Functional Technologies Corp. (TSX-V: FEB) (the "Company") to report that efficacy studies conducted on end-user materials, investigating the Company’s proprietary acrylamide-preventing (AP) yeast technology in a novel food application, have demonstrated significant reduction of asparagine. Moreover, the reduction was achieved well under the normal processing times associated with the application. Asparagine is a key precursor to the formation of the mutagen (i.e. carcinogenic), as well as neurologically and reproductively toxic chemical, acrylamide. Functional Technologies previously demonstrated that the ability of its technology to reduce asparagine has been significantly effective in preventing the formation of, and thereby reducing, acrylamide.
The initial studies described here involved mixing Functional Technologies’ in-house AP yeast strains, possessing varying asparagine-reducing strengths, with a commercial dry mixture employed in the production of various kinds of food products. Under normal commercial production conditions, the dry mix is subjected to various processing protocols, including a 2-hour fermentation period, which naturally yield high levels of asparagine (i.e. not artificially elevated). Consequently, highly elevated levels of acrylamide are observed in the end-food product.
Under simulated commercial conditions, significant reduction of asparagine was observed consistently and in a time-dependent manner with each Functional Technologies’ AP yeast strain tested—a clear and positive response. Moreover, one specific yeast variant demonstrated particularly strong results, wherein under the standard conditions defined by the third party, asparagine was reduced by more than 45% within the first 30 minutes of treatment, 95% within 90 minutes, and to undetectable levels within 120 minutes. Control tests using ordinary baker’s yeast strains showed no reduction of asparagine levels, at any time, within the conventional 120-minute processing period.
Minor optimization of processing parameters, within pre-determined acceptable levels, enabled the aforementioned specific yeast variant to reduce asparagine by 70% within 30 minutes of treatment, and asparagine was undetectable within 60 minutes. That the substantial reduction observed was provided considerably under the conventional processing time has been well received from a technical evaluation perspective. In part, it suggests that at minimum, the relevant food processing protocols are not likely to require significant adjustment, providing the potential for seamless adoption of Functional Technologies’ novel AP yeast technologies.
“Studies like the one we’ve reported on today are positive for Functional Technologies not only in substantiating the ability of our yeast technologies to prevent and reduce acrylamide in multiple commercial food applications, but also speak to the benefits of our strategy to pursue working relationships with innovative thought leaders and principals in the food industries,” said Howard Louie, chairman and CEO of Functional Technologies. “Collaborative access to materials and protocols commonly used in commercial applications helps facilitate more rapid and efficient optimization of our technology, as well as effectively demonstrating its strengths to existing and interested global partners. This in turn provides pathways by which our platform-based technologies can be advanced and expanded on commercially. More than ever, we are excited about the Company’s prospects.”
About Functional Technologies Corp.
Functional Technologies develops and commercializes proprietary, advanced yeast-based solutions to significant challenges in the food, beverage and healthcare industries. The Company’s platform improves the performance of innate yeast functions, and prevents the formation of naturally occurring toxins and contaminants that either affect final product quality or are classified by the World Health Organization as probable human carcinogens. Functional Technologies’ lead technologies include yeasts that prevent and reduce the formation of the foul-smelling hydrogen sulphide (H2S) and the carcinogens acrylamide and ethyl carbamate (more commonly known as urethane), by-products of food and beverage processing. These contaminants are found in many commonly consumed items, such as fermented food products and alcoholic beverages, and baked and fried foods. With a head office in Vancouver, Functional Technologies Corp. has R&D operations in Prince Edward Island and Europe, as well as a U.S. sales office in Napa Valley, California. For more information, please visit our website at www.functionaltechcorp.com.