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. 

“This strategic partnership is a major step forward in globalizing sweet proteins as the leading sweetness alternative”

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 can use protein to rehabilitate foods to create healthy sweetness.”  

A range of different sugars
© nur – stock.adobe.com

No sugar or artificial sweeteners

Oobli explains that brazzein proteins, derived from the fruit of the Oubli plant and also utilized by Sweegen, are up to 2,500 times sweeter than sugar and can replace it by 70% or more in food and beverages. In baked goods, they can sweeten products in a “completely new way” and replace the sugar used as a binding agent. 

“We’re thrilled to bring the groundbreaking innovation of Oobli sweet proteins to market in our delicious baked goods”

In addition, precision-fermentation ingredients have the potential to offer climate-friendly, long-term alternatives to traditional products, including cane sugar production, by using less land, water, and energy. According to Oobli, “Every one percent of sugar production reduction made possible by fermentation equals 525,000 net acres of land saved.”

Constantino Matouk, VP of Global Bimbo Ventures, Grupo Bimbo, shared, “We’re thrilled to bring the groundbreaking innovation of Oobli sweet proteins to market in our delicious baked goods. Oobli sweet proteins are a perfect fit for the countless consumers who are actively looking to include more proteins in their diet.”

Oobli, a Sweet protein developer from California, formerly Joywell Foods, has received what it claims to be the FDA's first "No questions" letter for a brazzein protein made with precision fermentation.
© Oobli

Globalizing sweet proteins

Oobli was founded in 2014 to offer the sweetness of sugar without its adverse health impacts. After many years of R&D, the company has developed a platform to produce sweet proteins from brazzein and other fruits and berries using precision fermentation and microbes, including yeast. In 2023, Oobli introduced a range of sweet ice tea and, recently, a new line of chocolates featuring its sweet proteins. 

Other precision fermentation-derived proteins reaching consumers at scale include Perfect Day’s fermented whey, launched in many products, including Strive’s animal-free whey milk and Unilever’s new chocolate ice cream

Mushroom innovator MycoTechnology is also scaling the production of a sweet protein found in truffles to commercialize it as a natural sweetener that is said to be 1000 to 2500 times sweeter than sucrose.

Wing added, “Grupo Bimbo and Oobli are committed to bringing the innovation of sweet proteins to Grupo Bimbo’s industry-leading baked goods without impacting existing flavor profiles. This strategic partnership is a major step forward in globalizing sweet proteins as the leading sweetness alternative.”




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