Raw potato on color background

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Egg Alternatives

PoLoPo Seeks USDA Approval, Says Production of Egg Proteins in “Plants, Not Animals, Will Set Off a Domino Effect in Sustainability”

Israeli agrifood startup PoLoPo announces it has initiated the regulatory approval process to grow egg proteins in genetically modified potatoes in the USA.  PoLoPo explains that it has applied for a Regulatory Status Review (RSR) to the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to review its molecular farming platform called Super AA. The approval process evaluates whether GMO potatoes are as safe for agriculture and do not present additional pest risks as conventionally farmed potatoes. The USDA approval, expected within six months, will allow the company to advance its commercial plans, including partnering with local farmers to use its technology. The startup claims to be the first Israeli molecular farming company to seek US regulatory approval. PoLoPo CEO Maya Sapir-Mir comments: “This …

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Polopo CEO Maya Sapir Mir

Polopo CEO Maya Sapir Mir

Opinion

Op Ed: Maya Sapir-Mir, PhD, CEO and Co-Founder of PoLoPo, on Growing Animal Proteins from Potatoes

Maya Sapir-Mir is CEO and co-founder of PoLoPo, a molecular farming pioneer producing proteins directly in common crops, beginning with egg protein (ovalbumin) grown in potatoes. PoLoPo last year raised $2.3 million in pre-seed funding and recently unveiled its molecular farming platform, SuperAA, for producing key proteins ovalbumin and patatin. Maya has nearly ten years of experience in the biotech industry and agricultural R&D and holds a PhD in plant sciences from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She performed post-doctoral work at the Volcani Institute, Israel’s leading agricultural R&D facility, in protein identification, extraction, and characterization in plants and microorganisms. Here, she explains the importance of this emerging biotechnology; “Instead of inefficiently growing plants to feed animals crowded in factory farms, molecular farming gives us …

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PoLoPo unveils its SuperAA plant molecular farming platform already deployed in potato plants at a greenhouse scale.

Image courtesy of PoLoPo

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

PoLoPo Unveils Molecular Farming Platform in Potato Plants to Grow Egg Proteins

Last year, the Israeli agrifood startup PoLoPo raised $2.3 million, including $1.75 million in a pre-seed funding round to further develop its plant molecular farming technology for producing animal proteins in potatoes. Now, the startup unveils its molecular farming platform, SuperAA, already deployed in potato plants at a greenhouse scale. The initial focus of PoLoPo’s platform will be producing two key proteins: ovalbumin and patatin (the natural protein in potatoes). Ovalbumin, widely used in packaged foods for its functional properties, presents an affordable alternative to the industry amidst increasing egg prices and supply chain disruptions.  On the other hand, a patatin powder offers allergen-free protein suitable for various food products, from plant-based alternatives, such as DUG potato milk, to sports nutrition and nutraceuticals. Plant molecular farming is also used …

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PoLoPop's founders

Dr. Maya Sapir-Mir (L) and Dr. Raya Liberman-Aloni © Image courtesy of PoLoPo

Investments & Finance

Molecular Farming Startup PoLoPo Secures $1.75M to Grow Animal Proteins in Potatoes

Israeli molecular farming startup PoLoPo announces the successful closing of a $1.75 million pre-seed funding round to continue developing its proprietary technology, which uses potatoes as plant biofactories to produce animal proteins. PoLoPo will start by growing the main protein in egg white, ovalbumin, in potato tubers to extract it and develop an egg white alternative for the food industry. According to the startup, its proteins will be identical to ovalbumin in terms of functionality, nutritional value, and protein sequence. FoodLabs led the pre-seed round; further investors include CPT Capital, Siddhi Capital, Plug and Play Ventures, Milk & Honey Ventures, and HackCapital. Proteins in potatoes “We’re glad to have won a group of such renowned and like-minded investors,” said one of PoLoPo’s founders, Dr. Maya Sapir-Mir. …

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