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Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Foray Bioscience Raises $3M to Restore Forests With Plant Cell Culture Tech

Boston-based Foray Bioscience, a startup leveraging plant cell culture to restore forests and, thus, secure plant supply chains, has raised $3 million in seed funding led by the Australian VC ReGen Ventures. Other participants, including Engine Ventures, Susquehanna Sustainable Investments, Understorey, Superorganism, and additional investors, backed the biotech in this round, bringing its total to $3.875 million. With a background in plant-based materials research from MIT and Draper Laboratory, Dr. Ashley Beckwith (CEO) founded Foray Bioscience in 2022 to build biomanufacturing tools to protect and restore the natural ecosystem. Beckwith says that nearly 40% of assessed plant species face extinction and points out that more than 16 million acres of forest, an area larger than West Virginia, were lost worldwide only in 2022. With the new capital, the startup will expand its predictive …

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Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

6th Industrializing Cultivated Meat & Seafood Summit: 150+ Industry Leaders Gather in Boston to Chart Path to Commercial Viability

The 6th Industrializing Cultivated Meat & Seafood Summit, a conference that supports the industry across the value chain, has unveiled this year’s speakers and comprehensive program and opened registration for participants. It will take place in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, at the Hilton Boston from August 27th to 29th, 2024. The event will bring together 150+ C-Suite food tech leaders, CPG, innovation leads, and technology providers, including Umami Bioworks, the Good Food Institute (GFI), Green Circle Capital, the USA’s FDA, CellX, Vital Meat, Ever After Foods, Clever Carnivore, and Big Idea Ventures, among many companies and entrepreneurs working to decarbonize and create a more ethical food system. This year’s program will focus on creating a viable roadmap to achieve technical and commercial viability through data-driven technical, scientific, …

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Tender chicken

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Food Service

Natalie Portman-Backed Tender Food’s Carnivore-Fooling Meat Now in All 11 Locations of Clover Food Lab

Boston-based Tender, a company specializing in next-generation meat alternatives, has partnered with Clover Food Lab to bring its plant-based chicken and pork to the restaurant chain’s 11 locations throughout the Boston metro area. Founded in 2020 by Harvard engineers, Tender focuses on creating plant-based meats, primarily chicken breast, pulled pork, and steaks. Tender uses advanced technologies to replicate the muscle structure of animal meat, utilizing a unique plant-based fiber spinning technique similar to making cotton candy. This method enables Tender to produce meat alternatives with textures and cooking properties nearly indistinguishable from those of traditional meat while also offering high protein content without additives or fillers. Clover Food Lab is a fast-casual restaurant chain noted for its commitment to healthy, sustainable, and plant-based food options. …

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John Hopkins College Studnents Alt Protein

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Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

USDA’s First Cultivated Meat Center “NICA” Opens Applications for Research Grants

The first US government-funded center for cultivated meat, the USDA’s National Institute of Cellular Agriculture (NICA) at Tufts University, has announced the opening of applications for its Seed Grant Program 2024.  Seed-level funding grants of $25,000 or $50,000 will be awarded to support fundamental or applied research in cellular agriculture, precision fermentation, and alternative proteins. Only primary investigators not associated with NICA are eligible to submit proposals. The new projects must align with NICA’s objectives and demonstrate a self-sufficient approach that can be completed within one year. In addition, the research aims described in the proposal must be new and not currently under investigation by the submitting person or entity. The initial review of proposals will be conducted by NICA industry advisory board members, and the …

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Company News

Tender Food and Tufts University to Explore Hybrid Meat Products Made with Cultivated Cells and Plant-Based Meat

Boston-based Tender Food, a food tech startup that creates steaks from plant proteins, announces that it has been awarded a grant of $999,986 by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) to explore over two years the potential of new hybrid meat products combining cultivated animal cells with plant-based meat. With the R&D funding, Tender Food will collaborate with the Kaplan Lab at Tufts University Center for Cellular Agriculture (TUCCA) to determine if cultivated cells enhance the flavor, aroma, and nutrition of the company’s plant-based meat. The goal is to develop nutritious, tasty meat alternatives that appeal to consumers. Tender Food will also explore the viability of bringing these novel hybrid products to the market. Dr. Luke MacQueen, co-founder and CSO of Tender Food commented, “We’re excited for this …

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Manufacturing & Technology

Report Finds Boston Could Become One of the Leading Centers for Food Technology

According to a study by the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, food tech companies are increasingly choosing to locate in the greater Boston area. The report also finds that 70 foodtech companies raised more than $8 billion in capital between 2019 and 2022. The Food and Nutrition Innovation Institute (FNII) report, titled Boston Foodtech 2023, highlights Boston as a leader in this growing field, with 138 food tech companies, 14 organizations and more than 13,000 employees. The region is positioned to attract and retain top talent because the number of STEM graduates in Massachusetts is greater than any other state.  World-class cluster “This world-class cluster is seeded by Boston’s strong ecosystems in related industries, especially biotech, robotics, software, and data …

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Motif FoodWorks Burger with HEMAMI

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Company News

Motif FoodWorks Partners with IngredientWerks to Explore Creating Animal-Free Heme From Corn

Food tech startup Motif FoodWorks announces it is partnering with IngredientWerks, an agtech ingredients company, to develop high-value plant-based proteins for the alt-protein market. Through the research partnership, the two companies say they will explore new ways to optimize heme protein production through molecular farming.  According to Motif, the partners have begun an exploratory study aimed at recreating Motif’s HEMAMI™ ingredient using corn. HEMAMI is used to give plant-based meats the same flavor and aroma as animal-based meat, and is said to be bioidentical to the bovine heme protein found in beef. IngredientWerks will aim to produce Motif’s HEMAMI using broad-acre crops such as corn. If successful, Motif says enabling crop protein production in its ingredient strategy will lower both production costs and the carbon footprint …

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Tender Pulled Pork Sandwich

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Food & Beverage

Meet Tender: A Startup Using Cotton Candy-Like Technology For “Superior” Plant-Based Pork

Tender, a plant-based meat startup in Boston, is using old-school technology to create ultra-realistic alternatives to pork and other structured cuts of meat.  Utilizing processes similar to those found in cotton candy machines, the company spins plant proteins into fibers to create products it says are “just better” in taste and texture than most plant-based offerings on the market.  “Our goal is to create superior quality in alternative meats”, Tender co-founder and CEO Christopher Chantre told the Boston Globe. “That’s really what we’re going after – is that next-level quality of texture.” First developed in a Harvard laboratory, Tender officially launched in 2020 in Greentown Labs in Somerville, MA. The company was initially founded as a graduate project by Chantre, who reportedly spent nine years …

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PlantPub Boston Burger

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Society

Matthew Kenney Expanding Boston’s PlantPub Brand With Massive New Fenway Location

Matthew Kenney Cuisine, in partnership with PlantPub co-founders, announces it is opening the brand’s second Boston location, PlantPub Fenway, on July 15. Located steps from the famed Fenway Park stadium, the 250-seat venue will soon become Boston’s largest plant-based restaurant.  Matthew Kenney and PlantPub say they are on a mission to redefine the modern pub by offering sports fans delicious and sustainable cuisine in a familiar, fun setting. Kenney’s company also plans to open additional PlantPub locations across Boston and beyond in the near future.  Created by craft beer entrepreneur Pat McAuley and chef Mary Dumont, the original PlantPub debuted in Cambridge, MA in the fall of 2021. The 8,000 sq. ft.  Fenway venue is a massive new flagship location, with expansive casual dining and …

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Plant Pub burger

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Gastronomy & Food Service

PlantPub and Matthew Kenney to Open World’s Largest Vegan Sports Bar in Boston

PlantPub, a 100% plant-based sports bar, is to open a new 8,000 sq. ft. location in Boston, MA this spring, as a collaboration between celebrity chef Matthew Kenney and PlantPub’s co-owners, including prolific vegan investor Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni. Speaking to vegconomist today, Cossia Castiglioni commented: “We created PlantPub with Pat McAuley back in 2019. Based on a pop-up concept he had tested, we agreed that serving excellent vegan pub food in Boston would be a great idea. Then we were lucky to sign up Wonder Chef Mary Dumont. We opened in Cambridge, and immediately after Matthew Kenney (we are partners in all of his ventures) asked me to join us and expand. And here we are!” The Boston Globe states that, upon opening, the 250+ …

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Investments & Finance

Live Green Co. Raises $7M, Will Relocate From Chile to Boston MA

The Live Green Co has raised $7 million in Pre-Series A funding to make food cleaner and more sustainable with AI-driven plant-based ingredients. The company reports it has increased revenue by 10x since 2020. Founded in Chile in 2018, the food tech startup hopes to usher in “Plant-Based 2.0” –  shifting alternative protein from removing animal products to also eliminating processed ingredients and plastic packaging. To fulfill this bold mission, The Live Green Co is relocating to Boston, MA where the company will develop the AI capacities of Charaka, its proprietary intelligence platform. An AI recommendation engine Through Charaka, The Live Green Co leverages machine learning and the “ancestral wisdom” of plant nutrition to analyze thousands of plants and plant combinations. This information is used …

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Motif Foodworks

©Motif Foodworks

Products & Launches

Motif Foodworks Launches HEMAMI Heme Ingredient After FDA Approval

Motif Foodworks, a Boston-based food technology company, today announced the launch of its HEMAMI heme ingredient following GRAS approval by the FDA. Motif’s revolutionary HEMAMI,  which is the company’s debut product, is now available for large-scale distribution. Motif Foodworks specializes in developing products that improve the taste and texture of plant-based foods. HEMAMI marks a major milestone for the plant-based industry as the only commercially available heme ingredient. While startups like Triton Algae and Yemoja have successfully experimented with algae-based heme in labs, those innovations have not yet hit the market. Heme: The Magical Ingredient Heme is the iron-bearing protein molecule scientists say provides meat with its meaty taste. Heme gained overnight fame, of course, as the star ingredient in the Impossible Burger, where it …

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Mike Leonard Motif Foodworks

Mike Leonard ©Motif Foodworks

Interviews

Motif Foodworks: “Emerging Technologies and Innovations in this Space Demonstrate That Animal-Free Options Will Only Get Better and Better”

Motif FoodWorks is an ingredients company which uses food science to uncover what makes the food we love so good—at a molecular level—and recreate those attributes without using animal products. The company partners with food and nutrition companies to make their plant-based products better tasting, more nutritious, and better for the planet.

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Company News

Motif FoodWorks To Open New Lab Space, Selects Boston’s Seaport District as Headquarters

Motif FoodWorks is an ingredient innovation company specialised in “making plant-based food better tasting and more nutritious with animal-free ingredients and deep food science expertise.” Yesterday the company announced it has selected the Innovation and Design Building in Boston’s Seaport District as its new company headquarters, with the move expected by June 2020.

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