Swedish foodtech startup Mycorena announces the discontinuation of its large-scale factory project in Sweden for scaling its mycoprotien Promyc

© Mycorena

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Mycorena Pauses Large-Scale Mycoprotein Facility: “Investors are Hesitant to Back Projects with Heavy Capital Requirements”

Pioneering mycelium-based solutions company Mycorena announces it is discontinuing its large-scale factory project in Sweden for Promyc, its flagship mycoprotein ingredient. Planned in 2022 and designed with Tetra Pak, the large-scale production factory aimed to supply the then “booming” plant-based market with volumes of mycoprotein: 5,000 tons by the end of 2023, with a total production volume of up to 100,000 tons in multiple stages. Despite significant growth and raising over €35 million in funding, including a €24 million Series A round, Mycorena says it has faced changing market conditions such as reduced investor interest in capital-intensive projects within the food tech industry and a slowdown in the plant-based meat market. The company says it attempted to raise Series B funding with SEB and Pareto …

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Irish consumers go plant-based

© Oatly

Stock market

Oatly Stock Rises Following Promising Q1 Financial Results

Leading oat milk producer Oatly has published its financial results for the first quarter of 2024, revealing an “encouraging start to the year”. The results have boosted Oatly stock, which is up 3.42% and has risen above the 200-day line. Compared to the same period last year, Oatly’s Q1 revenue rose by 1.8% to $199.2 million, while constant currency revenue increased by 1.2% due to growth in the North America and Europe & International segments. Gross margin reached 27.1%, up 9.7 percentage points. First quarter net loss was $45.8 million, an improvement of $29.8 million compared to Q1 2023; meanwhile, adjusted EBITDA loss was $13.2 million, a $36.7 million improvement. These results indicate that Oatly is moving towards break-even. For the remainder of 2024, Oatly …

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Mycorena receives European Space Agency funding

© Mycorena

Fungi, Mushrooms & Mycelium

Mycorena Receives Funding From European Space Agency to Develop Food for Space Missions

Swedish mycoprotein producer Mycorena has received funding from the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Discovery Programme, in recognition of its products’ potential for use on long-distance space missions. Mycoprotein is sustainable, rich in essential nutrients, and said to support muscle health and overall wellbeing. Furthermore, it can be produced in a closed-circuit system using byproducts and sidestreams generated during space travel. According to Moritz Fontaine, Discovery & Preparation Officer at ESA, this idea to optimize resource efficiency is “highly interesting for space applications”. The system could also have psychological benefits, providing astronauts with a familiar meat-like texture rather than the “tasteless paste” currently offered on space missions. An initial prototype of the system was one of the winners of Phase 2 of NASA’s 2023 Deep Space …

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Saveggy raises funds to replace plastic around fruits and vegetables with its plant-based formula.

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Packaging

Saveggy Raises €1.76M for Edible Fruit & Veg Coating as Solution to Plastic Packaging

Swedish startup Saveggy has raised €1.76 million (SEK 20M) for its plant-based alternative to plastic packaging designed to preserve the shelf life of vegetables and fruits and prevent food waste.  The startup’s plant-based coating is said to be the only alternative available offering the same shelf life extension as plastic packaging. Additionally, it is the only edible coating for fruits and vegetables with edible skin, such as cucumbers, apples, and eggplants, approved according to EU regulations. Starting with a solution for cucumbers, Saveggy will use the newly raised funds to produce this innovative material at an industrial scale and successfully bring it to market The round was led by impact investor Unconventional Ventures. LRF Ventures, Almi Invest GreenTech, and industry angels also backed the startup’s plastic-free …

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Nelida Leiva Eriksson, CEO of Ironic Foods

© Ironic Biotech

Fundraising

Ironic Biotech Raises €1M for Precision Fermentation-Derived Plant Proteins with High Iron Content

Swedish startup Ironic Biotech has received €1 million for its plant-based proteins, which are designed to facilitate the absorption of iron into the blood. Ironic’s proteins are produced by precision fermentation and used as ingredients for food or food supplements. The funds will be used for further development work, the expansion of the company’s patent portfolio, and the optimisation of the production process. The team is now looking for partners in the food and supplement industry with whom to collaborate. Addressing the performance gap Up to 25% of the world’s population suffers from iron deficiency, which can lead to severe fatigue, tiredness, heart palpitations, learning difficulties, and anaemia. “We want to help 2 billion people prevent and recover from iron deficiency and anaemia. Iron deficiency …

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A bowl with algae oil

© Checkerspot

Fermentation

Checkerspot and AAK to Produce Novel, Climate Change-Resistent Oils from Microalgae & Precision Fermentation

California’s Checkerspot and the Swedish company AAK have announced a partnership to develop, scale, and commercially produce novel algae oils for meat alternatives, plant-based food, and personal care products. Checkerspot makes renewable oils using microalgae and precision fermentation for materials and food, and AKK specializes in value-adding vegetable oils for food, confectionery, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. With this initiative, both companies aim to provide a sustainable alternative source of structuring fats and oils that can be manufactured at scale and are resistant to the impacts of climate change. Structuring fats and oils are used for products with healthier nutritional profiles, less fat, and better emulsion capabilities, including alt meat and bakery. Scott Franklin, co-founder & CSO of Checkerspot, shared: “Our team at Checkerspot is able to …

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A precision fermentation derived fat

Image courtesy of Melt&Marble

Fermentation

Melt&Marble Unlocks Commercial-Scale Production for Animal-Free Designer Fat, Sets Sights on US Market by 2025

Melt&Marble, a Swedish precision fermentation company that specializes in designer fats for food and other applications, has revealed new headquarters with expanded R&D and production capabilities. The facility features “state-of-the-art” molecular biology and microbiology labs, pilot-scale bioreactors, and a food application kitchen to test its “meat-like” fat in meat alternatives and other products. Melt&Marble says that it has already successfully scaled its production to one cubic meter. However, with the new capabilities, the company believes it will be able to achieve commercial-scale production beyond its previous milestone. Anastasia Krivoruchko, co-founder and CEO of Melt&Marble, says: “We are excited about the achievements to date. In the last months, we constantly improved key performance indicators related to rate, titre and yield, successfully achieving metrics relevant for commercial-scale and …

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Meat Analogue developed by Lund University

© Lund University

Science

Lund University Researchers Uncover Optimal Raw Material Blend for the Most Appealing Plant-Based Meat

Food technology researchers at Lund University in Sweden have found the best raw material combination to make the most appetizing plant-based meat using extrusion: wheat gluten and hemp seed. The research, led by Karolina Östbring and Jeanette Purhagen, focuses on creating alternatives that mimic the texture and consistency of real meat, addressing the common complaint that vegan food does not deliver the “meaty” experience.   Focusing on texture, temperature, and taste — the three “Ts” — the team discovered a way to introduce chewiness into vegetable meat by imitating muscle fibers, using an extruder and various raw materials.  According to Purhagen, extruders are essential for producing meat analogs with suitable, long fibers, providing the desired chewy texture that people appreciate in meat.  Finding the optimal combination  …

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Arla JÖRĐ, a relaunch of Arla Food's 100% plant-based brand JÖRĐ, has debuted in Sweden this week, offering a range of oat-based products.

© Arla JÖRĐ

Products & Launches

World’s 5th Biggest Dairy Company Arla Foods Relaunches JÖRĐ Brand in Sweden

Arla JÖRĐ, a relaunch of Arla Food’s 100% plant-based brand JÖRĐ, has debuted in Sweden this week, offering a range of oat-based products. Arla JÖRD features the dairy giant’s logo, a new color scheme, and the products have a new enhanced recipe. According to The Grocer, the relaunch aims to homogenize the brand with other Arla products, including Arla Cravendale and Arla Lactofree. Best product mix The Swedish launch features six products, including fermented and flavored yogurts, oat drinks, and barista milk for making coffee and latte art. JÖRĐ’s range is made with Swedish oats. The new recipe is said be packed with proteins and enriched with essential nutrients such as fiber, vitamin D, and folic acid (B9). Additionally, all the products are lactose-free and …

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Image courtesy of Stockeld Dreamery

Products & Launches

Stockeld Dreamery Unveils MELT: Next Generation, Ultra Meltable, Cultured Plant-Based Cheddar Slices

After four years of extensive R&D, Stockeld Dreamery, a Swedish plant-based dairy company, announces the release of its latest development in New York City: MELT, cultured plant-based cheddar slices. MELT slices are made with traditional cheese fermentation and protein-rich pea milk. They are said to have a unique taste and texture, boasting a great cheddar flavor.  They contain 2g of plant protein per serving, which, according to Stockeld Dreamery, is higher than similar products in the market. In addition, they are free from allergens such as dairy, soy, and nuts. Melting twice as fast As explained by Sorosh Tavakoli, CEO and co-founder of the company, one of the exceptional features of its cheddar slices is their incredible melting properties. The slices melt twice as quickly as most top-selling …

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©Lantmännen

Studies & Numbers

Study: Meat & Dairy Alternatives Have Similar Environmental Benefits to Whole Plant Foods

A study published in the journal Nature Communications has examined the environmental impact of replacing animal-source foods (ASFs) with plant-based alternatives (PBAs) or whole plant foods (WFs). Using Sweden as a model, the study found that diets rich in PBAs could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30–52%, land use by 20–45%, and freshwater use by 14–27%. The greatest benefits were seen with fully vegan diets. When ASFs were replaced with WFs instead of PBAs, the benefits were comparable. The researchers note that a diet rich in PBAs meets most of the updated Nordic Nutrition Recommendations, which were published last year and recommend a mostly plant-based diet. Eating PBAs enhances iron, magnesium, folate, and fiber intake, while decreasing saturated fat consumption. However, three nutrients — vitamin …

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Quorn

© Quorn Foods

Studies & Numbers

Swedish Researchers Find Consumers Choose Fungi-Based Food for Sustainability and Well-Being Benefits

Swedish researchers conducted a study to examine whether consumers select fungi-based food due to its sustainability advantages. The findings show that engaging with fungi-based food is perceived to contribute to sustainability and is thought to promote glocal (a portmanteau of global and local) well-being. The study argues that as the consumption of fungi-based food continues to grow in popularity, it is essential to understand whether consumers align their choices with personal values related to sustainability. Awareness and knowledge of the benefits of fungi and plant-based food are vital to encourage consumers and influence their food choices, which can contribute to global social, economic, and environmental sustainability, explain the authors.  The research has been funded by the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth and the …

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SHICKEN Foods founders and team in kitchen

© SHICKEN Foods

Company News

SHICKEN Poised for Multi-Million Growth Amid Global Expansion Plans Including Sprouts Stores in 23 US States

UK challenger brand SHICKEN reveals it is set to achieve five times its current growth having secured distribution at Sprouts Farmers Market in the US for its popular range of frozen ready meals, along with the launch of NPD Teriyaki Kebab Skewer at Costco throughout the UK and newly-secured European markets. SHICKEN was founded by husband-and-wife team Parm and Satvinder Bains in 2020 during lockdown, creating dishes based on traditional Asian recipes passed down by Satvinder’s grandmother. The “chicken” meat is crafted with a blend of soy, wheat, and pea proteins, using a unique technology and with a focus on natural plant-based ingredients. After receiving investment from Matthew Glover’s Veg Capital in October 2021, the company first launched its Tikka Kebab Skewers into Costco UK, …

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Scelta mushroom fat

Image: Scelta / vegconomist

Ingredients

These 3 Companies Are Creating Healthy Fat Alternatives From Mushrooms

Today, we look into three companies using mushrooms to create healthy fats for plant-based foods. Interest in mushrooms continues to grow among consumers and manufacturers since these wonders of nature, neither plants nor animals, offer exceptional functionality, encompassing supplements, textiles, meat alternatives, beverages, colorings, and now fats.  Some mushrooms have a high lipid content, composed of unsaturated fatty acids, that can be used to replace vegetable and saturated fats. According to Brazilian researchers, edible mushrooms worldwide contain linoleic, linolenic, and oleic acids (some more than others), making them an important essential fatty acid source for a healthy diet.  The global mushroom market is expected to reach $115.8 billion by 2030, and mushrooms were named Ingredient of the Year by The New York Times in 2022. 1. Scelta Mushrooms Scelta Mushrooms, …

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Leading plant-based milk brands urge Swedish government to push for change in EU School Scheme Review

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Milk- and Dairy Alternatives

Oatly, Alpro, DUG, Planti, and More Urge Swedish Government to Push for Plant-Based Milk in EU School Scheme Review

Oatly, Alpro (Danone), DUG (Veg of Lund), Planti, Oddlygood, and Sproud, under the umbrella of Plant-based Sweden (Växtbaserat Sverige), have sent a letter to the Swedish government urging it to advocate for the inclusion of plant-based milk in the upcoming review of the EU School Scheme. Currently, the EU School Scheme aids over 20 million European children by providing them with milk, fruit, and vegetables. However, it does not encompass milk alternatives, even though numerous children are unable or unwilling to consume dairy due to medical, ethical, taste, or environmental concerns. Last year, ProVeg and The Vegan Society collected tens of thousands of signatures calling for the EU to add plant-based milk to the scheme. The Green REV Institute also issued an open letter calling for plant milk in schools, arguing that …

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Mans Ullerstam. © Kale United

Fundraising

Kale United Aims to Raise 12M SEK in Preparation for IPO

Leading Nordic plant-based investor Kale United has started a new funding round with the goal of raising 12 million SEK (€1.03 million). The round will be active until December 1, with a third of shares already booked. It comes as Kale United prepares for an IPO in Q2 2025. Some of the capital raised will be used to launch a fund for sustainable investments, which will cater to large institutional investors. The fund will also provide capital to Kale United’s portfolio companies, increasing the investor’s assets under management by 150 million SEK (€12.9 million). Following the raise, Kale United plans to continue investing in both new and existing portfolio companies. The investor says it foresees high growth for its subsidiary, Kale Foods, which distributes its …

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Veg of Lund applies for Swedish patent

Eva Tornberg. © Veg of Lund

Company News

Veg of Lund Applies for Swedish Patent for Plant-Based Meat Alternative

Veg of Lund — a Swedish company best known for its potato-based alt milk brand, DUG — has applied for a Swedish patent for a plant-based alternative to red and white meat. The company says it is in ongoing commercial discussions with various partners, and the patent will help to secure its position. It is unclear what the new meat alternatives will be made from. Veg of Lund’s patent portfolio already includes patents for DUG milk alternatives in Europe, the US, and Canada, along with potato-based smoothies, cream, and ice cream in Sweden. “The patent for the meat analogue is extensive and I am proud of our fundamental development work. The patent secures our unique competence and is important when we are going to commercialise …

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IKEA's new SLAGVERK vegan nuggets

© IKEA

Meat- and Fish Alternatives

IKEA Introduces “SLAGVERK” Vegan Nuggets in Sweden

As part of its reported sustainability targets and commitment to make 50% of canteen food and 80% of retail food plant-based by 2025, IKEA has been increasing its vegan offerings worldwide, from plant balls in Canada to beef-style bowls in Japan, and the more recent PLANT-HOTDOG across Europe. Now the Swedish company is announcing another new product with the wheat-based “SLAGVERK” nuggets. The new product will be available in the Swedish shops of IKEA furniture stores on October 24, 2023, as frozen goods to take away. The nuggets can be stored in the freezer and then prepared quickly and easily in the pan or in the oven. Making vegan options affordable In order to make the healthier and more sustainable alternative available to as many …

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DUG lifestyle lady pouring milk cereal

© DUG

Company News

Veg of Lund Receives US Patent for DUG’s Vegan Potato Emulsion

Swedish plant-based company Veg of Lund announces it has received patent approval from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for its vegan potato emulsion used in its DUG potato drinks. The patent protection will cover the entire US market. Veg of Lund’s patent portfolio includes protection for potato ice cream covering the Swedish market and a patent for the improved recipe of its award-winning DUG drink in Sweden, Europe, and Canada. Additionally, the Swedish company has active patent applications in Australia, China, India, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Hong Kong, and the United Arab Emirates.  “We are pleased to note that a patent is also being approved for the American market for our unique vegetable milk alternatives,” says Eva Tornberg, founder of Veg of Lund. Tornberg founded …

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Oddlygood and Planti

© Oddlygood

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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