Israeli plant-based nutrition company Equinom has joined forces with Mexican sesame seed processor Dipasa to develop a sesame seed variety with a higher protein content. The seeds will be created without genetic modification.
Ordinary sesame seeds are about 23% protein, yielding a concentrate that is about 50% protein. Soy and pea concentrates are about 70% protein, meaning that sesame can’t currently compete for applications where protein content is important.
But the new seed variety will provide a concentrate with a comparable protein content to soy and peas. According to Equinom and Dipasa, this means it has huge potential as an affordable functional ingredient in plant-based products.
Equinom will use technologies such as genomic optimization algorithms and an AI application profiler to develop the new variety, which Dipasa will process and deliver to the market.
Making alt-meat cleaner
Last year, Equinom raised $10M in a round led by BASF Venture Capital to accelerate its global expansion. It also announced plans to promote agricultural biodiversity in order to avoid crop failures. Previously, the company has said it aims to help producers develop cleaner alt-meat products with its non-GMO crossbreeding technology.
“Protein content has been the main barrier for sesame protein,” said César Coello, CEO of Dipasa. “Having the ability to supply a sesame flour with a higher protein content will provide customers with an even better alternative to commonly used plant-based proteins, because of multiple characteristics that comply with current market demands: Non-GMO, Organic, Kosher/Halal Certified, Gluten-Free. Combined with a very neutral flavor profile that makes it an extremely adaptable ingredient, Smarter Sesame Protein will be a unique addition to the plant-based protein industry.”