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Ex Tyson Foods CEO Joins Former Impossible Foods’ Rachel Konrad at California’s Shiru

Shiru, a biotech startup that creates novel plant-based ingredients for the global food industry, appoints three new advisors including former president and CEO of Tyson Foods Dean Banks. Banks joins a list of industry veterans at the company including Rachel Konrad, ex-Chief Communications Officer of Impossible Foods.

Founded in 2019 and based in Emeryville, California, Shiru aims to reduce the world’s reliance on animals for food by providing sustainable, plant-based alternatives. The company is currently developing ingredients for gelation, egg replacement, and structured fats functions.

Shiru raised $17 million in a Series A round last October and was previously named winner of the DSM Meat Replacement Innovation Challenge. The three additions as announced today will comprise the Shiru advisory board, while Rachel Konrad along with specialty ingredients expert Mary T. Clarke were appointed last year to the Board of Directors.

Shiru appoints new advisory board members(2)
© Shiru

The three new members appointed to the advisory board are Dean Banks, former president and CEO of Tyson Foods; Aaron Kimball, former CTO of Zymergen; and Blaine Templeman, former Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Legal Officer of Aduro Biotech. The three will support Shiru in areas of strategy, technology, and leadership as it upscales its work in the discovery and production of novel, naturally-occurring ingredients for the plant-based food industry.

“the same performance as animal-based products, without sacrificing nutrition or taste.”

Shiru’s Flourish™ platform identifies, evaluates, and produces naturally-occurring proteins that can be utilised to replace animal-based products in food. Through partnerships with leading food organizations, Shiru states it can “help provide alternative, sustainable ingredients that achieve the same performance as animal-based products, without sacrificing nutrition or taste.”

The Shiru Team ©Shiru

“We’re thrilled to welcome Dean, Aaron, and Blaine to our advisory board and look forward to working together in our mission to feed people more sustainably,” said Jasmin Hume, PhD., founder and CEO of Shiru. “Their expertise in the food and technology industries will provide great benefits to Shiru as we continue to scale the company while discovering and producing next-generation ingredients for leading food companies.”

“Shiru’s platform for improving ingredients in many different food products is impressive to me, but I’m equally impressed with Shiru’s approach to partnering,” commented Dean Banks. “While it is valuable for some companies to make their own branded products, Shiru wants to provide ingredients to large, existing food players, shortening their timeline to reach real impact. My work with Shiru’s leadership is focused on finding the most effective and efficient pathways to commercial scale so we can see Shiru’s customers thriving quickly in a food ecosystem that’s changing before our eyes.”

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