Functional Technologies Corp.
TSX VENTURE : FEB

Functional Technologies Corp.

February 11, 2010 09:00 ET

Functional Technologies Corp.: Phyterra Yeast™ Readies Sake Strains for Market

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 11, 2010) - Phyterra Yeast, a unit of Functional Technologies Corp. (TSX VENTURE:FEB), today announced that it has completed the development work to provide its proprietary ethyl carbamate (EC)-reducing technology in two popular sake (rice wine) yeast strains.

"The rice wine market throughout Asia is a large and interesting opportunity for us so we're thrilled to be able to move one of our key yeast technologies toward that marketplace," said Garth Greenham, President & COO. "We are now pursuing commercial relationships directly with yeast companies operating in Japan for product validation, production and distribution." 

The new EC-reducing sake strains incorporate combinations of the company's proprietary urea-degrading technologies to allow a commercial partner to test for the best blends of sensory, kinetic and performance characteristics under real-world conditions. Urea is an important precursor in the formation of ethyl carbamate (also known as urethane) in fermented foods and beverages. The World Health Organization classifies EC as a Group 2A carcinogen - the same carcinogen class as lead, mercury, acrylamide and diesel exhaust and is a key concern of cancer researchers and health regulators globally. 

The company's in-house sake production tests using the two proof-of-concept yeast strains produced an impressive 87% and 68% less EC as compared to the standard parent strains. Additionally, during development of the new strains, no differences in the fermentation profiles or final ethanol (alcohol) concentrations produced by the enhanced and control strains were noted.

About Functional Technologies Corp.

Functional Technologies develops and commercializes proprietary technologies that enhance the natural properties of yeast and algae – nature's microscopic workhorses. Our scientists apply novel techniques to these micro-celled organisms to resolve significant health and quality problems, and generate new opportunities in the global food, beverage and healthcare industries. Our first commercial products are our Phyterra™ line of proprietary yeast strains, designed to reduce the formation of foul-smelling hydrogen sulphide and the carcinogen urethane in wines and other fermented products. Our first target market is the US$1.5 billion wine and distilled spirits yeast markets. With a head office in Vancouver, Functional Technologies has research and development facilities in Prince Edward Island and a U.S. sales office in Napa Valley, California. For more information go to www.functionaltechcorp.com.

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