PHOENIX, May 22, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- NutraCea (NTRZ) , a world leader in stabilized rice bran (SRB), nutrient research and technology, announced today that the Company has received approval from the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), a subsidiary of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), to provide its SRB as an "enhancer" to food companies that prepare comminuted meat and poultry products. These products include meat and poultry sausages that contain binders, nugget-shaped patties, meatballs, meatloaf, and meat and poultry patties.
Brad Edson, NutraCea's President and Chief Executive Officer said, "The USDA approval presents an important opportunity for NutraCea to begin to supply hundreds of new customers in the meat industry with stabilized rice bran. It should be a welcome event for meat industry customers, who will be able to capture cost savings and improve product yields."
Separately, an independent study conducted recently at Iowa State University demonstrated that SRB added to chicken nuggets and hot dogs yielded a host of benefits, ranging from cost savings to better nutrition.
The study performed at Iowa State by PHD Technologies and overseen by its founder, Gits Prabhu, Ph.D, one of the industry's leading meat science authorities, demonstrated a wide range of benefits by adding SRB to chicken nuggets and hot dogs. Dr. Prabhu said, "We are enthusiastic about the results, which clearly demonstrate significant cost savings, increased yield, a healthier nutritional profile and minimal change in taste when NutraCea's SRB is added to chicken nuggets and hot dogs."
Dr. Prabhu added, "According to our research, incorporating SRB at 2 percent and 3.5 percent inclusion levels in chicken nuggets lowered production costs by $0.02 and $0.04 respectively per pound. In hot dogs the production costs are reduced by $0.01 and $0.02 respectively per pound when SRB is used at 2 percent and 3.5 percent inclusion levels.
Kody Newland, Senior Vice President of Sales at NutraCea said, "In 2007, consumers spent more than $4.1 billion on hot dogs and sausages in U.S. supermarkets -- that equals more than 1.5 billion pounds of hot dogs and sausages bought at retail stores alone."
"Domestically, the addition of SRB to hot dogs and sausages is permissible at a 3.5 percent maximum inclusion level as a functional ingredient and in certain countries outside the U.S. it can be much higher than that. This represents a new channel of distribution for NutraCea and we intend to pursue this marketing opportunity on a global scale," added Newland.
The Company said that, historically, rice bran has been fed to livestock, and adding it to meat during the processing phase is actually a more efficient and environmentally sound use of the product. "It takes approximately six pounds of grain to produce one pound of beef, and it's a four-to-one ratio in pork. By adding SRB to these meats during the formulation phase, we are, in fact, utilizing the product more efficiently and making more food available at lower cost -- at a time when food prices are spiraling out of control," said Leo Gingras, NutraCea's Chief Operating Officer.
Gingras added, "We have filed provisional patents both domestically and internationally to protect our new product for meat enhancement and with regulatory approval now in place in the U.S. we are poised to supply SRB for this application worldwide."
NutraCea is a leader in stabilized rice bran nutrient research and dietary supplement development. Through its wholly owned subsidiary, RiceX, the Company manufactures and distributes products and food ingredients made from rice bran through its proprietary technology and processes. NutraCea has developed intellectual properties to create a range of proprietary product formulations, delivery systems and whole food nutrition products. The Company's proprietary technology enables the creation of food and nutrition products from rice bran, normally a by-product of standard rice processing. In addition to its whole foods products, NutraCea develops families of health- promoting "nutraceuticals," including natural arthritis relief and cholesterol-lowering products. More information can be found in the Company's filings with the SEC and at its Web site http://www.NutraCea.com.
This release contains forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements regarding the successful introduction of SRB as an additive to meat and poultry products, the anticipated cost future cost savings from the addition of SRB and NutraCea's ability to obtain patent protection regarding the related technology, all of which statements are subject to market and other risks. These statements are made based upon current expectations and actual results may differ from those projected, due to a number of risks and uncertainties. The Company does not undertake to update forward-looking statements in this news release to reflect actual results, changes in assumptions or changes in other factors affecting such forward-looking information. Assumptions and other information that could cause results to differ from those set forth in the forward-looking information can be found in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company's most recent periodic report.