Estonia's government innovation lab, Accelerate Estonia has announced Estonia's first public novel food tasting and one of the first public tastings of novel foods across Europe. 

© Accelerate Estonia

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Estonia to Hold First-Ever Public Novel Food Tasting Featuring Innovations by ÄIO & Gelatex

Estonia’s governmental innovation lab, Accelerate Estonia, in collaboration with the novel food startups ÄIO and Gelatex, has announced Estonia’s first public novel food tasting and one of the first public tastings of novel foods across Europe.  The event will feature dishes prepared by chef Johannes Hõimoja using novel food ingredients from ÄIO and Gelatex. It will take place on the 23rd of May during the region’s startup and tech event, Latitude59.  According to the announcement, participants will be informed about the product details, including the production process, ingredients, and allergens, and will be required to sign a consent form regarding the tasting. Fats and nanofibers for food ÄIO uses natural and precision fermentation to “brew” fats and oils using other industries’ side streams, such as sawdust. Its products can replace palm …

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Otter Box iphone range

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Leather Alternatives

OtterBox Launches Desserto Cactus Leather Cases for iPhone 15 and Apple Watches

OtterBox launches a new and luxurious mobile phone case made from Desserto, a plant-based material derived from the Nopal cactus, to the iPhone 15 series and Apple Watches. According to the company, the Symmetry Series cactus leather cases can withstand everyday drops and bumps. The case also features raised edges for added protection around the display and camera. The Symmetry Series Cactus Leather Case is MagSafe compatible, so MagSafe accessories can be connected at any time. The OtterBox Apple Watch band made from cactus leather rounds off the range of accessories and is designed to be worn all day long. The cactus leather watch bands are characterized by precise stitching and perfect integration with the Apple Watch, according to the company. Made from the same …

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Cedric Verstraeten revyve CEO

Cedric Verstraeten © revyve

Interviews

revyve: “Our Animal-Free Ingredients Are All-Natural, Helping to Create the Delicious Food Experiences Consumers Crave”

revyve is a foodtech scale-up specializing utilizing innovative fermentation technologies to transform waste streams from food processing industries into valuable, nutritious components. “The secret to unlocking the perfect texture in food can be as simple and sustainable as upcycling brewer’s yeast. And we can help humanity in the process,” says the Netherlands-based biomass fermentation company. We had a quick catch-up with CEO Cedric Verstraeten about the company, its purpose, and impressive capacity: “We will reach a production capacity of 300 tons by the end of this year. That’s equivalent to the capacity of 80,000 egg-laying hens; if used in burgers that’s enough for 75 million burgers!” Tell us a bit about revyve and its mission. revyve co-founders Corjan van den Berg and Edgar Suarez Garcia …

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Raw potato on color background

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Egg Alternatives

PoLoPo Seeks USDA Approval, Says Production of Egg Proteins in “Plants, Not Animals, Will Set Off a Domino Effect in Sustainability”

Israeli agrifood startup PoLoPo announces it has initiated the regulatory approval process to grow egg proteins in genetically modified potatoes in the USA.  PoLoPo explains that it has applied for a Regulatory Status Review (RSR) to the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to review its molecular farming platform called Super AA. The approval process evaluates whether GMO potatoes are as safe for agriculture and do not present additional pest risks as conventionally farmed potatoes. The USDA approval, expected within six months, will allow the company to advance its commercial plans, including partnering with local farmers to use its technology. The startup claims to be the first Israeli molecular farming company to seek US regulatory approval. PoLoPo CEO Maya Sapir-Mir comments: “This …

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Insa Mohr, CEO of Mooji Meats

Insa Mohr, courtesy of Mooji Meats

Interviews

Mooji Meats: “As Ribeyes Are Arguably the Most Popular Yet Intricate Meats, We Chose Them as Our Flagship Product”

Mooji Meats, a Harvard spinoff that has developed a premium plant-based ribeye steak with the aim of bringing meat alternatives to fine dining, was founded in 2022 and quickly saw success after participating in the Y Combinator accelerator program. Previously utilizing a 3d printing methodology, the startup has now developed a more natural process whereby its proprietary platform replicates muscle structure with plant fibers, claiming to offer the firmest texture and most authentic mouthfeel available. The plant-based steak is described as juicy with real marbling and connective tissues that mimic animal meat when cut. We spoke with CEO and founder Insa Mohr, who explains that European consumers are more open than Americans to trying plant-based meats, and that, in many ways, Mooji “is bridging the …

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CEO's Linda Obregon and Karina Zegarra of Peruvian Veef

Linda Obregon and Karina Zegarra © Peruvian Veef

Fundraising

Peruvian Veef Secures $320K in First Funding Round, Aims for Latin American Expansion

Peruvian Veef, a plant-based food startup in South America, has raised $320,000 in its first funding round, led by US-based venture capital investors. This round included contributions from Ahimsa Foundation and Sustainable Food Ventures, along with a non-dilutive government grant from ProInnovate Peru. Founded by Karina Zegarra, with a focus on affordable, locally-made plant-based meat alternatives, the company has developed a range of 11 products inspired by Latin American cuisine, including beef, chicken, cold-cuts, and traditional Peruvian dishes like anticucho and grilled chicken. According to the company, these products are competitively priced at less than half of some imported alternatives. The company has established a significant presence in the local market, with its products available in over 70 stores and leading sales at Peru’s specialty …

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Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

60% of US Consumers Open to Cultivated Chicken, Beef, & Pork Despite Taste and Health Doubts, Finds Survey

A Consumer Food Insights survey, used by Purdue University to track consumer perceptions of cultivated meat, has found that around 60% of consumers are willing to try cultivated beef, chicken, and pork in restaurants, while around 30% are unwilling. 1,200 of the consumers surveyed were presented with a list including familiar animals, such as chicken, cow, and pig, as well as several exotic creatures. They were asked to group the animals based on their willingness to try conventional and cultivated meat cuts in a professional restaurant setting, classifying them as either ‘willing to try’ or ‘not willing to try.’ Conventional vs cultivated From all the animals listed, consumers were shown to be more willing to eat the animal-derived meat than cultivated meat, even in the case of exotic animals. The most …

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Meatable sausages

© Meatable

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Meat Industry Veteran Jeff Tripician of Perdue Appointed New CEO of Meatable, Former Tyson Foods CEO Joins Board

Meatable, the Dutch producer of cultivated pork meat, announces that, in preparation for US market expansion, CEO and co-founder Krijn de Nood has stepped down from the role and has been succeeded by Jeff (“Trip”) Tripician effective June 17. Concurrently, Dean Banks, former president and CEO of Tyson Foods, joins the Board of Directors. Krijn de Nood will continue to serve on the Board. Meatable is known for its cost-effective production platform using pluripotent stem cells, which it claims takes just four days to develop product “from cell to sausage”, making it the quickest cell-cultivating method in the world. “This process is 60 times faster than traditional pig farming and involves nothing more than pulling a single cell once from a pig without causing harm,” …

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Dancing Cow

© Dancing Cow

Politics & Law

India’s PBFIA Calls for Plant-Based Milk Labeling Restrictions to Be Eased

Speaking at the Plant Based Foods Summit in New Delhi on May 21, India’s Plant Based Foods Industry Association (PBFIA) has called for the easing of labeling restrictions that currently prevent the use of the word “milk” on plant-based product packaging. Currently, milk alternatives sold in India are required to be labeled with the disclaimer “This is not dairy”, and the use of any dairy terms on their packaging is banned. But Sanjay Sethi, Executive Director of PBFIA, urged the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to reconsider. This would not be unprecedented; in the US, the FDA released draft guidance last year stating that milk alternatives can be called “milk”, in recognition of the fact that this terminology is commonly used by …

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Freshcut Foods

© Freshcut Foods

Investments & Acquisitions

UK Food & Beverage M&A Activity Reaches Highest Deal Volume Since 2016

A report by corporate finance house Oghma Partners has found an increase in merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the UK food and beverage sector. Deal volume increased in the first four months of 2024 compared to the same period in 2023, reaching the highest levels since T1 2016. However, deal values remained low; only 4.7% of deals were above £50.0 million in Enterprise Value, and none surpassed £100.0 million. Total deal value decreased by 31.7% compared to the same period last year. This is largely due to challenging macroeconomic headwinds in the UK, which have persisted despite the recent easing of market conditions. Furthermore, 14% of deals were acquisitions out of administration, as inflation and high interest created a difficult trading and funding environment …

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ScaleUp Bio has secured a food manufacturing license from the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) for its commercial pilot production facility in Tuas, western Singapore. 

Image courtesy of ScaleUp Bio

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

ADM’s ScaleUp Bio Secures Food Manufacturing License for Novel Proteins in Singapore

ScaleUp Bio, Singapore’s pioneer provider of CDMO services for microbial and precision fermentation, has secured a food manufacturing license from the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) for its commercial pilot production facility in Tuas, western Singapore.  The FSA ensures that food production practices meet established safety standards by inspecting infrastructure and facilities. It also requires proper training, collaboration, and regulatory adherence to maintain high hygiene and operational quality levels. The company states that this milestone positions it as one of the few approved CDMOs offering fermentation services at 10,000 L for food ingredients worldwide. Francisco Codoñer, CEO of ScaleUp Bio, shares, “ScaleUp Bio’s value proposition offers anyone with the next best concept in food to bring that idea to reality, and to pilot stage commercial production in Singapore, backed by a …

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RollinGreens bowls

© RollinGreens

Products & Launches

Shark Tank’s RollinGreens Introduces Shelf-Stable Plant-Powered Meal Bowls

RollinGreens, a shelf-stable plant-based meat brand that found fame on the TV show Shark Tank, has announced the release of its latest product line, Plant-Powered Meal Bowls. These new meal solutions are designed to provide a convenient and nutritious option for those with busy lifestyles, combining high protein content with ease of preparation. Based in Boulder, RollinGreens was launched in 2020 and quickly gained prominence after the appearance on Shark Tank, resulting in a significant increase in sales. The brand has since expanded its offerings to include various shelf-stable plant-based products, such as vegan chorizo and CHIC’KEN, along with its flagship M’EAT line. The company now offers products in over 4,500 stores across the United States. The new Plant-Powered Meal Bowls are available in four …

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Plantbased Business Hour

Why Institutional and Philanthropic Investors Are Focusing on Food – the Milken Institute on the Plant Based Business Hour

Caitlin MacLean, Senior Director of Innovative Finance at the Milken Institute, and Holly Freishtat, Senior Director at Feeding Change, join Elysabeth Alfano on The Plantbased Business Hour to discuss blended capital and why institutional and philanthropic investors are using this approach to focus on food. Specifically, they discuss: What is the Milken Institute’s Feeding Change initiative? What does it aim to accomplish? Holly, what were your takeaways from COP28, and have you seen this play out in the finance community thus far? Is investing in food systems transformation considered innovative finance? If so, why? When do we think Wall Street capital, a major component of blended capital, will come into play? How will this transpire? No one knows the future, but if we had to …

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Oobli and Grupo Bimbo have partnered to incorporate sweet proteins into baked goods.

© Oobli

Fermentation

Oobli’s Microbial Proteins to Sweeten Bimbo’s Baked Goods in a “Completely New Way”

California’s Oobli has partnered with Grupo Bimbo, a Mexican multinational food company touted as the largest bakery company in the United States and with a presence in 33+ countries, to introduce into baked goods its ultra-sweet proteins made with precision fermentation. This collaboration marks Oobli’s first global CPG partnership and Grupo Bimbo’s first time testing sweet proteins in products. Bimbo owns Oroweat, New York Bakery Co., and Entenmann’s, among other brands.  Oobli’s novel microbial proteins, which recently achieved GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status, are described as natural sweeteners that, unlike traditional sugar, do not lead to diabetes, obesity, or sugar cravings because they are digested as protein rather than carbohydrates.  Ali Wing, CEO of Oobli, commented, “Sweet proteins have the potential to revolutionize sweetness and are a completely new way to think about how we …

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Iowa state flag

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Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Iowa Implements “Meat Integrity Bill” for Cultivated & Plant-Based Meats, Becomes 3rd State to Enforce Restrictions

Iowa has become the third state to pass legislation regulating the labeling of lab-grown meat and alternative meat products. Governor Kim Reynolds recently signed into law Bill SF 2391, known as the “Iowa Meat Integrity Bill,” which mandates specific labeling requirements for lab-grown and plant-based imitation meat and egg products sold in the state.  Effective July 1, products that include lab-grown meat and plant-based meat alternatives will need to be labeled with terms such as “fake,” “lab-grown,” “meatless,” “imitation,” or “vegan.” This legislation follows similar measures taken by Florida and Alabama, which have implemented total bans on cultivated meat earlier this month.  The new law aims to prevent consumers from being misled by products that resemble traditional meat or egg products but are derived from …

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© SHICKEN

Company News

SHICKEN Unveils “Category First” Allergen-Free Plant-Based Chicken with Locally Sourced Ingredients

Fast-growing challenger brand SHICKEN Foods announces what the company describes as a category first: a plant-based chicken recipe that is free from the top 14 allergens, created solely with British ingredients at its newly certified allergen-free site, in Kent, England. As part of its strategy to make plant-based food more inclusive, removing consumption barriers around dietary requirements, SHICKEN explains that the recipe reformula involves a switch from soy and wheat to pea proteins, sourced from peas farmed in East Anglia; reportedly making it the first meat alternative protein in the UK to be allergen-free whilst using completely home-grown ingredients. This March, the British Asian pioneers received a further investment from Veg Capital to the tune of £4 million, bringing the total funding to date to …

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Steakholder Foods’ plant-based, 3D-printed Steaks.

© Steakholder Foods

Company News

New Partnership Aims to Revolutionise Taiwanese Cuisine with Steakholder Foods’ 3D Printing Tech

Steakholder Foods Ltd and the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) of Taiwan announce a partnership to develop and commercialise a range of products using Steakholder Foods’ 3D printing technology and plant-based premixes specifically tailored to Taiwanese cuisine. The company’s ready blends were launched on the US market just last month, marketed as SHMeat and SHFish, entailing blended dried extracts of ingredients ready for mixing to create 3D-printed plant-based beef steak and white fish products. Diminishing Taiwan’s reliance on animal meat Under the new agreement, Steakholder Foods will collaborate with ITRI to develop commercial plant-based meat alternatives, enabling Taiwan to produce its own meat alternatives. Leveraging Steakholder Foods’ technology, this partnership aims to diminish Taiwan’s reliance on traditional meat supply chains, fostering greater food diversity and …

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© CRAVE

Sweets & Snacks

CRAVE Launches the “UK’s First” Gluten-Free & Vegan Doughnuts for Air Fryers

UK free-from food brand CRAVE has announced the launch of its first frozen product, a pack of six sugar ring doughnuts that are vegan and free from gluten and dairy. Called CRAVE Dodoughs, the doughnuts are said to be the first in the UK to feature air fryer instructions on pack. They are formulated to withstand high cooking temperatures, and can be prepared in an air fryer in just five minutes. They can also be microwaved in 30 seconds. “We’ve been working on these bad boys for a few months now and I’m super excited to bring sweet and fluffy treats to the masses,” said CRAVE founder Rob Brice. “Fresh doughnuts can often go hard and stale quite quickly, but that won’t be a problem …

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a 3-d printed steak on a plate

© Redefine Meat

Studies & Numbers

Israel’s Alt Protein Industry Poised to Generate 10,000 Jobs and $2.5 Billion by 2030, New Report Predicts

A report has been published by the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA), the World Economic Forum (WEF) through the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR) network led by C4IR Israel, and the Good Food Institute Israel. The paper examines the role of government support for alternative proteins and presents the Israeli ecosystem as an innovative blueprint for other nations to adopt. The report’s promising projections suggest that by 2030, with a well-coordinated national support strategy, Israel could support over 200 alternative protein companies and establish a dozen manufacturing facilities.  This growth could create 10,000 jobs — one-third of which would be in manufacturing — and contribute an estimated $2.5 billion to the economy through exports, wages, and taxes. In addition, the report’s figures show that Israel ranks second …

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Boermarke plant-based cheeses

© Boermarke

Cheese Alternatives

Boermarke Develops “Breakthrough” Plant-Based Cheeses With Added Protein

Dutch dairy alternatives producer Boermarke has announced the development of a new range of plant-based cheeses with added vitamins and 10% protein. Described as a “breakthrough”, the protein-rich products are made with a fermentation process to replicate the taste and texture of cheese. The range features three flavours — Gouda, Cumin, and Mediterranean — all with a Nutriscore of either B or C. This indicates that they are high in fibre and low in saturated fat and salt. The plant-based cheeses will launch at select retailers across Europe on June 1, and will be available to taste at the PLMA trade show in Amsterdam from May 28-29. Boermarke will be in Hall 5 at stand C.13. “Healthy and delicious” Previously a conventional dairy producer, Boermarke …

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