ALEHOOP produces proteins from seaweed and legume byproducts

© ALEHOOP

Algae, Microalgae & Seaweed

European Project Uses Biorefineries to Extract Proteins From Seaweed & Legume Byproducts

ALEHOOP, a European project funded by Sustainable Bio-Based Europe, has successfully used pilot-scale biorefineries to recover sustainable proteins from macroalgae (seaweed) and legume byproducts. The recovered proteins could be used to produce high-value food and feed products, including meat alternatives, snacks, and sports drinks. The project has conducted numerous safety tests to ensure that the proteins address any regulatory requirements and market barriers. Consistently high-quality Seaweed is a highly sustainable protein source as it requires no additional land or freshwater to grow and can benefit marine ecosystems. Meanwhile, legume processing generates byproducts such as seed coats, hulls, broken seeds, and leaves, which would normally be discarded; proteins made from these byproducts therefore have a very low carbon footprint. One challenge faced by the ALEHOOP project …

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Europa-Flagge im Wind

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Politics & Law

EU Election Guide Finds High Levels of Support for Plant-Based Policies After Surveying 50+ Political Parties

With European elections scheduled to take place from June 6-9, The European Vegetarian Union (EVU) has surveyed over 50 political parties across Europe to determine their stance on plant-based policies. Said to be the largest survey of its kind, the results have been published in a document titled Plant-Based Politics: The 2024 EU Election Guide. Europarties and national political parties from several EU countries (Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, France, Germany, Poland, and Spain) were given a questionnaire based on the policy recommendations made in the EVU’s Plant-Based Manifesto. The survey included questions about financial incentives, health and environmental issues, subsidies, and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Overall, the results indicate that political support for the EVU’s suggested policies is high. The most popular policy involves …

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The European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) has released a study that highlights Europe's animal-based protein balance and argues for the growing interest in alternative proteins. 

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Studies & Numbers

Europe’s 60% Reliance on Animal Proteins Challenged in New EU Alt Protein Research

The European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) has released a new study evaluating the potential of algae, insects, microbial fermentation, and cultivated meat to improve food security and reduce the environmental impacts of food production within the EU.  However, to make the case for the growing interest in these alternative proteins, the report explains Europe’s current protein balance. According to the authors, plant-based protein intake in the wider world accounts for 57% of total protein consumption. However, in Europe, animal protein still makes up the majority, somewhere between 55 and 60% — exceeding plant-based protein consumption since the 1970s and the recommended daily intake by about a third. Moreover, with this impressive demand for meat, the region faces a deficit in local feed production, importing 61% of …

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Two brown cows/ cattle

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Sustainability / Environment

EU Climate Advisers Recommend Shifting Subsidies Away From Animal Ag & Encouraging Plant-Based Diets

The European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change has released a report outlining several recommendations for addressing the climate crisis, including shifting subsidies away from animal agriculture. The authors say that the common agricultural policy (CAP) “should be better aligned with EU goals”. This could include “shifting CAP support away from emission-intensive agricultural practices, including livestock production”, instead prioritising lower-emissions products and other environmental policies. Furthermore, the report recommends measures to “encourage healthier, more plant-based diets”, along with other strategies to aid the transition towards a climate-neutral food system. For example, emissions pricing should be extended to the agricultural and food sectors, making high-emission foods more expensive and therefore discouraging their purchase. Other agricultural recommendations include a standalone emissions reduction objective and practices that reduce …

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Soy bean, tofu and other soy products

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Agriculture / Agribusiness

Europe: ADM Announces First Traceable Soybean Shipments from US and Broadens Regenerative Agriculture Initiative 

ADM (NYSE: ADM) has announced the successful shipment of traceable soybeans from the US to Europe. The expansion comes in anticipation of new EU regulations that will take effect at the end of the year, prohibiting imports of soybeans from deforested land, says the company. ADM’s first traceable soybean pilot program delivered 2.4 million bushels (64,000 metric tons) of soybeans in 2023. This successful yield has prompted ADM to expand these capabilities to other key locations across North America for the 2024 growing season.  Last year, the agricultural processing giant acquired Prairie Pulse Inc., a locally operated pulse crop processor in Saskatchewan, Canada , that purchases directly from farmers. The traceable soybean program is an extension of ADM’s International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) certified bean …

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MeliBio and Narayan Foods launch vegan honey at ALDI-owned Hofer stores

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Company News

MeliBio and Narayan Foods to Launch Vegan Honey at ALDI-Owned Hofer Stores Through Private Label Deal

MeliBio, a US-based producer of vegan honey, has partnered with organic food producer Narayan Foods to launch bee-free honey at ALDI-owned Hofer stores in Europe. The private-label deal will see the plant-based honey sold under the name Vegan Hanny as part of Hofer’s Just Veg! brand. The product will initially roll out in Austria and Switzerland from this month, before expanding into other European countries. The agreement between MeliBio and Narayan is valued at more than $10 million over four years. The two companies first partnered in 2022 to launch the bee-free honey at 75,000 European retail stores under the name Better Foodie Vegan H*ney; this collaboration is still underway, with the Vegan H*ney set to roll out at UK stores this month. “Innovation, quality …

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Cultured Foods burger

© Cultured Foods

Investments & Acquisitions

CV Sciences Expands into European Plant-Based Food Market with Acquisition of Cultured Foods

American consumer wellness brand CV Sciences has officially publicized the purchase of Cultured Foods, a European manufacturer and distributor of vegan food products. This strategic move allows CV Sciences to tap into the plant-based food market and aims to establish a foothold in the European market for its flagship brand, PlusCBD. With a presence across 15 European countries, Cultured Foods produces a diverse range of plant-based offerings, including vEGGs egg alternatives, meat-free burger mixes, stew and gravy mixes, ground meat substitutes, and plant-based cheese mixes. With the acquisition, the company aims to introduce Cultured Foods vegan products to the United States while simultaneously creating a platform for the sale and distribution of PlusCBD products throughout Europe. Strategic expansion and diversification The purchase of Cultured Foods …

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Ingredients

AGRANA Starch Ingredients: Optimize the Texture and Protein Content in Your Plant-Based Product

Are you developing a new plant-based product, or are you planning to? Then the following keywords are certainly familiar to you: “meat-like texture”; “protein content”; “methyl cellulose-free”; “clean label”; and even “rich in fibre”. Product development of plant-based meat alternatives can be challenging: We want to meet the demands regarding texture and structure. It is important to find a valuable plant-based protein source. Surely, we want to meet consumer demands for “clean label”, organic, GMO-free, gluten-free or soy-free, etc. AGRANA Starch is your partner for natural ingredients and the ideal complement for your plant-based product. The carefully selected raw materials of AGRANA Starch are corn, potatoes, and wheat. We produce starch products for the food industry as well as for other industrial sectors from these …

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Vegan protein sources- EIT Food calls for innovative policymaking on protein diversification to address the challenges of the food system Challenges

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Studies & Numbers

Think Tank Calls for Innovative Policymaking on Protein Diversification to Address EU Food System Challenges

A new policy brief by the food innovation community EIT Food, Accelerating Protein Diversification for Europe, argues that innovative policymaking is key to unlocking protein diversification to transform Europe’s food system. To feed a growing population and minimize the adverse effects of animal agriculture on the environment and human health, new policy strategies should prioritise protein diversification, including plant and algae-based, cultivated, fermented, and insect-based alternatives, states the paper. The policy brief, developed by Think Tank EIT Food Protein Diversification in consultation with experts and stakeholders across the sector provides policy recommendations for decision-makers to accelerate a change for sustainable proteins in the region. “This collaborative effort confirms the important role of EU governments in driving change — from R&I funding, to enabling policy frameworks, to support for …

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Oatly's call for Big Dairy execs to join debate receives just one response

© Mossgiel Organic Farm

Sustainability / Environment

Oatly’s Call for Big Dairy Execs to Join Climate Labelling Debate Receives Just One Response

As part of its campaign calling for climate labelling on all food and drink products in the UK, Oatly recently hosted a debate where it invited a “Big Dairy Executive” to explain their stance on the subject. Despite the spot being open to dairy executives from across the EU, and the 26 million views received by Oatly’s campaign launch video on social media, the company received just one response from the dairy industry — and it wasn’t from an executive. Bryce Cunningham is a farmer from Mossgiel Organic Farm in Ayrshire, Scotland, who told the Daily Record that he “felt that Oatly’s claims were unjustified”. Mossgiel is working to reduce its carbon emissions, with the aim of reaching net zero by December 2025. The farm …

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European Parliament votes to increase plant protein production and consumption

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Politics & Law

European Parliament Votes to Boost Plant Protein Production & Consumption

The European Parliament has voted in favour of a strategy that aims to increase plant protein production and consumption within the EU. Based on an own-initiative report adopted last month, the European Protein Strategy emphasises the importance of high-protein crops to improve food security and sustainability. The report was drawn up in response to the European Commission’s food security communication last year, and though it is non-binding, it still has the potential to influence the Commission. MEPs voted in favour of the strategy by 305 to 109, with 69 abstaining. Those who support the strategy are calling for dedicated plant protein funds, along with schemes to promote the growth of legumes and diversify the types of protein produced. Additionally, they suggest more R&D into plant-based …

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PBWE Europe

© PBWE Europe

Fairs & Events

PBWE Europe Reveals Plant-Based 2.0 Trends, Highlights The UK’s Long-Term Growth

Ahead of the upcoming event and its return to London next month, Plant Based World Expo Europe (PBWE Europe), the largest 100% plant-based trade event in the region, provides insights on the present and future of the sector and unveils its predictions on food trends for what it calls the plant-based 2.0 industry. PBWE Europe says it projects long-term growth for the UK’s plant-based food industry, with the market growing by 9.58% and London being “officially” the most vegan-friendly city in the world, according to the organisers. The UK’s growth is framed under the global plant-based food market, expected to reach $115.3 billion by 2035, representing a compound annual growth rate of 16.5%. Mirroring the market, PPBWE Europe says it is also experiencing growth and preparing …

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Mushroom packaging ©Ecovative

Materials

Ecovative Opens Access to Patent for Plastic-Free Mycelium-Based Materials

Ecovative, a US developer of sustainable mycelium-based technologies, has announced that it is opening access to a European patent for its plastic-free MycoComposite™ materials. All individuals and businesses in Europe can now use the materials in their innovations, providing a sustainable alternative to plastics and environmentally damaging chemicals. The patent outlines a blueprint for the creation of mycelium composites, which have the potential to cut carbon emissions across multiple industries. According to Ecovative, the patent is already in use worldwide in industries such as packaging, construction materials, architecture, and more. Interest in entrepreneurial applications of MycoComposite is reportedly increasing sharply in Europe, and Ecovative hopes to test the potential of open-access patents to spur innovation in mycelium technologies. “Picks and shovels” The news comes a …

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Fairs & Events

Top Highlights From the European Vegan Summit 2023

The European Vegan Summit took place online from September 19 to 23, hosted by the Polish vegan think tank Green REV Institute. Politicians, activists, and industry experts came together to explore how reforming the food system could mitigate the challenges of climate change, food poverty, animal suffering, biodiversity loss, and more. Highlights from this year’s event included a focus on: Food system transition — Speakers discussed sustainable agriculture, the environmental impact of various food choices, and policy proposals and strategies that could reform the European food system. “The EU is still a leader in climate action, but it doesn’t do enough (…) there will be a lot of conservatism until the end of the mandate,” said MEP Francisco Guereirro. Effective and inclusive activism — Activists …

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Food tech leader TiNDLE Foods, formerly Next Gen Foods, announces an expansion into new categories (including milks, ice creams, and sausages) and a new brand identity

© TiNDLE Foods

Market & Trends

Singaporean Plant-Based Brands Expand Into Europe, Capitalizing on Growing Demand

Singaporean plant-based brands are increasingly taking advantage of rising demand elsewhere in the world to expand internationally, with a particular focus on Europe. The number of alt protein companies in Singapore has reportedly skyrocketed in recent years, as the country becomes increasingly concerned about food security and actively recruits scientists in the field. While the Singaporean alt protein market provides considerable opportunities, some companies are opting to make their success global. Among the most notable is plant-based chicken brand TiNDLE, which launched at hundreds of UK restaurants last year before rolling out at retail stores in the country this April. The brand is also available at thousands of EDEKA supermarkets in Germany. Another Singaporean brand, Growthwell Foods’ HAPPIEE! (which mostly focuses on seafood alternatives) arrived …

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Modern Synthesis and GANNI

© Modern Synthesis

Fashion, Design & Beauty

Ex Adidas Designer Unveils Bag Made from Bacteria at London Design Festival

Modern Synthesis, a London-based biotechnology company, has partnered with GANNI, a Danish fashion brand, to reimagine its ‘Bou’ handbag using the company’s bacterial nanocellulose material. Originally crafted from recycled animal leather, the new iteration is part of GANNI’s commitment to eliminate virgin leather from its products by the end of this year, and is being unveiled at the London Design Festival taking place until this Sunday. Founded by ex-Adidas designer Jen Keane and synthetic biologist Dr. Ben Reeve, Modern Synthesis uses a proprietary biotechnology process that transforms sugar derived from agricultural waste into nanocellulose fibers, which the company claims are eight times stronger than steel. The company joins the ranks of other biodegradable textile manufacturers like 3D-printed Simplifyber and banana-based FOReT and Rashki, who are …

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The Cultivated B. facility

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Company News

The Cultivated B. Enters Pre-Submission Phase for Approval of Cultivated Meat in Europe

The Cultivated B — the cultivated meat subsidiary of Germany’s second-largest animal-based sausage manufacturer Infamily Foods — states it has entered the pre-submission phase of regulatory approval for the sale of hybrid cultivated meat products in Europe. The company explains that it has entered the initial stage, which is an official EFSA process requested at least six months in advance of the official submission. After the application is submitted, TCB would become the world’s first biotech company to apply for EFSA certification for cultivated meat, if there have been no further applications in this period. It should be noted here that while Aleph Farms did apply for regulatory approval in Switzerland this July, marking it the first-ever submission for cultivated meat in Europe, this application …

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Precision fermentation egg products by Formo

© Formo

Egg Alternatives

Formo to Launch “New Class of Products” With Precision Fermentation Eggs

A peer-reviewed study conducted by Formo in partnership with Singapore Management University has found considerable demand for precision fermentation eggs, as the company prepares to launch what it describes as a “new class of products”. Through its existing protein production platform, which is already used to produce precision fermentation dairy proteins, Formo will use bio-designed microbes to make animal-free eggs. Since fermented proteins have a precedent of consumption in the EU, they are not considered a novel food, meaning Formo could introduce its first fermented egg products as early as this year. Curiosity The study surveyed over 3,000 consumers from Germany, the US, and Singapore, finding that a majority (51-61%) would be willing to try the products across all three countries. German consumers were predominantly …

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Quorn Foodservice Business Unit announces new brand identity

Paul Jennings, Head of Culinary at QuornPro. © QuornPro

Company News

Quorn Foodservice Business Unit Reveals New Brand Identity

Quorn’s Foodservice Business Unit has announced an “extensive repositioning exercise” and new brand identity. The unit will now be known as QuornPro, as the brand works to position itself as an ideal protein solution for food service customers. The change comes in response to research which suggested that the unit would benefit from having its own values and mission, complementing Quorn’s retail division. According to the brand, the unit has already gone beyond selling frozen food and is now helping chefs at food service outlets to offer sustainable alt meat solutions. Quorn says it aims to be “the best protein on the planet”, becoming more than a classic meat alternative. Starting this month, the rebrand will roll out across the UK and the EU, with …

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Alpro Not M*lk

©Alpro

Studies & Numbers

European Alt Milk Sales Grow 49% in Two Years, With Germany Leading the Market

A new study by the University of Hohenheim has investigated the acceptance of plant-based milks in six EU countries, as figures reveal that European alt milk sales grew by 49% between 2020 and 2022. Germany was found to have the highest turnover and market potential for milk alternatives, due to high levels of awareness about animal welfare, health, and the environment. Additionally, Germans attach less importance to social and cultural norms than study participants from other countries, making them more willing to try non-traditional foods. Tradition-based obstacles On the other hand, countries such as France, Spain, and Italy have long traditions of consuming cheeses and other dairy products, and consumers from these countries are more sceptical about plant-based products. Many find the taste and mouthfeel …

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