VEGDOG Pure Bites made with microbial proteins

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Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

MicroHarvest & VEGDOG Unveil Dog Treat with “First-of-its-Kind” Microbial Protein

Two German companies, the biotech startup MicroHarvest and plant-based pet food producer VEGDOG, have partnered to introduce a dog treat crafted from a sustainable ingredient: microbial proteins from biomass fermentation.  While other pet food products have utilized microbes like yeasts and mycelium, MicroHarvest’s first-of-its-kind protein is derived from bacteria that have been consumed by humans for centuries in foods such as kimchi, kefir, and sauerkraut, according to the announcement.  Combining the microbial protein with potato and apple pomace, the innovation — VEGDOG Pure Bites — is said to be hypoallergenic, suitable for dogs with protein intolerances and allergies, and recommended for use in veterinary practice. Tessa Zaune-Figlar, founder and CEO of VEGDOG, comments, “Our goal at VEGDOG is to show dog owners that they do not have to rely on meat-based products to …

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MicroHarvest pilot plant opening

MicroHarvest Lisbon team © MicroHarvest

Fermentation

MicroHarvest Becomes Food Fermentation Europe’s First Biomass Fermentation Member

German biotech MicroHarvest announces that it has become the first biomass fermentation company to join Food Fermentation Europe‘s efforts to create more sustainable food systems by unlocking the potential of fermentation-enabled food production. Food Fermentation Europe (FFE) was established in 2023 by Better Dairy, Formo, Imagindairy, Onego Bio, and Those Vegan Cowboys, which leverage precision fermentation to produce animal-free food products. Standing Ovation, Vivici, and Bon Vivant, have also joined the alliance. Precision fermentation involves modifying microorganisms to produce specific ingredients. In contrast, biomass fermentation uses the high protein content and rapid growth of microorganisms to “efficiently make highly scalable amounts of protein-rich foods,” explains MicroHarvest. Jevan Nagarajah, FFE President and CEO of Better Dairy, shared: “We are delighted to welcome MicroHarvest into our alliance as our first biomass fermentation member. Leveraging …

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MicroHarvest pilot plant opening

© MicroHarvest

Company News

MicroHarvest Opens Pilot Plant to Accelerate Journey Towards Commercialisation

Biotech company MicroHarvest has opened a pilot plant in Lisbon, Portugal, to produce samples of its single-cell protein made through microbial fermentation. In the space of six months, MicroHarvest has transformed a portion of its office space into the laboratory and plant, which was officially opened at an event on November 16. The opening was attended by the company’s partners and investors. The new pilot plant will allow MicroHarvest to test and hone its proprietary technology, accelerating the commercialisation process. The company hopes to have its first product on the market by early 2024, after forming a partnership with a contract manufacturer that will allow it to scale to 1 ton per day. “This pilot plant serves as tangible evidence of the scalability of our …

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Microharvest team

The company's new Lisbon office. © MicroHarvest

Investments & Acquisitions

MicroHarvest Raises €1.5M for Fermented Protein That Can Be Produced in 24 Hours

Agrifoodtech startup MicroHarvest has raised €1.5 million from Simon Capital, announcing that the new partnership will “strengthen the teams’ operational know-how” along with providing funding. The raise coincides with the opening of MicroHarvest’s new office in Lisbon on May 4. The company will now be based in both Hamburg and Lisbon, and is building a pilot plant in the latter city to produce prototypes and accelerate research. Highly efficient protein MicroHarvest produces fermentation-enabled protein using a proprietary technology based on biomass fermentation. The protein can be produced in just 24 hours from input to output, using a fraction of the resources required for many other alternative proteins. The company has already successfully scaled to a production rate of 300kg per day. According to MicroHarvest, there …

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MicroHarvest co-founders

MicroHarvest co-founders (from L to R) Luísa Cruz, Katelijne Bekers, and Jonathan Roberz. Image courtesy of MicroHarvest

Fermentation

MicroHarvest Wins BloombergNEF Pioneer Prize, Aims to Become Champion of Future Protein

MicroHarvest, a biotech company leveraging fermentation to develop novel protein ingredients, has been awarded the 2023 BloombergNEF (BNEF) Pioneers challenge whose task is to provide solutions that can accelerate global decarbonization and halt climate change The Hamburg- and-Lisbon-based company impressed a panel of expert judges with its novel, scalable, competitive, and sustainable protein ingredient for feed, pet food, or human food products. The startup was recognized as the only European changemaker among the 12 winners, and its biomass fermentation–based technology was viewed as instrumental in driving the low-carbon transition. A resilient food system  “To be awarded this prestigious Pioneers prize by the BNEF amongst such impressive competition is something that we’re extremely proud of. Our team has made significant progress in overcoming the challenges associated with …

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