Switzerland’s Cultivated Biosciences has raised $1.5 million in pre-seed funding to further develop its creamy yeast-based fat ingredient.
The sustainable, clean-label fat improves the mouthfeel of plant-based dairy products, with the potential to win over flexitarian consumers who are not satisfied with the options currently available. The ingredient has natural emulsification properties, low lipid oxidation, and the same texture and colour as dairy cream.
“We are beyond excited to build a solution that will elevate the mouthfeel of the plant-based dairy category”
The pre-seed funding round was led by Wingman Ventures, with participation from firms including Big Idea Ventures, Blue Horizon, ProVeg International, and the FoodHack syndicate. Arturo Elizando, CEO and co-founder of The EVERY Company, and Lukas Böni, co-founder of Planted, also supported the round. Cultivated Biosciences will begin testing the ingredient with selected clients in 2023, and is open to further partnerships.
There is growing recognition that the fats used in alt-protein products need to be improved in order to compete with the taste and texture of animal-based foods. Several companies are now working in this field, taking a variety of approaches.
Melt&Marble is using fermentation to produce beef fat without animal inputs, while MeatTech Group has used cells from chickens to create cultivated fat. Meanwhile, Lypid and Yali Bio have both developed technologies that mimic animal fat with plant-based ingredients.
“We are beyond excited to build a solution that will elevate the mouthfeel of the plant-based dairy category and ensure that it’s simply better and cheaper than its factory-farmed equivalent,” said Tomas Turner, CEO and co-founder of Cultivated Biosciences.