Losses at Burcon Nutra Sciences, the Canadian company specialising in the extraction of plant proteins for the supplement and nutraceutical markets, has reported losses of C$3.9 million (€2.6m) for the year to 31 March compared to C$2.1 million a year earlier.
The company said that the losses were due to the additional costs entailed by expanding its operations in Canada, including the acquisition of plant equipment and the hiring of scientific and management personnel.
Further expansion is due this year, and Burcon recently carried out a number of fund-raising measures to help it finance this growth. The expansion will focus on improving protein extraction and purification technology and the development of new related products, among others
Despite the increased losses, 2002 was a good year for the company, with a number of significant developments including the discovery that the extraction technology could be used to produce protein isolates from oilseeds other than canola, rapeseed and mustard, such as flax.
The company also developed a number of innovative uses for the proteins as functional and nutritional food ingredients, as well as introducing a new product, Supertein, to complement its existing Puratein canola protein product.
The principal target for the 2003 fiscal year is to market Puratein and Supertein as quickly as possible, and with that in mind, Burcon said it planned to seek a partnership or a strategic alliance.