Burcon losses grow with canola protein delay

Related tags Protein

Burcon Nutrascience Corporation saw its losses increase to $637,306
in the third quarter 2004, during which carried out additional
research into the extraction and production of canola proteins
Puratein and Supertein.

In the comparative prior year period Burcan reported a loss of $579,818. For the nine months ended December 31 2004 its losses totaled almost $2.5 million, compared to $1.8 million last year.

Burcon signed a licensing and development agreement with Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) in September 2003 bring its canola protein ingredients to market. After 12 months' research and development the two companies decided to hold off from submitting samples of Puratein and Supertein for regulatory tests while they carried out additional research into how to reduce the color and flavor of the proteins.

Despite the continuing investigations, which looks set to push back the launch of the canola proteins until 2007, R&D expenses for the quarter fell from $156,513 in 2003 to $136,903. This doesn't mean that the company's cogs are turning more slowly, however: it has attributed the drop to amortization.

While general and administrative expenses also fell, professional fees soared from $82,722 to $203,068 as Burcon continued to file patents for its technology - a process it began in 1Q 2004.

In January Burcon announced that the additional research has yielded positive outcomes to date and that it is currently looking at two possible alterations to the canola protein which it is hoped will make Puratein and Supertein more appealing not only to manufacturers of vegetarian and health foods but also to mainstream companies such as Unilever, Kraft and Nestle.

"We are looking to sell very large quantities on a global basis,"​ president and COO Johann Tergesen told NutraIngredients-USA.com​ in January.

Canola is the world's second largest oilseed crop after soybeans. It possesses a high level of protein purity without prohibitive fat levels and an amino acid content comparable to animal proteins and superior to that of soy proteins.

Its high protein efficiency ratio - the measure of a growing animal's total weight gain versus the weight of protein consumed during the growing period - is, according to Burcon, more than double that of soy.

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