Vancouver, BC-based Burcon NutraScience Corporation has announced the appointment of Randy Willardsen to the newly-created position of Senior Vice President, Process. 

Willardsen will be responsible for process development at the Burcon Technical Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He will lead the process engineering team as they continue research and development of Burcon’s protein extraction and purification technology, and develop process enhancements with a view to commercializing Puratein, while also broadening the application of the Company’s patented protein extraction process to include additional oilseed sources.

Several of Willardsen’s innovations in the field of protein isolation technologies have been used throughout the food industry, including a unique microfiltration system for the production of whey protein isolates. He has over twenty years of experience in the fields of membrane filtration and food, dairy, and biotechnology processes.

Willardsen was the founder of Separation Technology, Inc (STI), a leading supplier of membrane-based purification equipment and related services to the food industry with particular emphasis on dairy and beverage applications. STI and its UK sister company, SeparaTech Ltd. were acquired by Ionics Inc. in 1996. 

Willardsen was also co-founder of both Inprotech Corporation, a supplier of high quality whey proteins to the US market, and BioPlex Nutrition, a nutritional supplement company focused on formulated protein supplements. With BioPlex, he served as technical director, and oversaw manufacturing of all products until the company was sold in 1999.

Most recently, Willardsen founded Gallo Protein, a partnership with Joseph Gallo Farms to produce highly purified whey protein isolates. He successfully commissioned the Gallo Protein extraction and purification facility in 2000 and currently acts as technical director for the company.

Through Willardsen Consulting & Engineering Inc, Willardsen has worked with Burcon since April 2001, providing advisory services and technical reviews of the Company’s extraction technology. 

Johann Tergesen, Burcon’s President & COO, commented: “As we continue the research and development of our extraction and purification process, Willardsen’s experience in delivering industrial scale protein isolation processes will prove to be an invaluable asset to our Company.

“Randy is a leader and an innovator with the background, professional skills, and in-depth understanding of our process necessary to take our technology to the next level.”

Burcon NutraScience Corporation is developing a novel plant protein purification and extraction technology. The goal of Burcon’s research is to develop its patented process to utilize inexpensive oilseed meals for the production of highly purified plant proteins that exhibit both valuable nutritional profiles and functionality.

Burcon is currently focusing its efforts on developing the world’s first commercial canola protein, PurateinTM. Canola, recognized for its nutritional qualities, is Canada’s largest oilseed crop and the second largest in the world after soybean. Burcon’s goal is to develop Puratein to participate with soy, dairy, and egg proteins in the expanding multi-billion dollar protein ingredient market with potential uses in prepared foods, nutritional supplements, and personal care products.