Agriculture / Agribusiness

Biotech Startup Amfora and AI Company McClintock Partner to Meet Sustainable Plant-Protein Demand With Improved Soy Crops

US biotech startup Amfora and McClintock LLC, an AI startup focused on agriculture, have announced a strategic collaboration to improve the protein content of certain varieties of soy and their crops’ yield. 

The collaboration aims to create a scalable, low-cost, high-density source of plant protein ingredients for the alt protein sector by combining each company’s specialized science and tools.

“Our protein-rich crops will enable the manufacturers of plant-based meat, dairy, and seafood to meet the growing consumer demand for their products at lower costs while allowing them to take meaningful steps to address the climate crisis,” said Dr. Michael Lassner, CSO of Amfora.

“Together, we are working to develop soybean varieties that not only provide high yields but also meet the increasing demand for protein-rich crops in a sustainable manner,” said Avi Kaler, CTO of McClintock. 

© Benson Hill

Soybean breeding program

Based in San Francisco, California, Amfora’s mission is to nourish the world’s population while reducing the cost of food and its environmental impact on the planet. The company, focused on harnessing the power of biology, is building a technology platform that uses gene editing to enhance the nutritional density of food and feed crops

McClintock LLC was established in 2022, in St. Louis, Missouri, by Hongjie GuoTom Brutnell, and Avi Kaler, former employees of Benson Hill, a company specializing in plant ingredients, including soy, which claims to be one the fastest-growing food tech companies in the country. The young company helps agriculture firms with plant breeding and crop performance using data analytics and predictive modeling.

Under the collaboration, McClintock will use its “state-of-the-art” AI and machine learning algorithms to identify in Amfora’s germplasm collection to identify the key genetic markers and traits associated with high-yield and ultra-high protein content.

“By leveraging McClintock’s AI platform to advance our soybean breeding program, we will accelerate our efforts to develop soy as a scalable, low-cost, high-density protein source for plant-based replacements of animal protein,” added Lassner.

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