement for us and one that has been a long time in the making,” said Johann F. Tergesen, Burcon’s President and CEO, adding: “Burcon first embraced the vision of canola’s potential as a premium, food-grade protein source over 20 years ago. Today, Merit Foods, with its just-completed high-tech plant protein production facility, is bringing eco-friendly canola proteins to market using Burcon’s patented processing technology. These proteins stand to change the way the world’s consumers get their protein.

“This milestone is a significant step toward fulfilling canola’s enormous global potential as an important, new, environmentally friendly source of high-quality, plant-based protein for food and beverage product development. As the world’s second-largest oilseed crop, canola protein is perfectly positioned to offer a sustainable way to feed and nourish the world’s growing population.”

Canola was originally developed out of rapeseed in the 1970s after many years’ efforts by Canadian researchers Baldur Stefansson and Keith Downey. The scientific advance enabled the production and use of canola oil for human consumption. Burcon’s team of food scientists and chemical engineers has worked to unlock the nutritional and functional properties of canola proteins, efforts which have culminated in Merit’s plant protein processing facility.

The 94,000 sqft facility is dedicated to the production, of novel pea and canola protein ingredients using licensed technology from Burcon. It’s been engineered and constructed to be able to process both non-GMO canola and yellow field peas, giving it the ability to produce Merit’s lineup of Puratein canola proteins, its Peazazz and Peazac pea proteins, and its MeritPro protein blends.

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