MycoTechnology unveils sweet protein that can replace sugar and artificial sweeteners

© Getty Images (supplied by MycoTechnology)

Fermentation

MycoTechnology’s Honey Truffle Sweetener on Track to Revolutionize Sugar Reduction

Mycelial fermentation leader MycoTechnology announces significant progress in scaling production and ensuring the safety of the first-ever honey truffle sweetener.  The new product, made from a sweet protein found in honey truffles discovered only a year ago, is described as a game-changing alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners. It has a clean taste profile and is 1000 to 2500 times sweeter than sucrose. Leveraging precision fermentation, MycoTechnology claims to have successfully scaled production from a lab bench to 3000 L tanks. Moreover, according to the announcement, the company’s team is improving production and developing efficient strains to make the honey truffle sweetener economically competitive with similar products.  Ranjan Patnaik, MycoTechnology’s CTO, comments, “Our team has achieved remarkable results, exceeding initial expectations for speed of scale-up, mechanistic understanding …

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VegWeek animal outlook

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Charity & Campaigns

VegWeek 2024: Alicia Silverstone and Tig Notaro Lead Call for Vegan Action

Animal protection organization Animal Outlook is hosting its 15th annual VegWeek this week, leading up to Earth Day on April 22. The week-long campaign encourages individuals to adopt a vegan diet through the VegPledge, promoting the environmental and health benefits of reducing animal product consumption. Currently, over 70000 people have taken the VegPledge. This initiative is supported by several local governments across the United States, including Washington, DC, and Hawaii, which have issued proclamations recognizing the connection between animal agriculture and climate change. New support has also emerged from cities like Annapolis, MD; Worcester, MA; and Pompano Beach, FL. Director of Outreach and Engagement at Animal Outlook, Jenny Canham, states, “By eating vegan, even if you start for just one week, you are taking action …

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Lindt launches vegan truffles in USA

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Sweets & Snacks

Lindt Launches Vegan Truffle Balls in the USA

Lindt LINDOR has launched a plant-based version of its popular Truffle Balls on the US market. The new vegan product range includes the flavors Non-Dairy OatMilk and Dark Chocolate OatMilk. The truffle balls complement the Lindt CLASSIC RECIPE oat milk bars launched in 2022 and expand the company’s vegan range. They are intended to offer a chocolate alternative for all consumers, not just those who avoid dairy products. “We wanted to create dairy-free truffles for all chocolate lovers, including those who avoid dairy products, are lactose intolerant or simply follow a more plant-based diet,” says Lindt Master Chocolatier Ann Czaja. The new dairy-free oat milk truffle balls from Lindt LINDOR are designed to offer a chocolate experience on a par with milk chocolate truffle balls. …

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Christie Lagally Rebellyous Foods

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People

Rebellyous Foods’ Christie Lagally Joins Inc. Magazine’s Top Female Founders of 2024

Christie Lagally, the CEO of Seattle-based Rebellyous Foods, has been named as one of Inc. Magazine’s top Female Founders of 2024. This accolade groups her with other notable food tech entrepreneurs like Kimberlie Le of Prime Roots and Magi Richani of Nobell Foods in the Female Founders 250 list, which is compiled from thousands of candidates through three meticulous rounds of evaluation. The selection process focused on a range of both quantitative and qualitative criteria, assessing aspects such as revenue, sales growth, funding, and audience size, as well as social media presence and overall impact. This list exclusively features entrepreneurs at the helm of for-profit entities in the United States. Tackling major industry challenges Lagally, a former aerospace engineer and a senior scientist at the …

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GFI state of the industry report plant-based

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Market & Trends

GFI’s 2023 Industry Report Highlights Dynamics and Challenges in Plant-Based Sector

The Good Food Institute (GFI) has released its comprehensive 2023 State of the Industry Report, providing valuable insights into the plant-based food sector, which encompasses plant-based meats, seafood, eggs, and dairy. This year’s report reveals a dynamic industry landscape marked by both growth and setbacks amid fluctuating global markets and consumer trends. Here are the key insights from the report.  Market dynamic and consumer trends The industry saw a slight contraction in the US, with total retail sales of plant-based foods dipping to $8.1 billion from $8.2 billion in 2022. Data from SPINS, commissioned by the Good Food Institute and the Plant Based Foods Association, shows a decline in the US retail sales of plant-based meats both in terms of dollars (down 12 percent) and …

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Yumasoy Gina Arsens

Gina Arsens - Courtesy of Yumasoy

Interviews

Yumasoy: “I Embarked on a Mission to Put the Plant Back in Plant-Based Food”

Yumasoy is a Vancouver-based startup specializing in plant-based chicken alternatives called Om Noms. Led by founder Gina Arsens, previously CFO at Digital Supercluster, Yumasoy was established to improve the plant-based meal experience with products that are nutritious, convenient, and taste good. The company’s flagship product, Om Noms, is a line of chicken-style strips made with whole soybeans. In this interview with vegconomist, Arsens details the founding principles of Yumasoy, the development of Om Noms, and the company’s commitment to sustainability. She also discusses partnerships in the foodservice industry, and plans for expansion and product development. Can you give us an intro to Yumasoy and what inspired the company’s creation? When my family decided to increase the number of plant-based meals, I found the experience of …

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Alpine Bio Nobell Foods

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Cheese Alternatives

Alpine Bio Announces Rebrand from Nobell Foods, Secures New Patent in Dairy Alternatives

Alpine Bio, formerly known as Nobell Foods, announces a significant development in its business and technology strategy, revealing a corporate rebranding and the acquisition of a new US patent. The company, which produces animal-free dairy products through molecular farming, is now expanding its technological and market footprint. Nobell Foods has been focused on creating cheeses from plant-derived casein proteins but has shifted its corporate identity to better reflect its broader biomanufacturing ambitions. The rebranding to Alpine Bio aligns with the company’s vision to enhance its biotechnological capabilities in producing various plant-based proteins. Nobell Foods will continue to operate as a division of Alpine Bio. Alpine Bio announced the rebrand on social media today, stating, “Today marks a significant milestone in our journey as our platform …

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outlier protein wamame foods

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Protein

Wamame Foods Unveils “World’s Highest Protein Content” Meat Alternative, Outlier Protein

Wamame Foods, a company recognized for its plant-based product line Waygu, has launched a new protein alternative called Outlier Protein. This product, made using only seven ingredients, boasts a protein content that the company claims is 64% higher than that of cooked ground beef. The launch of Outlier Protein was announced in a press conference today, with Blair Bullus, president of Wamame Foods, commenting, “This is a complete protein, and it uses only seven ingredients. […] It uses the same protein isolates that you’d find in protein bars and protein shakes, but we’re now able to create them into meat products, which allows us to actually create new products that have a significant nutritional advantage over other animal-based proteins.” The product is formulated from natural, …

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Hodo Chili Crisp dip

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Products & Launches

Hodo Plant-Based Chili Crisp Dip Comes Out on Top at Expo West

In February, Californian plant-based food brand Hodo launched a new range of creamy soy-based dips, featuring three flavors — Chili Crisp, Sambal Sweet Chili, and Zesty Lemon. Hodo recently attended Expo West, where it asked booth visitors to sample each dip and choose their favorite. Chili Crisp came out on top, and was praised for its taste, versatility, and spiciness. Inspired by Sichuan cuisine, the dip is made from shallots, chili flakes, Sichuan peppercorns, and shiitake mushrooms. “When it comes to trending flavors, Chili Crisp is hot,” said Hodo founder and CEO Minh Tsai. Sambal Sweet Chili was the runner-up, followed by Zesty Lemon. Made with organic, non-GMO soy, all three dips are protein-rich, nutrient-dense, and free of dairy, nuts, and gluten. They are said …

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Plant Based Food Week Canada

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Fairs & Events

Canada’s Third Annual Plant Based Food Week to Showcase Innovation in Plant-Based Sector

Canada is gearing up for its third annual Plant Based Food Week, slated for April 15-29, 2024, a joint initiative by Plant-Based Foods of Canada (PBFC) and Protein Industries Canada. The event is designed to draw attention to the growth, variety, and ecological benefits of plant-based food products. Studies highlight a growing interest in plant-based products in Canada, with Dalhousie University reporting that one in five Canadians buy plant-based alternatives. Although a large proportion of Canadians may be unwilling to give up meat entirely, as revealed in a recent survey from Sodexo, nearly half of consumers are interested in reducing their intake. The upcoming Plant Based Food Week seeks to support this trend by motivating Canadians to try more plant-based foods, encouraging the incorporation of …

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Macalat and MycoTechnology have partnered to create a sweet dark chocolate bar

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Sweets & Snacks

Sugar-Free Mycelium Chocolate Described as Most Significant Innovation in Chocolate in a Century

US confectionery brand Macalat has introduced a vegan, organic, zero-sugar, sweet dark chocolate bar —  Organic Sweet Dark Chocolate — claiming it to be the most significant innovation in chocolate in the past 100 years. To achieve this breakthrough, Macalat has partnered with the mushroom innovator MycoTechnology to create a dark chocolate experience using a mycelium-derived flavor modulator called ClearIQ.   Produced using fermentation, ClearIQ is said to be an “incredible” and natural solution to eliminate the need for sugar, milk, or artificial sweeteners and mask the bitterness and astringency of dark chocolate. In addition, as a flavor amplifier, it enhances the full spectrum of cacao flavors while delivering a smooth texture. According to MycoTechnology, ClearIQ’s capabilities extend beyond chocolate to other F&B products, positioning it as …

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Morningstar Farms and Gallo Salame

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Market & Trends

New Study Reveals Key Marketing Differences Between Plant-Based and Animal-Sourced Foods Online

A comprehensive study published in Business Strategy and the Environment by Suzannah Gerber, Sadie R. Dix, and Sean B. Cash, examines the marketing strategies of plant-based foods (PBFs) versus animal-sourced foods (ASFs) in the online grocery market in the United States. The research meticulously analyzed over 16,000 marketing and labeling content observations from seven leading US e-commerce grocery retailers, focusing on top-selling ASFs and closely matched PBFs. The study’s findings reveal several key insights that could significantly influence marketing strategies and regulatory considerations within the food industry. It found PBFs to be more robustly marketed, with an average of 47 claims per product compared to 28 for ASFs, demonstrating a focused effort on promoting product benefits both online and on packaging. PBFs tend to emphasize …

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Better Balance Better Dog arrives in Chicago retailers

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Retail & E-Commerce

Award-Winning Better Dog Lands on Shelves at Chicago Grocery Stores Marking In-Store Retail Debut for Better Balance

Better Balance, a subsidiary of Sigma, headquartered in Spain and Mexico, announced recently that its Better Dog™ is now available at a number of Chicago grocery markets, including Cermak Fresh Market, Pete’s Market, and Tony’s Fresh Market. While the brand has previously focused on foodservice, with partnerships including Chicago’s Kale My Name restaurant and the Sushi Roll restaurant chain in Mexico, this launch marks the brand’s debut in traditional in-store retail. The favored plant dog in multiple regions The Better Dog, created with pea protein and free from gluten and soy, was first introduced in Spain in 2022. Five months later it became the number one selling product in the hot dog and sausage category, claims the brand. Additionally, upon its introduction at Kale My …

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Atlantic Food Co

Courtesy of Atlantic Food Co

Cultivated Seafood

Atlantic Fish Co. Unveils the “World’s First” Cultivated Black Sea Bass Prototype

Cultivated seafood startup Atlantic Fish Co. has developed what it claims to be the world’s first cultivated black sea bass product. To share their milestone with the world, the team at Atlantic Fish Co. recently held a tasting at the North Carolina Food Innovation Lab (featured image) of its hybrid “bass bite.” The cultivated black seabass prototype marks a significant step forward in the company’s mission of producing sustainable seafood products using cell culture techniques.  Doug Grant, CEO of Atlantic Fish Co. shared: “Developing the world’s first cultivated black sea bass is a win for our company and consumers who want sustainable, ethical seafood. We will provide seafood that is also free of mercury, antibiotics, or microplastics.” Sustainable protein products Starting its journey in 2020, the Atlantic …

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The Live Green Co. unveils two new functional ingredients from its precision fermentation division: GreenTAGs Human Milk Lipids for infant nutrition and GutRevyv Postbiotics for gut health.

Image courtesy of The Live Green Co.

Fermentation

The Live Green Co. Unveils Yeast-Derived Breast Milk Fat and Gut Health Postbiotic

The Live Green Co. (TLGC), a US food tech company headquartered in Boston since 2022, unveils two active functional ingredients developed with precision fermentation: GreenTAGs —  an analog of human breast milk fat known as OPO — and GutRevyv, a postbiotic for gut health. Human milk fat, mainly containing Triacylglycerols or OPO, plays a crucial role in infant development and health: It benefits nutrient absorption, supports neurodevelopment, boosts immunity, favors gut health, and promotes infant well-being. Yeast-derived, GreenTAGs is said to closely mimic the nutritional profile of this human milk fat providing essential nutrients for infants. The functional ingredient is described as a game-changing alternative to the commonly used vegetable oils in infant formulas, capable of bridging the nutritional gap between breast milk and formula feeding. CEO …

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mother feeding baby

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Society

USDA Nutrition Program for Low-Income Women and Children Now Features Plant-Based Dairy

The Biden-Harris Administration, in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), has announced significant updates to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), notably including the incorporation of plant-based yogurts and cheeses. The revisions, grounded in the latest scientific recommendations from both the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans for 2020-2025, aim to enhance nutrition security and maternal and child health while providing increased flexibility for participants. The WIC program helps ensure good health for low-income pregnant women, new mothers, breastfeeding mothers, and children up to age five by providing food packages, vouchers, and nutritional education. The program reaches a significant portion of American families with young …

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Pleese Cheese shreds

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Cheese Alternatives

Pleese Cheese Partners with Performance Food Group for Nationwide US Expansion

Article amended 12 April to reflect Webstaurant’s shipping capabilities, at the company’s request. Pleese Cheese, a NYC-based plant-based pizza cheese brand, has announced a national expansion in partnership with Performance Food Group (PFG), a leading American foodservice distributor with a network of 150 hubs and 300,000 restaurants. The company creates plant-based cheese alternatives designed specifically for pizza, offering a delicious, melty option free from dairy, nuts, and soy. Crafted with a mixture of fava bean protein, potato, and coconut oil, its formulation prioritizes meltability. This cheese substitute adopts a clean label strategy, utilizing a minimal selection of natural ingredients. Following its launch in 2022, the company originally partnered with Webstaurant Store to serve the US foodservice market through ecommerce. However, it found that one of …

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Cargill has partnered with Voyage Foods, a California-based food tech company that creates allergen and dairy-free spreads and cacao-free chocolates.

Courtesy of Cargill, image credit Noel Barnhurst

Sweets & Snacks

Cargill and Voyage Foods Partner to Upscale Confectionery Without Cocoa, Nuts, and Dairy

Cargill has announced a commercial partnership with Voyage Foods — a California-based food tech company that creates spreads and chocolates free from cocoa, nut, and dairy — to offer sustainable alternatives to popular sweet favorites. With demand for sustainable global confectionery products expected to rise, and as the cocoa crisis continues to deepen, Cargill will be the exclusive B2B global distributor for Voyage Foods, expanding its existing chocolate offerings with a new range of sustainable chocolate alternatives for the first time. The commercial partnership will also provide food manufacturers with allergen- and dairy-free nut flavor spreads for recipe formulation in the bakery, ice cream, and chocolate confectionery categories. Inge Demeyere, Managing Director, Bakery, Ice Cream and Chocolate Confectionery Europe at Cargill, shared, “This partnership is …

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liberation labs precision fermentation plant

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Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Agronomics Invests $10M in Liberation Labs to Advance its 600,000 L Precision Fermentation Facility

Agronomics Limited (LSE: ANIC), the UK’s leading VC company focused on cellular agriculture and biomanufacturing, has invested $10 million in its portfolio company, Liberation Labs Holdings, a US biotechnology firm focused on large-scale precision fermentation manufacturing. The investment was part of a $12.5 million financing round, which was made through a Secured Convertible Promissory Note (SCPN) using Agronomics’ existing cash resources. Previous investor Siddhi Capital also joined the round to help fund the ongoing construction of Liberation Labs’s facility in Richmond, Indiana. Agronomics has invested $17.6 million in Liberation Labs, including $7 million to join the CDMO company on its mission to propel fermented proteins and other bio-based solutions. According to the announcement, Agronomics now holds a 37.5% stake in Liberation Labs. Jim Mellon, Executive …

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unMEAT musabi luncheon

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Company News

UnMEAT Launches New Campaign Promoting Plant-Based Protein Alternatives

unMEAT, a leading plant-based protein brand, has launched its latest campaign, “Add Some Un—to Your Usual,” focusing on its canned products, affordability, and clean ingredients, seeking to capture consumers’ attention as awareness and sales of the brand continue to grow.  unMEAT’s journey into the US market began with the introduction of its canned luncheon meat at Walmart stores last January with the aim of targeting flexitarian consumers. The company also launched its vegan luncheon meat in Woolworths in Australia, priced competitively with conventional luncheon meat products. Additionally, UnMEAT was one of the first brands on the market with canned plant-based tuna, introduced in 2022, crafted from non-GMO soy protein. Owned by Century Pacific Food, Inc. in the Philippines, unMEAT cites its notable growth, tripling its …

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