Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Singapore Grants University of Illinois ARCS $14.8M to Launch Precision Fermentation Center

The team led by Professor Yong-Su Jin at the Illinois Advanced Research Center at Singapore (ARCS), an affiliated center of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, has received a five-year, $14.8 million grant from Singapore’s National Research Foundation (NRF) to establish the Centre for Precision Fermentation and Sustainability (PreFerS). According to the announcement, the research at the new center will focus on microbial cell engineering or precision fermentation to convert readily available compounds like sugars into molecules, including alternative proteins, healthy fats, and vitamins. PreFerS aims to improve food supply chain resilience, reduce environmental impacts associated with food production, and address micronutrient deficiency, touted as the hidden hunger. Regarding its broader impact, the project aims to help Singapore achieve its goal of locally producing 30% of …

more

A worker at Lgem's microalgae lab

© Lgem

Algae, Microalgae & Seaweed

Microalgae: Chlorella Growth Factor and Galdieria Sulphuraria Promise High Quality Proteins for a Hungry World

Today, we bring two microalgae innovations unlocking an alternative protein source with remarkable nutritional and sustainability benefits for the growing population. Microalgae used for protein production have a higher yield than crops such as soybeans and wheat, and use less water and land. They are considered an ideal source for producing nutritious and digestible food in the future when climate change and resource scarcity may compromise animal protein production. However, consumer acceptance of microalgae-based food remains to be determined, as these products are seen as less tasty but healthier than animal-based products. A recent report by Allied Market Research, projects the global algae protein market will be worth $709 million by 2028. Chlorella sorokiniana – IICT, India Researchers at the CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) have identified …

more

Pineapple-based leather alternative

Credit: Sustainability (2023). DOI: 10.3390/su152115400

Leather Alternatives

Researchers Develop Plastic-Free Pineapple-Based Leather Alternative With Higher Strength Than PU

Scientists at Thailand’s Mahidol University have developed a new pineapple-based leather alternative that is claimed to have excellent strength and sustainability properties. The bio-based material is made by mechanically extracting pineapple leaf fibers from waste pineapple leaves. These fibers are divided into two groups; some are treated with sodium hydroxide, while others are left untreated. The fibers then are formed into non-woven sheets and coated with compounded natural rubber latex, before being heat-treated and compressed. The material can be dyed with natural colorings such as carrot, spent Thai red tea, and spent coffee grounds. Following the development of the pineapple leather, a study published in the journal Sustainability has analyzed its tensile properties, tear strength, and hardness. The results indicate that the material’s tensile strength …

more

bioreactor platform ever after foods

Image courtesy of Ever After Foods

Cultivated Meat

Ever After Foods Raises $10M for “Unmatched” Cost-Effective Bioreactor Platform for Cultivated Meat Producers

Israel’s Pluri (Nasdaq: PLUR) (TASE: PLUR) announces that its cultivated meat subsidiary Ever After Foods, formerly Plurinuva, has secured $10 million in a funding round from US and EU strategic investors, including a second investment from Israel’s Tnuva Group and Pluri itself. With the new capital, Ever After Foods aims to propel its technology platform to become a technology enabler for cultivated meat producers. The company claims it has developed a cutting-edge bioreactor platform to produce cultivated foods with “unmatched” cost-efficient scalability. Eyal Rosenthal, CEO of Ever After Foods, shared, “Ever After Foods’ unique and innovative production platform empowered the change in our business model. The shift to a technology enabler will allow us to serve more players in the value chain. “Securing funding from …

more

A plant-based fish fillet by Steakholder Foods

© Steakholder Foods

Meat- and Fish Alternatives

Steakholder Foods & Sherry Herring Partner to Launch Gourmet Vegan Salads with 3D Printed Plant-Based Fish

Alt proteins and 3D printing innovator Steakholder Foods (Nasdaq: STKH) announces a partnership with Sherry Herring, a gourmet fish delicacies brand, to commercialize a new line of vegan fish salads in Israel. The salads will feature seafood made with Steakholder Foods’ proprietary SHFISH premix blend specially developed for 3D-printing plant-based white fish. Fillets crafted with SHFISH are said to mimic the taste, texture, and nutritional profile of fish while being more sustainable and environmentally friendly, “redefining the seafood experience.” The new vegan fish salad line will tap into new market segments and cater to the rising popularity of plant-based diets by leveraging Sherry Herring’s established distribution network in delis and restaurants, the company said in the announcement. Arik Kaufman, CEO of Steakholder Foods, highlights the collaboration …

more

Plant-Based Brand Zrou expands across Northern China

Image credit: Zrou

Studies & Numbers

Chinese Consumers Are Open to Plant-Based Diets When Aware of Health Benefits

A new study by ProVeg International, “Plant-based eating in China: attitudes and opportunities,” found that nearly all Chinese consumers (98%) are willing to eat more plant-based foods after learning about their health benefits. The Kantar Group’s survey targeted 1,000 people in major cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. Primarily omnivores and flexitarians, respondents were presented with 15 statements highlighting the advantages of plant-based diets. These benefits spanned health, the environment, animal welfare, food security, and taste. Health concerns drive interest The survey employed an “Agreement/Persuasion Matrix” to categorize the benefit statements. This method allowed researchers to identify which benefits resonated most with consumers and which were most persuasive in driving dietary changes. At the end of the survey, the research identified a strong correlation between awareness …

more

Impact Food salmon sashimi

© Impact Food

Products & Launches

Impact Food Debuts Sushi-Grade Plant-Based Salmon on World Oceans Day

Impact Food, a food technology startup developing sustainable seafood alternatives, has announced the debut of its sushi-grade plant-based salmon to coincide with World Oceans Day.  As part of its introduction, Impact Food showcased its plant-based salmon at two World Oceans Week events, one in New York City and another in Tokyo, Japan. In New York, the product was featured at the Explorer’s Club World Ocean’s Week, where it was served in sushi rolls and ceviche. Meanwhile in Tokyo, the salmon premiered at Oisix Ra Daichi’s annual World Oceans Day event, where it was presented in sashimi and nigiri formats and featured on TV Tokyo’s WBS program. Impact Food’s new product builds on its flagship offering, Impact Tuna, which last year launched in Onigilly restaurants in …

more

Beyond Leather Materials partners with Veshin

© Beyond Leather Materials/Veshin

Leather Alternatives

Beyond Leather Materials & Veshin Factory Collaborate to ‘Redefine the Material Landscape’ with Upcycled Apple Waste

Beyond Leather Materials, a Danish scale-up producing an alternative to animal leather, has announced a partnership with the sustainably progressive design and manufacturing facility Veshin. Using apple waste from European juice and cider production, Beyond Leather Materials produces an 89% bio-based leather alternative called Leap. Through the new partnership, the two companies will use the material to create products for various markets, including the fashion, home, and furniture sectors. The collaboration will allow brands worldwide to easily source and manufacture products made with Leap. Veshin Factory has been chosen due to its focus on next-gen alternatives to animal-derived materials, along with its commitment to ethical practices and transparency. The facility specializes in luxury bags and accessories made with materials that prioritize the well-being of animals, …

more

Following the successful creation of a cultivated eel prototype claimed as the world’s first, Israel's Forsea Foods debuted the product at its first official tasting at Restaurant "a" in Tel Aviv.

© Liran Maimon

Company News

40 Guests Taste Forsea’s Cultivated Eel at Official Tasting: “Feedback was Uplifting”

Following the successful creation of a cultivated eel prototype claimed as a world first, Israel’s Forsea Foods announces it has recently debuted the product at its first official tasting at restaurant “a” in Tel Aviv. According to the announcement, more than 40 guests had the opportunity to taste Forsea’s cultivated eel fillets in various dishes. The menu’s centerpiece was Unagi kabayaki, a Japanese specialty of grilled fresh eel on a bed of aromatic rice (featured image). Roee Nir, CEO and co-founder of Forsea, shares, “Since the start of the year, we have made significant advancements in improving our cell lines. We also have been working diligently to enhance our recipes. This event was a great opportunity for us to present our unprecedented achievements to partners and …

more

Brevel cheese

Image supplied by Brevel, credit Eldad Shatz

Algae, Microalgae & Seaweed

Biomass Fermentation Leader Brevel Inaugurates Commercial Plant for Affordable, Nutritious Microalgae Protein

Israel’s Brevel, a biomass fermentation startup using microalgae protein to create sustainable ingredients, announces the grand opening of its first commercial plant. Last July, the company secured $18.5 million in seed funding led by NevaTeam Partners and backed by the European Union’s EIC Fund, facilitating the current phase of commercial-scale production and global expansion. Located in Israel’s desert periphery, the new site covers 27,000 square feet (2,500m²) and includes headquarters, a large R&D center, and a large commercial manufacturing area. It features multiple bioreactors at different scales: 3, 50, 500 L, and the company’s first 5,000 L bioreactor. At the new site, Brevel can produce hundreds of tons of its flagship ingredient — a 60-70% microalgae protein concentrate for meat and dairy alternatives. The first …

more

GlassWall Syndicate now hosted by Brinc

Image: Brinc/GlassWall Syndicate

Investments & Finance

Alternative Protein Investor Network GlassWall Syndicate Finds “New Home” at Brinc

GlassWall Syndicate (GWS), described as the world’s largest alternative protein investor network, has announced that it is now hosted by Hong Kong-based global venture capital and accelerator firm Brinc. Brinc’s resources and network — including teams across regions such as MENA, India, Singapore, China, and Japan — will allow GWS to enter a new growth phase, increasing critical funding avenues for companies working to combat the climate crisis. Brinc will support GWS in a strategic expansion beyond alternative proteins into sub-verticals such as Climate Adaptation, Advanced Materials, Circular Economy, and more. Going forward, GWS members will still be able to access their existing benefits, with the addition of even more resources, deals, and opportunities. Vetted members will be able to participate in syndicated deals with …

more

South Korea’s plant-based foods producer Pulmuone has signed a business agreement with with ABB Korea Robotics, a leading company in automation and robotics to develop cultivated fish technologies.

© Pulmuone

Cultivated Seafood

Pulmuone Announces New Collab to Streamline Cultivated Seafood Using AI Robotics

South Korean plant-based foods producer Pulmuone has signed a business agreement with ABB Korea Robotics, the local corporation of Switzerland’s ABB, to develop cultivated seafood. The collaboration aims to automate the cultivation process for seafood using ABB’s robotics technology, with a target of mass-producing cultivated seafood products by 2026. According to the announcement, the companies hope to spearhead research and development in AI robotics for cellular agriculture. At the same time, Pulmuone expects this partnership to be the world’s first to apply AI robotic automation to cultivated meat production. Both companies will focus on several areas, including the robotic automation of the seafood cell cultivation process, enhancing production efficiency, protecting intellectual property, sharing research facilities and equipment, and exchanging specialized personnel. Key representatives from both …

more

Switch Foods Abu Dhabi

© Switch Foods

Studies & Numbers

Report Highlights Role of Alternative Proteins in Enhancing Food Security in the UAE

The Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) has released a report outlining how alternative proteins could enhance food security in the UAE. Estimates cited in the report suggest that 374 million tonnes of meat will be needed to meet global demand by 2030, as incomes rise and the population continues to grow. The authors discuss the role of three categories — plant-based meat, precision fermentation-derived products, and cultivated meat — in addressing this demand. Plant-based meat According to the report, the market share of the plant-based meat sector has significantly increased and is expected to exhibit a compound annual growth rate of 20.6% globally by 2030. Some predictions estimate that the plant-based meat market in the MENA region will reach around $380 million in the next few …

more

The Israeli-based food-tech startup NewMoo has emerged from stealth mode, unveiling a plant molecular farming platform for producing caseins in agricultural plant seeds. 

Image courtesy of NewMoo

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

NewMoo Emerges from Stealth Using Plant Seeds as ‘Bioreactors’ to Grow Casein Proteins for Animal-Free Dairy

NewMoo has emerged from stealth mode, unveiling a plant molecular farming platform for producing caseins in agricultural plant seeds. “Our approach doesn’t require expensive bioreactor machinery to grow our proteins. The plant seeds themselves act as bioreactors,” explains the Israeli startup. Considered the “holy grail” of milk structure by the dairy industry, caseins are responsible for the taste and functional properties consumers love about cheese: melting, stretching, and bubbling. NewMoo claims that its caseins are equivalent to cow-derived proteins in terms of nutrition, composition, and functionality. By utilizing plants instead of cows for production, NewMoo offers a cost-effective, animal-free, and sustainable method for creating a wide range of dairy products, including cheese. Daphna Miller, NewMoo co-founder and CEO, comments, “This method of making previously animal-based foods …

more

Plant-based meat by Fuji Oil

© Fuji Oil

Protein

Fuji Oil, Amano Enzyme & Nissin Foods Lead Japan’s Surge in Alt Protein Patent Rankings

By embracing innovation, Japanese companies are expanding their foothold in the alternative protein market. Nikkei Asia and the Tokyo-based research firm Patent Result analyzed a report on patents filed by companies and research institutions, giving each a score based on its value. Their analysis shows that three firms—Fuji Oil, Amano Enzyme, and Nissin Foods Holdings—ranked the 2nd, 6th, and 16th spots (as of April 2024) in the top 20 list of worldwide organizations filing patents related to technologies and methods to produce alternatives to animal products. What are these patents for? Fuji Oil According to Nikkei, the soy-protein innovator Fuji Oil holds patents for making plant-based butter and cheese. Fuji Oil employs a patented specialized Ultra Soy Separation process to make plant-based cheese and create low-fat soy …

more

Dodo Vegan Hut's team

© Dodo Vegan Hut

Food & Beverage

Dodo Vegan Hut Sees Success with Wholesome & Halal-Certified Frozen Food Lineup

After identifying a gap in the market for convenient and healthy vegan food products, Manimegalai Parry founded Dodo Vegan Hut in 2022 in Penang, Malaysia. With only two years in business, the company, supported by an all-women team, plans to widen its distribution channels and scale operations to expand locally and internationally through strategic investments and partnerships.  Initially operating from a commercial kitchen in Bayan Lepas, Dodo Vegan Hut acquired a production facility in Simpang Ampat at the end of 2023 to expand its operations. Parry recently told the Malaysiakini that the popularity of plant-based foods has surged due to increasing awareness of health, environmental, and ethical concerns. In addition, in April 2024, Dodo Vegan Hut successfully achieved JAKIM’s Halal certification, broadening its market reach among …

more

orange citrus fibre

@philipus - stock.adobe.com

Ingredients

Study Finds Citrus Fiber Outperforms Methylcellulose in Plant-Based Meat

A study funded by the Master of Food Technology (MoFT) program at Universiti Putra Malaysia, exploring healthy and sustainable binders for plant-based meat, found that citrus fiber is optimal for replacing synthetic ingredients like methylcellulose (MC). The researchers evaluated the physicochemical and sensorial properties of plant-based meat patties made with protein texturates and tested pea, citrus, and apple fibers as possible candidates. Their focus was to understand the influence of these fibers on key attributes such as taste, color, texture, moisture retention, strength, pH, emulsion stability, and overall acceptability. The scientists prepared five types of patties to compare and choose the best binder to replace MC: a negative control without MC or enzymatically treated fiber, a positive control with MC, and three patties incorporating enzymatically treated pea, citrus, and …

more

Israel's InnovoPro, a leading provider of chickpea protein solutions, has appointed Greg Belt as its new CEO.

Greg Belt, image supplied

People

InnovoPro Appoints Gregory Belt as CEO to Drive Expansion of Chickpea Proteins in F&B

InnovoPro, a leading provider of chickpea protein solutions, has announced the appointment of Gregory Belt as its new CEO. Based in the USA, Belt will spearhead the company’s strategic expansion into the food and beverage market. Belt has a proven track record and deep expertise in building new ventures and strategic planning for innovation-driven growth. His experience, gained from companies like AB InBev, has allowed him to gain commercial traction, particularly in the dynamic landscape of North America. With a ‘wealth of experience’ and a fresh perspective, Belt is poised to lead InnovoPro into its next phase of growth and expansion, focusing on clean-label products and natural emulsifiers. After seven years of leadership as co-founder and first CEO, Taly Nechushtan will transition to the role …

more

Raw potato on color background

©Pixel-Shot-stock.abobe.com

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 …

more

Dancing Cow

© Dancing Cow

Politics & Law

India’s PBFIA Calls for Plant-Based Milk Labeling Restrictions to Be Eased

Speaking at the Plant Based Foods Summit in New Delhi on May 21, India’s Plant Based Foods Industry Association (PBFIA) has called for the easing of labeling restrictions that currently prevent the use of the word “milk” on plant-based product packaging. Currently, milk alternatives sold in India are required to be labeled with the disclaimer “This is not dairy”, and the use of any dairy terms on their packaging is banned. But Sanjay Sethi, Executive Director of PBFIA, urged the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to reconsider. This would not be unprecedented; in the US, the FDA released draft guidance last year stating that milk alternatives can be called “milk”, in recognition of the fact that this terminology is commonly used by …

more