microTERRA Launches Super Sustainable Duckweed-Based Ingredient to Reduce Sugar in F&B

microTERRA, a Mexican startup creating plant-based functional ingredients for the food industry, has launched of a new development: Flora, a protein ingredient extracted from Lemna, an aquatic plant commonly known as duckweed

microTERRA’s new ingredient enhances sweetness perception, reducing sugar in food and beverages without compromising taste and texture. “Flora helps improve people’s health by reducing the sugar content in their food while maintaining the same consumer experience,” shared Marissa Cuevas Flores, CEO and founder of microTERRA.

The ingredient also offers other features depending on the application. It can enhance a particular flavor, unmask undesired ones, or improve the mouthfeel of products by providing better texture. According to the company, Flora enables F&B companies to produce healthier and more sustainable products, from ice cream to sugar-sweetened beverages to plant-based foods.

A duckweed sample
© microTERRA

microTERRA says that is revolutionizing the food industry while addressing environmental concerns because Lemna can clean water while producing valuable compounds.

To grow Lemna, microTERRA leverages the infrastructure of existing aquaculture farms to reduce wastewater production with duckweed’s cleaning capabilities. This joint production method helps improve the income of farmers, reduce water consumption, and reduce GHG pollution.

According to the Mexican company, producing 1 kg of Flora avoids the contamination of 1,000 bathtubs of water and removes more CO2 than 55 miles driven by an average gasoline-powered vehicle.

“We have been developing circular solutions for 3 years to prevent contamination of aquatic spaces by nutrients discarded by aquaculture,” says the company.

Chocolate truffles made with Flora
© microTERRA

Clean functional ingredients

Furthermore, Lemna is an efficient (high-yield) and scalable resource with a valuable nutritional profile. It contains 40-45% crude protein (ten times more than soy), vitamin B12, dietary fibers, and phytonutrients.

microTERRA states that the launch of Flora marks a significant milestone, giving it a sustainability edge to compete in the $40 billion ingredient market. The company emphasizes that, as a platform, it will continue creating clean, functional ingredients to improve the health of people and the planet.

“Flora is the result of a lot of hard work, R&D, trial and error, late nights, amazing partners, and an incredible team. We are creating clean functional ingredients, for a cleaner future,” added Flores.

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