Sweden’s Melt&Marble has developed what it believes is the world’s first precision fermentation-derived beef fat. The company says this could help close the “taste gap” between plant-based and animal-based foods.
In future, Melt&Marble’s platform could also be used to produce other customised fats with properties that mimic those of animal fats. According to the company, this could be a “game-changer in sustainable food production”.
Initial tests conducted on the animal-free fat have concluded that it has the same gradual melting behavior as beef fat, allowing for improved juiciness and slow flavour release.
Funding and commercialisation
Melt&Marble recently raised €5 million in its seed funding round, and intends to use the capital to scale up production and expand its team. This will help the company accelerate the commercialisation process. The funding round was led by Lever VC, with participation from others such as Be8 Ventures and Good Startup.
A growing number of companies are developing ways to improve the fat used in alt-protein products. Some have found ways to make plant-based fat more closely mimic animal fat, while others are working on cell-cultured fat. But Melt&Marble is one of the only companies to make fat using precision fermentation.
“While most people accept that we must minimize our consumption of animal-based foods, plant-based alternatives face a big hurdle,” said Melt&Marble CEO and co-founder Dr. Anastasia Krivoruchko. “The plant-based fats currently used simply do not feel, act and taste like animal-based fats. As a result, the food does not taste as good, making it less attractive to consumers. As far as we’re aware, this is the first beef-like fat prototype produced via precision fermentation. It is a groundbreaking step towards making plant-based meat tastier.”