Mr. Peter Kappel reports
BURCON JV, MERIT FUNCTIONAL FOODS ACHIEVES SIGNIFICANT INNOVATION IN A 100% PROTEIN-BASED SOLUTION TO REPLACE METHYLCELLULOSE IN MEAT ALTERNATIVES
Burcon NutraScience Corp.'s joint venture company, Merit Functional Foods Corp., has developed an innovation utilizing its non-GMO Peazazz pea protein as part of a 100-per-cent protein-based clean label solution to replace methylcellulose, a synthetic ingredient widely used in food and meat alternative applications.
"We are very pleased with Merit's latest innovative protein-based solution that has the potential to disrupt a $1.96-billion methylcellulose market. The food industry has long been searching for a suitable methylcellulose replacement. Peazazz, derived from Burcon's proprietary technology, has superior functionality and high purity that provide unique opportunities within the food and beverage industries," said Peter H. Kappel, Burcon's interim chief executive officer and chairman of the board. He added, "In particular, it is rewarding to see substantial, value-driven applications such as a methylcellulose-free solution launching in the commercial marketplace."
Merit achieved an innovative new solution in utilizing its Peazazz pea protein to replace a synthetic ingredient. When used as part of Merit's methylcellulose-free solution, its non-GMO Peazazz pea protein affords plant-based formulators a clean label option while also contributing to the total protein content with the potential to add several grams of protein per serving depending on the product. Additionally, the Peazazz-based methylcellulose-free solution provides key sensory and functionality attributes that assist in creating superior plant-based products for Merit's customers. These include a neutral flavour profile, meat-like texture, good water binding and emulsification properties, and exceptional gelling properties. Merit's unique protein-based solution is expected to be suitable for replacing methylcellulose in applications such as plant-based burgers, hot dogs, sausages and more.
"We are motivated by the potential this innovation has uncovered for formulators," said Ryan Bracken, Merit's co-chief executive officer. "We've heard from our customers the challenges of removing methylcellulose, and now Merit is able to provide them an opportunity to finally eliminate it from their products with our functional pea protein -- Peazazz. And beyond this, there's an added benefit of enhanced protein claims and a delicious sensory profile that's on par with traditional products."
Merit is currently collaborating with brands looking to develop the next generation of clean label plant-based meat applications.
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, sunflower seed, among other plant sources. In 2019, Merit Functional Foods was established between Burcon and three veteran food industry executives. Merit Foods has since built and commissioned 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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