Robert Alber, Creavitalis

© Alzchem Group AG

Interviews

Alzchem Group: “Creavitalis as a Versatile Ingredient Opens Many Options for the Plant-Based Food Industry”

Alzchem Group AG is the producer of Creavitalis®, the benchmark for a versatile ingredient called creatine monohydrate. Creavitalis® is a fine, tasteless powder that can be incorporated into food products such as meat and fish alternatives. If just 0.5 grams of the powder is added to 100 grams of plant-based meat, the creatine content will be equivalent to that of animal meat, according to the company. “The recommended daily dose for creatine is 3 grams a day, which corresponds approximately to a 700g steak! So, creatine supplementation makes a lot of sense for all low or no meat diets,” explains Robert Alber VP of Alzchem’s human nutrition unit. Creatine monohydrate is not classified as a novel food, as confirmed by the European Commission. As such, …

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Veganz Meat plant-based alternative range

©Veganz

Company News

Veganz Group Releases 2023 Annual Report

Veganz Group AG, founded in 2011 in Berlin, with a product portfolio widely available in the DACH region, has published its financial report for 2023. Despite a “struggle with consumers’ purchasing reluctance and the persistently weak economic development in 2023”, the company highlights in its report a 6% growth in its strategic core categories as it responded to the financial climate with plant-based innovations for brands and private labels, cost reductions, and expansion of production facilities, with the acquisition of the brands and production site of fellow German company Happy Cheeze. Notably, in 2023 there were successful innovations including Veganz Bluebert and Veganz Mililk®, a highly sustainable 2D printed oat milk disc product, which recently rolled out into Rewe stores. Optimistic outlook for 2024 Veganz’s …

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German cell ag players

© CellAg Deutschland / Wacker Chemie AG / Ada Magdalena Drazek / Cultimate Foods

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

CEO Statements: Cultivated Meat & Novel Proteins – Threat or Beacon of Hope?

In the seventh part of our series “CEO Statements: What Excites, Moves, Motivates”, in which vegconomist’s German platform regularly interviews CEOs on current topics, we spoke to Fabian Baumann, founder of CellAg Germany; Dr Susanne Leonhartsberger, head of WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS; Florentine Zieglowski, co-founder of RESPECTfarms; and Eugenia Sagué, CEO and co-founder of Cultimate Foods. Each of these companies is developing novel food innovations with which they want to help shape the future of the food industry. The debate surrounding cultivated meat is wide-ranging and is often fuelled by positive expectations. Above all, the potential environmental benefits take centre stage: compared to conventional livestock farming, cultured meat could consume significantly fewer resources and cause lower greenhouse gas emissions. It also opens up the possibility of reducing …

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A mycoprotein steak

Image courtesy of Nosh.bio

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Nosh.bio’s Retroffited Plant Ready to Produce “Thousands of Tons” of Mycoprotein Annually

Nosh.bio, a B2B biomass fermentation startup recently showcased on the Investment Climate Podcast, announces it has achieved a production milestone at its newly established plant near Dresden, Germany. The biotech explains that it has conducted extensive production trials, indicating that is on track to produce “thousands of tons” of its mycoprotein ingredient annually. The inaugural production run is expected to occur within the next four to five months.  The company’s mycoprotein delivers a muscle-like structure, allowing manufacturers to produce single-ingredient meat and seafood alternatives without extrusion or additives. Furthermore, it provides an umami taste with zero aftertaste and a neutral color, providing manufacturers with a versatile ingredient with additional binding functionalities.  Retrofitting to scale Nosh.bio’s site was a closed brewery transformed into an alternative protein …

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Dr. Clauder's partners with Calysta to launch innovative dog treats made with FeedKindPet protein.

© Dr. Clauder's

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Dr. Clauder’s Introduces the “World’s First” Dog Treats Featuring Calysta’s Air Protein FeedKindPet

German pet food manufacturer Dr. Clauder’s has partnered with microbial protein pioneer Calysta, to launch the world’s first dog treats made with FeedKindPet, an air protein-derived ingredient designed for pet nutrition. FeedKindPet, a vegan protein source, is said to be nutrient-dense, offering a complete amino acid profile for dogs, and is highly digestible while featuring postbiotic properties that help maintain a healthy gut. It has been approved for use in pet food in the EU and has received GRAS status in the USA. Dr. Clauder’s is a top German brand focused on pet health and nutrition, offering a wide range of high-quality products for dogs and cats. The company is known by pet owners and professionals for its premium pet food and supplements, which are made …

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McDonald's Deutschland launches Famous McPlant Burger

© McDonald's Deutschland

Fast Food

McDonald’s Germany Launches Beyond McPlant Menu Curated by Rock Stars Bill & Tom Kaulitz

The “Famous Order” menu, long established in the United States, is now being introduced at McDonald’s Germany. The internationally known musicians, twins Bill (husband of Heidi Klum) and Tom Kaulitz of the rock band Tokio Hotel, are crafting unique McPlant menus for this rollout. The McPlant burger patty and McPlant nuggets are produced by Beyond Meat, and currently are not available in the USA, as far as we understand. From today May 8, Bill and Tom Kaulitz will feature their personalized menus at McDonald’s Germany. They join the ranks of global icons such as Travis Scott, Mariah Carey, and BTS, who have previously curated their own “Famous Order” selections in the USA. The twins have curated the menus, including their distinct burger variations. Bill’s signature …

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MyriaMeat Unveils Cultivated Pork Fillet Made 100% from Cells

© Image courtesy of MyriaMeat

Cultivated Meat

MyriaMeat Unveils 100% Muscle Cultivated Pork Fillet

German biotech startup MyriaMeat announces that it has successfully developed a cultivated pork fillet made entirely from pig cells, without the use of scaffolds for cell support or added plant protein blends for shape. The cultivated pork fillet was showcased at an event in Berlin hosted by the startup’s supporting investor, SPRIN-D, the Federal Agency for Disruptive Innovation. “In our company, it’s now about implementation, no longer basic research, and we have demonstrated this with our prototype developed in Göttingen within just one year, CEO Florian Hüttner shares.  Growing whole cuts MyriaMeat uses patented medical technology based on pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) and parthenogenetic stem cells. This technology enables natural muscle growth, allowing the startup to grow meat pieces or whole cuts —  one of cultivated meat’s challenges.  While MyriaMeat has labelled this …

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omami sweet chilli flavour chickpea tofu

© omami

Startups, Accelerators & Incubators

New Berlin Startup omami Debuts with Tofu Made from Chickpeas

omami, a young startup from Berlin not, of course, to be confused with Umiami, Umami Bio, Umaro, Yamami, or any other Oms or Ums, debuts with a chickpea tofu product in four varieties. Founded by Christina Hammerschmid in October 2023, omami tofu is made with carefully selected ingredients sourced exclusively from Europe. The products are produced in the company’s own production facility and the company guarantees short supply chains. Chickpea-based tofu caters to consumers with allergies and unable or unwilling to consume soy products, or are simply interested in a novel protein, and has become a popular solution in recent years. Other chickpea-based tofus currently available on the market include products from Big Mountain in Canada; Franklin Farms in the US; Moonbeans of Illinois; Bronhill …

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Mercedes-Benz canteen

© Mercedes-Benz

Company News

Mercedes-Benz to Introduce Primarily Plant-Based Menu in Canteens

Mercedes-Benz contacts vegconomist to report that its German canteens are working to become aligned with the Planetary Health Diet, and will serve predominantly plant-based food by the end of 2025. From April 23-26, some Mercedes-Benz canteens partnered with the Stuttgart vegan restaurant vhy! (co-founded by former footballer Timo Hildebrand) for a campaign to showcase the taste and diversity of plant-based foods. Four of the restaurant’s dishes were prepared at the canteens — Maultaschen (large dumplings) with a mushroom filling and potato salad, spinach dumplings with herb and spice crumbs, open falafel wraps with carrot hummus, and Zurich-style sliced ​​plant-based meat. Hildebrand himself made an appearance at a canteen in the district of Untertürkheim. Mercedes-Benz has offered fully plant-based main dishes daily since 2021. Following the …

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DTU Biosustain facility

DTU Biosustain © The Cultivated B

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Industry & Academia Research: The Cultivated B and DTU Biosustain to Take Bioreactors to the “Next Level”

In a collaboration between industry and academia to accelerate progress in cell-based foods, the German cell ag technologies specialist The Cultivated B (TCB) and The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability (DTU Biosustain) will work to drive innovation and advance the field of bioreactor design. The agreement, signed into a Memorandum of Understanding, will test and improve TCB’s AUXO V bioreactor technology and set new industry standards for bioprocessing.  The Cultivated B develops cell ag technology, bioreactor engineering, and cultivated meat products. Its development team is located in Germany, with two subsidiaries in Canada, PreFer Industries and n!Biomachines. Bo Skjold Larsen, CEO at DTU Biosustain, emphasized that collaboration between academic researchers and industry professionals helps speed progress, encourages innovation, and positively affects society.   “We are looking forward to collaborating with …

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VEGDOG Pure Bites made with microbial proteins

Image provided

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

MicroHarvest & VEGDOG Unveil Dog Treat with “First-of-its-Kind” Microbial Protein

Two German companies, the biotech startup MicroHarvest and plant-based pet food producer VEGDOG, have partnered to introduce a dog treat crafted from a sustainable ingredient: microbial proteins from biomass fermentation.  While other pet food products have utilized microbes like yeasts and mycelium, MicroHarvest’s first-of-its-kind protein is derived from bacteria that have been consumed by humans for centuries in foods such as kimchi, kefir, and sauerkraut, according to the announcement.  Combining the microbial protein with potato and apple pomace, the innovation — VEGDOG Pure Bites — is said to be hypoallergenic, suitable for dogs with protein intolerances and allergies, and recommended for use in veterinary practice. Tessa Zaune-Figlar, founder and CEO of VEGDOG, comments, “Our goal at VEGDOG is to show dog owners that they do not have to rely on meat-based products to …

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Cultimate Foods showcased its CultiFat at a tasted event held at ProVeg Incubator in Germany

© ProVeg International

Cultivated Meat

Cultimate Foods Secures €2.3M to “Deliver the Meaty Flavors Consumers Crave” Via Cultivated Fats

Despite the difficult fundraising environment, German startup Cultimate Foods, a B2B cultivated fat supplier for the alt protein industry, has secured €2.3 million in seed funding to scale the production of its functional ingredient, CultiFat, and expand its operations and commercial collaborations. High-Tech Gründerfonds, one of Europe’s leading seed investors, led the round, which also included participation from the Life Science Valley Wachstumsfonds, b.value AG, and Kale United. Food tech investor Big Idea Ventures also joined the round. Made from beef and pork fat cells using cell ag technology, CultiFat contains the essential fatty acids responsible for the distinctive flavor and aroma of meat. According to Cultimate Foods, its fat is a game-changing ingredient that elevates the taste and texture of plant-based meat. The German startup has developed two …

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Dreamfarm almond-based cheese

© Dreamfarm

Cheese Alternatives

Italy’s Dreamfarm Launches Innovative Almond-Based Cheeses in Germany

Italian startup Dreamfarm has announced that its almond-based cheese alternatives are launching in Germany. The cheeses will initially be available at Edeka stores in Berlin, and may later launch at restaurants and pizzerias. The news comes less than two months after Dreamfarm expanded to Delhaize stores in Belgium, following an “incredibly positive” reception in Italy. A launch in the Netherlands is also said to be on the cards. The startup’s rapid expansion has been made possible by a €5 million investment from food industry entrepreneurs Giampaolo Cagnin and Francesco Mutti, which has also allowed for the establishment of a new production facility. Dreamfarm aims to provide a healthier alternative to other plant-based cheeses on the market. While many cheese alternatives are made predominantly from coconut …

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Alex Podcast episode 1
Investments & Finance

Investment Climate Podcast: Tim Fronzek of Nosh.bio Reveals the Secrets to Fundraising Success

In this new podcast series, co-produced by vegconomist, Alex Shandrovksy interviews investors about benchmarks for funding alt proteins in 2024 and uncovers the investment playbooks of successful Climate Tech CEOs and Leading VCs. Podcast Host Alex Shandrovksy is a strategic advisor to numerous global food tech accelerators and companies, including leaders in alternative proteins and cellular agriculture. His focus is on investor relations and post-raise scale for agrifood tech companies. Episode 01: Tim Fronzek, Nosh bio’s fundraising playbook In this first episode, Alex talks to Tim Fronzek from Nosh.bio to unlock the secrets to weathering the storm of fundraising in a tumultuous investment climate. As our esteemed guest, he unveils the narrative of his company’s gripping quest for seed funding against a backdrop of spiraling …

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Kynda and Revo Foods CEO statements

© vegency

People

CEO Statements: Revo Foods & Kynda Biotech on Mycoprotein, the Vegan Meat of the Forest

In this installment of the series “CEO statements: what excites, moves and motivates“, in which our German language platform interviews CEOs on current topics, vegconomist spoke to Robin Simsa, CEO of Revo Foods, and Daniel MacGowan- von Holstein, CEO of German company Kynda Biotech GmbH. Both companies specialise in alternative products based on mycoproteins and see it as the future of meat alternative products. Mycoprotein is becoming increasingly popular due to its texture similar to meat and its high nutritional value. This protein alternative is often produced through the fermentation of fungal components and offers not only a sustainable source of protein, but also one that is very similar in texture and flavour to conventional meat. This makes mycoprotein an attractive ingredient for the development …

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Berger-Schinken, a German firm with over 130 years of history in ham and sausage processing, and the Austrian upcycling and food tech company Kern Tech have partnered to launch a 100% cheese plant-based sausages.

© Kern Tec

Products & Launches

Ham Producer Berger-Schinken & Upcycled Fruit Pit Startup Kern Tec Unveil Plant-Based Cheese Sausages

Berger-Schinken, a German firm with over 130 years of history in ham and sausage processing, and Austrian upcycling and food tech company Kern Tec, have launched a co-branded product: plant-based cheese sausages. The new vegan sausages are crafted from pea protein and feature Kern Tec’s most recent development — Berg-Gaudi — a plant-based cheese made from upcycled fruit pits.  This first-of-its-kind cheese launched in various flavors last year under Kern Tec’s brand Wunderkern, joining a range of no-milk drinks made with apricot kernels that became the most-sold product at vegan superstore BILLA Pflanzilla a few months later. Wunderkern also offers oils and chocolate spreads from waste seeds from the juice and jam industries.  The plant-based cheese sausages are gluten-free, lactose-free, certified vegan, and are available just in time for …

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Nosh Biofoods has developed a mycoprotein for clean label meat alternatives

© Nosh Biofoods

Fermentation

Nosh.bio’s Mycoprotein for Single Ingredient, Clean-Label Alternatives to Reach Price Parity with Poultry in 2025

Nosh.bio, a B2B biomass fermentation startup based in Germany, has developed a unique mycoprotein that allows manufacturers to produce single-ingredient meat and seafood alternatives with a clean label. According to the startup, the new ingredient provides an umami taste with zero aftertaste and a neutral color. This allows the production of 100% mycoprotein analogs without any additives or binders, with final products only needing color additives, spices for flavor, and oil. “It is not only colour-neutral, it also has no off taste — an extremely important point in the context of the alternative protein space, where several protein sources have a strong off taste requiring masking agents, and therefore long ingredient lists,” Tim Fronzek, Nosh.bio’s CEO and co-founder explained in conversation with Cultivated X.  Long …

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ProVeg Dr Melanie Speck

Dr Melanie Speck, courtesy of ProVeg International

People

How to Win Over Flexitarian Consumers in Germany

Germany has emerged as a market leader in the plant-based industry in recent years. With an estimated worth of USD 461.36 million, the German plant-based protein market is predicted to rise to a significant USD 574.93 million by 2029.[1] But what is driving this growth, and more importantly, what must businesses know in order to attract German consumers to the market? In its latest New Food Hub interview, ProVeg International talked with German food industry expert, Dr Melanie Speck to answer this question, gathering her insights on the recent German Smart Protein consumer report. Dr Speck holds the Professorship for Socioeconomics in Household and Business at Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences and is a Senior Researcher at the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy. …

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Handtmann Steak 2.0

© Handtmann

Interviews

Handtmann: “Interest in the Steak Was Overwhelming. We Hadn’t Expected Such Strong Demand”

Handtmann Maschinenfabrik GbH specialises in innovative filling and portioning systems. These technologies are widely used in the food industry, including in the production of plant-based sausage and meat products and other alternative products. Handtmann focuses on innovation in order to realise new product ideas as well as classic recipes with state-of-the-art technology. At Anuga FoodTec in Cologne, Handtmann presented its new moulding system, a new option for the production of formed and filled products. The moulding system offers flexibility both for free forming and for forming and separating vegetarian and vegan alternative products, among others. With the “Steak 2.0”, Handtmann also presented its latest product innovation in the area of plant-based meat alternatives at the trade fair. In his role as industry manager for alternative …

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NOT EGG at Internorga

NOT EGG © Vonher GmbH

Egg Alternatives

Vegan Fried Egg for HoReCa NOT EGG Debuts at Internorga Fair

The vegan fried egg alternative “NOT EGG” was also at the centre of Vonher GmbH’s presence at the Internorga trade fair in Hamburg. With NOT EGG, Vonher GmbH is launching an innovative egg alternative for restaurants and hotels. Unlike powdered products, NOT EGG offers a ready-moulded, deep-frozen plant-based fried egg option that can be prepared in just 3 minutes. The composition of NOT EGG is a careful selection of natural ingredients based on a blend of soya protein isolate, mung bean seeds, pumpkin, carrot, cassava flour and ginger. According to Vonher, this unique blend not only guarantees an authentic flavour and texture, but is also rich in protein, gluten-free, cholesterol-free, and low-carb. NOT EGG is also free from preservatives, colourings and flavourings, as well as …

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