Burcon NutraScience Corporation has been granted two US patents for novel uses of its Supertein canola protein as a functional component in food compositions, bringing the number of patents it holds for the ingredient up to seven.
These canola protein isolate functionality patents - US Patents 7,211,286 and 7,211,288 - cover the functional uses of Supertein both in foods and a canola protein isolate fortified beverage.
The Canadian company is positioning Supertein as an ingredient that could replace other protein ingredients.
"These patents further strengthen our growing portfolio of intellectual property over canola protein extraction technologies and the use of those proteins as valuable food ingredients," said Burcon president and COO, Johann Tergesen. "Burcon and its wholly owned subsidiary now hold seven U.S. patents and numerous international patents and patent applications."
Burcon has been aggressively pushing forth its two proprietary canola protein ingredients, the other one being Puratein.
Together with agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Burcon has provided samples of Puratein and Supertein to food and beverage companies for testing potential uses in foods and dietary supplements. These material transfer agreements allow the food companies involved to test the ingredients while protecting Burcon's intellectual property interests.
The names of the partners were not disclosed, but were said to be major food and beverage companies.
Burcon says its patented protein ingredients have economic value because of their potential to replace egg, dairy and other proteins in broad applications such as emulsifying, gelling, and binding. Puratein and Supertein could appeal to the vegetarian or vegan ingredient markets because they have similar characteristics to eggs but are plant-based.
Supertein's solubility profile also lends well to beverage applications - particularly low pH beverages where traditional protein ingredients experience challenges.
The high protein efficiency ratio for canola is more than double that of soy, according to Burcon. This ratio measures a growing animal's total weight gain versus the weight of protein consumed during the same period.
Burcon says it has filed 17 additional patent applications for inventions. These include patent applications to protect novel processing for the extraction and purification of proteins from oilseed meals; other uses of Puratein and Supertein; and 'signature characteristics' of products such as its canola proteins.