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Burcon NutraScience Corp
Symbol BU
Shares Issued 108,657,244
Close 2021-11-10 C$ 1.815
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Burcon JV's Winnipeg facility to supply pea proteins

2021-11-10 18:26 ET - News Release

Mr. Johann Tergesen reports


Burcon NutraScience Corp. joint venture partner Merit Functional Foods Corp.'s new 94,000-square-foot facility in Winnipeg, Man., is commercially ready to supply its best-in-class pea and canola proteins to leading food and beverage customers.

"This marks another important milestone in the journey for Burcon as a pioneer in the development of novel new plant-based protein ingredients," said Johann F. Tergesen, Burcon's president and chief executive officer, adding, "Merit's new facility is now scaled to supply leading food and beverage customers with the highest-purity pea and canola proteins available for use in plant-based applications."

Construction of Merit's new first-of-its-kind plant-based protein production facility was completed in December, 2020. During 2021, the engineers, technicians and management of Merit have been focused on the process of commissioning the facility, which involves planning, documenting, scheduling, testing, adjusting, verifying and training, to provide a facility that operates as a fully functional unified system. Production capability at Merit is now at a state where Merit's team believes it is largely fine-tuning the overall facility in the commissioning process by individually balancing the numerous unit process operations that together form the overall production capability.

Merit produces, under licence from Burcon, a lineup of innovative pea and canola protein ingredients, as well as a line of customized protein blend solutions branded as MeritPro. Merit is now supplying leading food and beverage customers with its complete line of pea and canola protein ingredients and, as it ramps up production, expects to be capable of fulfilling larger orders from its growing sales pipeline. Merit is the first and only commercial-scale facility in the world capable of producing food-grade protein from canola, the world's second-largest oilseed crop. Burcon believes Merit's canola proteins, new and exciting entrants into the plant-based space, and Merit's pea proteins are both perfectly positioned to offer a sustainable and environmentally friendly way to feed the world's growing population.

Quality and food safety were inherent in the design and construction of Merit's facility, which have led to its recent successful achievement of an AA score with the British Retail Consortium (BRC) global food safety certification. BRC is a leading global quality and food safety program, and its food safety audits are considered the gold standard for food and beverage companies around the world. In addition, Merit's ingredients are non-genetically modified organism project verified, gluten free certified, kosher and halal, helping brands deliver label claims that align with consumers' allergen- and lifestyle-related needs.

The unique and proprietary membrane filtration process, under licence from Burcon and used by Merit in the new facility, removes impurities and produces taste-forward products without the vegetal notes that have traditionally been associated with plant proteins. Merit is also taking steps to ensure a transparent supply chain for Merit's customers, with ingredients exclusively grown and produced in Canada. With growing concern regarding the origin of ingredients, these reduced food miles appeal to brands and consumers alike.

Merit's portfolio of plant-based protein ingredients includes a line of innovative pea proteins and first-to-market line of canola proteins, all of which offer food and beverage customers the ability to formulate using proteins with superior taste, function and nutrition. Merit's line of pea proteins includes Peazazz and Peazac while its line of canola proteins includes Puratein C, Puratein HS and Puratein G. Merit is also the first to offer the market customized pea and canola protein solutions through its MeritPro Solutions platform, which offers higher levels of plant protein in formulations, including a PDCAAS (protein digestibility corrected amino acid score) of 1.0. Through this platform, the company's research and development team evaluates customers' unique nutritional goals, functional requirements, processing considerations and sensory outcomes to determine the most effective blend of pea and canola protein ratios.

About Burcon NutraScience Corp.

Burcon is a global technology leader in the development of plant-based proteins for foods and beverages. With over two decades of experience formulating high-purity proteins that have superior functionality, taste and nutrition, Burcon has amassed an extensive patent portfolio covering its novel plant-based proteins derived from pea, canola, soy, hemp and sunflower seed, among other plant sources. In 2019, Merit Foods was established between Burcon and three veteran food industry executives. Merit Foods has since built a state-of-the-art protein production facility in Manitoba, Canada, that is producing, under licence from Burcon, best-in-class pea and canola proteins for the food and beverage industries.

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