Lypid, a startup specializing in plant-based fats, has secured a $4 million seed raise to scale PhytoFat – a platform for creating animal-like fats from plant oils. Lypid plans to bring its product to market in 2022 before a wider expansion in the US, Europe and Asia.
Created by Jen-Yu Huang and Michelle Lee, Lypid’s PhytoFat platform uses microencapsulation to trap liquid plant oils in water, yielding a product with animal fat-like qualities. The PhytoFat maintains its characteristics when heated above 329 degrees Fahrenheit (165 Celsius), providing vegan fat with a juicier texture, better melting behavior and improved nutrition profile.
PhytoFat can be customized to suit different meat-fat applications, such as chicken or beef, and contains no artificial additives, hydrogenation, or trans fats.
Using lighter oils
To create its PhytoFat formulas, Lypid primarily uses monounsaturated oils such as sunflower and olive oils – a feature that could help plant-based brands reduce their products’ saturated fat content, according to Food Navigator. Most plant-based meats today utilize saturated fat-heavy ingredients like coconut and palm oil.
Furthermore, the founders assert all the oils, gums and fibers used in PhytoFat formulas are food-grade and enjoy Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status, ensuring that PhytoFat will likely receive a full GRAS approval.
The $4 million funding raise was led by Green Generation Fund with support from Big Idea Ventures and SOSV’s IndieBio, among other firms. By offering more flavorful and healthy fats with higher melting points, Lypid’s founders say PhytoFat offers a revolutionary way to craft animal-free meats.
“We see fat as a critical catalyst to bring meat alternatives to the next level—tastier, healthier, and more sustainable,” said co-founder Jen-Yu Huang. “Now our goal is to bring production of PhytoFat to the industrial level. We are aiming to produce more than 10 tons per year for each production line.”