Australian fermented fats producer Nourish Ingredients, founded by scientists Dr. James Petrie and Dr. Ben Leita, announces today a raise of $11 million (USD) of investment from Horizons, the venture firm of Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing, as well as the Australian government’s Main Sequence Ventures.
Nourish Ingredients has developed a fermentation process that recreates the molecular structure of animal fats in order to mimic proteins such as seafood, pork, beef and chicken products, without the use of palm or coconut oils and their associated negative effects on the planet.
The company says: “Using science, we’ve discovered and designed endless animal-free fat combinations to suit any protein flavour profile. Plant-based meat and dairy products can now not only be more sustainable than before, but actually stand up to the real thing in flavour and texture.”
Other recent developments in the world of alternative fats include: Belgian cultured fat producer Peace of Meat which was recently acquired by MeaTech; Spanish cultivated fat producer CUBIQ which received 5 million Euros from Blue Horizon Ventures; UK’s Hoxton Farms which announced a £2.7 million seed round last month; and just this week, Unilever awarded its Innovation Award to pork fat producer 77 Foods.
“Out of all of the companies I’ve been fortunate to have been involved with… it’s an impossible task. Fats from a chemistry perspective is a really hard problem […] It’s not just tissue engineering. There’s so many complexities and it’s so different,” said Horizons Ventures Investor Chris Liu to Forbes.