Myocopia & University of Helsinki develop growth free medium

Myocopia / University of Helsinki

Cultivated Meat

University of Helsinki Develops “Game-Changing” Cultivated Meat Technology Without Growth Medium Using Stem Cells

Pekka Katajisto of the University of Helsinki’s HiLIFE (Helsinki Institute of Life Science) and his team at the Myocopia project have developed a technology based on stem cell research that they believe would allow the large-scale production of cultivated meat, thus bringing affordable products to the market. The Myocopia researchers argue that cultivating meat in bioreactors relies on expensive growth factors to make the cells grow and differentiate, and these costs hinder cultivated meat companies from growing sufficient volumes of meat cost-effectively. However, after researching how cellular metabolism regulates the division and differentiation of muscle stem cells, the Myocopia team has found another approach to achieve the same cell behavior without using a growth medium. “I believe our innovation is going to be a game …

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Enifer mycoprotein facility

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Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Enifer Raises €36M for Mycoprotein Facility Producing the “Missing Ingredient for a Sustainable Food Chain”

Finland’s Enifer has secured enough funding to begin the construction of a mycoprotein facility that will upcycle food industry sidestreams into fungi-based protein ingredients. The facility will cultivate up to 3,000 tons of Enifer’s proprietary mycoprotein, PEKILO®, every year; this is said to be enough to meet the annual protein needs of around 40,000 people. According to the company, the plant will be the first worldwide to produce this type of mycoprotein from sidestreams. The construction of the facility is expected to cost €33 million and be completed by the end of 2025, with operations ramping up in 2026. The new funding consists of a €15 million Series B round led by the private equity fund Taaleri Bioindustry Fund I, with follow-on investments from existing …

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The UK's Ivy Farm Technologies announces it has signed a manufacturing agreement with Synbio Powerlabs Oy, the Finnish leader in synthetic biology, to produce its cultivated meat products at a large scale.

Image courtesy of Ivy Farm

Cultivated Meat

Ivy Farm Partners with Synbio Powerlabs to Cultivate Meat At “Unprecedented” Scale

UK-based Ivy Farm Technologies announces it has signed a manufacturing agreement with Synbio Powerlabs, a Finnish leader in synthetic biology, to produce its cultivated meat products in large fermenters. According to Synbio Powerlabs, cultivated meat will be produced on an unprecedented scale in Finland. The Finnish firm is converting a sizeable food-grade facility into a fermentation hub supported by a €2.99 million grant from the Finnish government. Expected to be operational by early 2025, the facility will include production scales at 10,000 and 27,000 L and six 250,000 L manufacturing vessels. Once opened, it will be the largest facility of its kind in the world, according to the announcement. Gaining access to Synbio Powerlabs’ expertise and facilities, Ivy Farms will scale up its cultivated meat production to …

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Plant based grilled burger patty with grill marks and rock salt isolated on white. Top view.

© Moving Moment-stock.adobe.com

Studies & Numbers

Researchers Discover Ideal Fava Bean Blend for Tasty & Fibrous Plant-Based Meat

Scientists from the University of Helsinki have discovered a promising protein blend for plant-based meat: whole fava bean (also commonly known as fava or broad bean) groat flour (hulled husks) combined with pea protein isolate (PPI). Fava beans are a promising ingredient for producing meat analogs. However, the researchers argue that protein concentrate from these beans has been hindered by its bitter taste, which is attributed to compounds such as free phenolics, vicine, convicine, saponins, and oxidized fatty acids. To overcome the bitter challenge so disliked by consumers, they explored in a new study the feasibility of using two different types of fava bean ingredients instead of concentrates: flour from germinated, gently heat-treated beans and groat from non-germinated, roasted beans. According to the researchers, both heat …

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Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

VTT Study Finds Mycoprotein a Sustainable Superfood & Next-Level Nutrient Powerhouse

Research by a team of scientists at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland shows that mycoprotein is a valuable ingredient: it offers digestible proteins and, unlike meat, dietary fiber.  These findings are relevant because various studies suggest that dietary fiber intake significantly reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, stroke, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension. The VTT study evaluated the nutritional quality of different microbial biomass samples by assessing their protein digestibility and carbohydrate (fiber) fermentability in the colon using in vitro methods. According to the researchers, previous studies centered on protein content, overlooking fiber, glucose, and other macronutrients. Four microbial biomasses were selected to determine whether they could be both a protein and dietary fiber source for the human diet: one hydrogen-oxidizing …

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Solar Foods launches first -ever Gelato made with its microbial protein

© Solar Foods

Fermentation

Historic Moment in Food Production: Solar Foods Opens World’s First Commercial-Scale Air Protein Facility

Finnish air protein Solar Foods announces the official launch of its highly anticipated Factory 01 in Vantaa, Finland. Claimed as the world’s first factory growing food out of thin air, the new plant will commercially produce 160 tons annually of the company’s flagship protein, Solein, paving the way for the next generation of sustainable products.  Produced leveraging a microorganism, CO2, and electricity and described as a nutritious and versatile protein, Solein has been only released in small batches from the company’s pilot laboratory in Espoo, near Helsinki.  Solar Foods’ CEO and co-founder, Pasi Vainikka, shares: “We will be able to deliver quantities that allow food producers to create large batches of Solein-powered products for the first time. “While we have been able to offer consumers a small …

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Three Mushketeers stand

© Three Mushketeers

Fungi, Mushrooms & Mycelium

Finnish Startup Three Mushketeers is Redefining Plant-Based Taste with Mushroom Waste

Three Mushketeers is a food tech startup from Helsinki Finland, working to revolutionize the taste of plant-based foods by using sustainable, clean-label ingredients derived from mushroom waste.  Emmi Korjus, Emma Kynkäänniemi, and Ida Nikkilä, experts in food technology, food chemistry, and nutrition science, co-founded the startup with a mission to address the main challenges faced by the vegan food industry: tastelessness and off-flavors. According to the team, despite the growing popularity of sustainable eating and veganism, 60% of consumers still dislike the taste of these products. However, Three Mushketeers says its innovative product offers a straightforward solution. Masking off-flavors Using a proprietary technology called “remush,” the startup processes by-products of mushroom cultivation into a savory powder that is said to effectively mask off-flavors in plant …

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Onego Bio raises funding for animal-free egg protein

© Onego Bio

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Onego Bio Raises $40M to Commercialize “Revolutionary” Animal-Free Egg Protein

US-Finnish biotech company Onego Bio has raised $40 million in one of the largest Series A rounds in the Nordics. The funding will be used to drive the commercialization and manufacturing of the company’s animal-free egg protein, which is produced using precision fermentation. The round was led by NordicNinja, with participation from Tesi, EIT Food, Agronomics, and more. It also includes $10 million in non-dilutive funding from the Finnish government association Business Finland. Previously, Onego Bio raised €10 million in seed funding in 2022, after being founded as a spinoff from VTT (the Technical Research Center of Finland). Onego Bio’s ingredient, Bioalbumen®, has a neutral taste and is bioidentical to the major egg white protein ovalbumin. It contains all the essential amino acids, has the …

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Oddlygood Barista and desserts roll out into Asda

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Products & Launches

Oddlygood Arrives in Asda UK with Dreamy Desserts & Flavoured Barista Oat Drinks

Oddlygood, a spinoff of Valio, a renowned Finnish food company, this week rolls out its Barista Oat Drinks — already a best-selling range in Europe –as well as two varieties of its Dreamy Desserts, into Asda in the UK. The products are all free of gluten and palm oil and the milks offer “amazing foamability”, thanks to having one of the highest protein contents in the segment, according to the brand, of around 1.2g/100g. The Barista drinks launch into Asda in Salted Caramel and Vanilla, marking their UK debut, and the desserts launch in the varieties Dreamy Lemon Dessert and Dreamy Berries Dessert. Oddlygood’s original Barista Oat Drink will also be available in Asda stores from June. The launch comes as part of the brand’s …

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Ilo launches high protein cashew pudding

© Ilo

Sweets & Snacks

Finland’s Ilo Introduces Cashew Pudding High Protein in Choco Caramel and Vanilla Flavours

Finland’s Ilo offers a wide range of artisan cheeses, desserts, dips and spreads, primarily with a cashew base. Ilo’s vegan products are made in Jämsä, where cheese has been processed since the 1950s, by Jokilaakson Juusto, a Finnish dairy company. They have been granted the key flag of the Finnish Labor Association. In 2007, the dairy producer launched its plant-based brand, Ilo, which was initially focused on hummus and since has introduced several vegan cheeses such as its Vegan Mozzis, an alternative to mozzarella slices launched last year, as well as parmesan, slices and shreds, and delicacies like Cashew White Mold and Cashew Black Pepper. A “joyful experience” Ilo recently expanded its offerings with an entirely new line, Ilo Cashew Pudding High Protein, in Choco …

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The Finnish food experience company Fazer announces the launch of the world's first chocolate bar powered by Solein in Singapore.

Image courtesy of Fazer

Products & Launches

Solar Foods and Fazer Unveil World’s First Air-Protein Chocolate Bar in Singapore

Finnish food producer Fazer announces the launch in Singapore of the world’s first chocolate bar powered by Solein. Solein, created by the Finish biotech Solar Foods, is a novel protein crafted through fermentation technology, utilizing microbes, carbon dioxide, and electricity without the need for agricultural resources, hence dubbed “air protein.” With this introduction, Fazer becomes the first fast-moving consumer goods company ever to offer a product made with Solein, marking as well the air protein’s retail debut in a consumer product. Solein received regulatory approval in Singapore in 2022, making it possible to introduce it to the public in various dishes, including a dairy-free chocolate gelato developed in collaboration with Fico, Solar Food’s restaurant partner. Taste the future Called “Taste the Future”, the vegan friendly …

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Enifer Secures €12 million grant to build a first-of-its-kind mycoprotein ingredient factory

Image courtesy of Enifer

Investments & Finance

Enifer Receives €12M EU Grant for “First-of-its-Kind” Mycoprotein Facility in Finland

Finnish biotech startup Enifer announces that it has received a grant worth over €12 million from the European Union’s NextGenerationEU programme, to construct its first commercial-scale mycoprotein facility in the Uusimaa region (the exact location has not been revealed). Enifer has developed a mycoprotein ingredient called PEKILO using fungal fermentation, industrial byproducts, and waste streams. The plant’s total construction cost is €30 million and is set to be completed by the end of 2025, with production starting in 2026. Once operational, the biotech claims that the mycoprotein factory, the first-of-its-kind, will be ready to produce three million kilograms of PEKILO per year — equivalent to the protein yield of 30,000 cows while emitting at least 20 times fewer carbon emissions. “This plant will be a critical …

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Niklas Kaskeala, chairman of Plant Based Foods Finland. Image supplied.

Company News

Oatly Manager Chairs New ‘Plant Based Foods Finland’ Business Group Targeting Plant-Based Market Growth

A new business association, Plant Based Foods Finland (Pro Vege in Finnish), has been established to help increase the share of plant-based foods in the Finnish food system. Among the association’s 18 founding members are the country’s three largest supermarket chains — Kesko, SOK, and Lidl Finland — said to account for 92% of the food retail market. Several restaurants and plant-based companies are also included; the full list is Food Farm, Kotipizza Group, Lipasu, MeEat Food Tech, Mö Foods, Nordic Umami Company, Oatly, Oy Soya Ab, Porlammi Dairy, Raisio, Tmi Jukka Kajan, Virna Food Radecon, Vöner, WWF Finland and Ylva Palvelut. Ambitious plans, mission-aligned partners Plant Based Foods Finland will work to make plant-based foods attractive to as many people as possible, with a …

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Solar Foods raises €8M in oversubscribed funding round

© Solar Foods

Investments & Acquisitions

Air Protein Producer Solar Foods Raises €8M in Oversubscribed Funding Round

Finland’s Solar Foods, a company developing “food out of thin air”, has raised €8 million in an oversubscribed funding round. The round was conducted via Finnish investment organiser Springvest Oyj, and is the largest to ever take place on the platform. Registration was initially planned to be open until November 10, but the round reached capacity almost two weeks early following “overwhelming demand” from investors. Solar Foods will use the funding to ramp up production at its first commercial-scale facility, Factory 01, and commercialise Solein (the company’s protein) in food products. Operations at the facility are expected to begin in the first half of next year. Solar Foods produces protein by feeding microorganisms with carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen from the air; the hydrogen and …

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REBL Eats and La Vie collaborate to introduce a plant-based pasta carbonara in Finland.

© La Vie

Products & Launches

REBL Eats Launches Plant-Based Pasta Carbonara Powered by La Vie in Finland’s Kesko Stores

In a first-ever collaboration, REBL Eats, a Finnish producer of vegan ready-meals, and La Vie, a French expert in alternative pork, have joined forces to create an old classic with a modern twist: plant-based pasta carbonara. REBL Eats’ new plant-based pasta carbonara features La Vie‘s famous veggie lardons to deliver the authentic flavors of the Italian recipe. La Vie leverages food tech to produce the carnivore-fooling plant-based bacon that has conquered France and many European countries, including the UK.  La Vie reports that the “lip-smacking dish” has been a success, with over 1000 Finnish foodies enjoying the vegan meal each week since it launched in 200 Kesko- K-Group stores across Finland. High-quality ready meals REBL Eats offers a range of ready meals, sandwiches, and oats puddings in …

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Oddlygood and Planti

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Investments & Acquisitions

Oddlygood Acquires Planti, Securing Top Spots in Dairy Alternative Markets in Sweden and Finland

Finnish plant-based product manufacturer Oddlygood has recently made a significant move in the plant-based food industry by acquiring the Nordic brand Planti. This strategic acquisition places Oddlygood at the forefront of two prominent dairy alternative categories: spoonable snacks in Sweden and cooking products in Finland.  Founded in 2018, Oddlygood has rapidly grown its presence in the industry. The company recently secured a retail partnership with Morrisons in the UK, while also seeing success of its product lineup of oat drinks and spoonable snacks in the American and European markets.  In 2022, Oddlygood achieved a record turnover of €23.5 million, with projections pointing toward even greater profits this year.  CEO of Oddlygood, Niko Vuorenmaa emphasizes the significance of the Planti acquisition, highlighting: “Planti is our first …

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© MeEat Food Tech

Manufacturing & Technology

MeEat Selects Centric PLM to Help Revolutionize Plant-Based Food Industry

Finnish food tech startup partners with Centric Software to bolster innovation, streamline processes & enhance collaboration Centric Software®, the Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) market leader, proudly announces its partnership with MeEat, a Finnish plant-based food tech startup. Centric Software provides the most innovative enterprise solutions to plan, design, develop, source and sell products such as apparel, footwear, sporting goods, furniture, home décor, consumer electronics, cosmetics, food & beverage and luxury to achieve strategic and operational digital transformation goals. Founded in 2020, MeEat Food Tech is a plant-based food startup with an aspirational mission — to make the best plant-based products and help the meat industry switch to plant-based food production. MeEat is a spin-off from a Finnish meat processing company, Pouttu, and their brand MUU …

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An AI generated image of microbes

© Solar Foods

Fermentation

European Innovation Council Funds Solar Foods-Led Consortium Creating Milk Protein from CO2 and Electricity

From over 400 contesting teams, a research consortium led by Finnish company Solar Foods to produce sustainable milk protein from CO2 and electricity has been selected by the European Innovation Council’s Pathfinder Challenge 2022.  The challenge, which seeks cutting-edge research projects that could achieve breakthroughs in their respective fields, will invest €5.5 million in the consortium’s four-year HYDROCOW project. Solar Foods will work with the University of Groningen, RWTH Aachen University, and FGen AG, a subsidiary of Ginkgo Bioworks, to develop a novel biotechnology platform independent from agriculture and photosynthesis, to create sustainable food, materials, medicines, and chemical production.  A groundbreaking technology HYDROCOW aims to develop a carbon-neutral system by genetically modifying hydrogen-oxidizing microbes to produce beta-lactoglobulin using CO2 and electricity instead of traditional fermentation solutions that use agricultural feedstocks …

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Foodiq Spoothie product in kitchen

© Foodiq

Investments & Finance

Nicoya AB Invests in Foodiq’s Innovative Alternative Dairy Tech

Foodiq a Nordic co-manufacturer that says it is committed to transforming the food industry, announces it has received investment from Swedish foodtech investment company Nicoya to support the company’s growth and expansion. According to its own statements, Nicoya has set itself the goal of achieving a positive impact on people, planet and health through the investment.  Foodiq is currently introducing its dairy-free Multi-Layer Cooking (MLC) technology, which aims to pave the way for ‘next generation’ plant-based foods. According to Foodiq — developer of Fabea+, an ingredient made from fermented fava beans — its MLC technology is intended to create the conditions for a transformative change towards a more sustainable and tastier food future. All-in-one processing Foodiq’s MLC technology provides the ability to perform multiple functions …

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Havredals' fava beans

© Havredals

Health

The BeanMan Study in Finland Examines Effects on Male Health of Legume Protein Compared to Meat

A study conducted at the University of Helsinki showed that partial replacement of red and processed meat with foods based on peas and broad beans (also known as faba or fava beans) ensures an adequate intake of amino acids in the diet and does not negatively affect bone metabolism. “Reducing the consumption of red and processed meat in the diet to the ceiling of the Planetary Health Diet while increasing the consumption of legumes grown in Finland, such as peas and field beans, is safe from a protein nutrition perspective. Bone health is also not affected by such dietary changes,” says PhD student Suvi Itkonen from the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry. For the BeanMan study, 102 Finnish men followed a study diet for six …

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