Cubiq Foods, a Spanish startup developing cultivated fat for plant-based alternatives, has completed a $6 million funding from investors including US meat giant Cargill. Cubiq is now set to launch its first cultivated fat ingredient onto the market by 2023.
“Consumer interest in plant-based protein continues to be a strong trend,” – Cargill
Catalonia-based Cubiq’s latest round of investment will allow the biotech company to expand commercial and production operations in North America and Europe. Cargill’s investment comes in the form of a strategic partnership that includes a product development plan and a commercial agreement to market and sell Cubiq products.
Also backed by Blue Horizon Ventures, Cubiq launched a plant-based fat replacer ingredient called Go!Drop last year, claimed to be a viable alternative to animal fats in a variety of products. Later this year, Cubiq will launch Go!Mega3, a new generation of micro-encapsulated omega 3 for functional food, with the launch of its first cultivated fat-based ingredient due to hit the US market in 2023.
Controversial meat giant Cargill will be particularly interested in the potential of Cubiq Foods’ cell-cultivated fat, which can give alt meats and plant-based products an authentic meat flavor profile. Cargill has been increasingly diversifying into the plant-based sphere, following the launch of its own plant-based protein brand in China and even a new vegan chocolate range.
“Consumer interest in plant-based protein continues to be a strong trend, expanding the innovation opportunity for food manufacturers looking to address this demand,” stated Vivek Cherian, Meat and Dairy Alternatives Category Leader for Edible Oils at Cargill.
CUBIQ Foods CEO Andrés Montefeltro said: “The process towards sustainable food has begun. Aspects such as producing food with less reliance on scarce ingredients, always keeping in mind the nutritional aspect and improving juiciness and consumer experience, are now imperative in the development of new food products. We are developing ingredients and processes to help the food industry succeed and lead the constant evolution of today’s food chain.”