Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Food Brewer Secures Over CHF 5M for Cell Cultured Cacao & Coffee

Food Brewer AG, a biotech startup leveraging plant cell culture headquartered in Campus Horgen, Zurich, Switzerland, has raised over CHF 5 million in a seed round.  Various investors, including family offices from Switzerland and the USA, the Zürcher Kantonalbank, and chocolate manufacturer Max Felchlin AG, backed the startup’s biotechnological approach to making alternatives to cocoa, coffee, and sustainable fats.  With the new funds, Food Brewer will invest in R&D for its cell lines, expand to a production facility, and develop its business model, reported Startupticker. The challenges of agriculture Founded in 2021 by Yannick Senn, Géraldine Senn, and Klaus Kienl, the startup focuses on developing a platform for large-scale production of key commodities harnessing the potential of plant cell culture. By utilizing new food production methods, the startup aims …

more

Swiss firm planetary SA has partnered with the Japanese giant in imaging technology, Konica Minolta Inc., to optimize and reduce the production costs of its fermentation technologies.

© Image courtesy of Planetary

Fermentation

Swiss Biotech Planetary and Japan’s Konica Minolta Partner to Cut Costs of Fermented Proteins

Swiss firm planetary SA (Planetary), the world’s first integrated biomass and precision fermentation CDMO, has partnered with the Japanese giant in imaging technology, Konica Minolta Inc. to optimize and reduce the production costs of its fermentation technologies. The ultimate aim is to accelerate the production of fermented proteins, including dairy, egg, fats, and mycoproteins, that can compete with the prices of similar commodity products in the market. The newly announced collaboration, following the signing of an MoU, involves using Konica Minolta’s advanced image-sensing tech and data-driven bioprocess to develop and implement new real-time monitoring and control operations. In addition, by leveraging the collected data and AI, the technologies can be further optimized. As a result, the companies expect to decrease the number of lost batches and achieve a further reduction …

more

Planted man with sausage

© Planted

Market & Trends

Coop Switzerland Reports Downward Trend of Women Purchasing Vegan Alternatives & Upward Trend Among Men

More than a quarter of consumers regularly eat vegan alternatives in Switzerland, according to the newly published Coop Plant-Based Food Report 2024. While the report does note that demand for all meat alternatives has increased significantly since 2018, with burgers, in particular, growing by 279% in this period, Coop does point out that this growth has declined over the past two years. However, vegan sausage and charcuterie alternatives are experiencing a strong upward trend. The top three categories of meat substitutes on the Swiss market in terms of sales are new: vegan schnitzel, sliced meat, and sausage alternatives. A newly emerging masculinity Interestingly, the report notes that in general, there has been a “downward trend in the proportion of women among substitute product customers over …

more

Planted cold cuts lifestyle shot

© Planted

Products & Launches

Planted Launches the “Cleanest Lyoner Cold Cut on the Market” at Coop Switzerland

Swiss foodtech startup Planted announces the launch of its first plant-based cold cut in Swiss retail through a distribution deal with Coop. The cold cut is an alternative to the Lyoner Wurst style of meat, often referred to as German bologna, and marks Planted’s entrance into the charcuterie category. According to Planted, the cold cut is produced with all-natural ingredients and as such is “the cleanest Lyoner cold cut on the market”. Additionally, compared to its animal counterpart, the plant-based Lyoner creates 34% less CO2 and uses 51% less water, making it an environmentally friendlier option to standard cuts of meat that are sliced from the flesh of an animal. The vegan Lyoner meat is created with pea protein, rapeseed oil, water, spices, yeast, salt, …

more

Swiss biotech company Evolva

© Evolva

Investments & Acquisitions

Canadian Yeast Specialist Lallemand Acquires Swiss Biotech Company Evolva

Lallemand Inc., a Canadian company specializing in yeast-based ingredients, has confirmed that its subsidiary Danstar Ferment AG has acquired Swiss biotech company Evolva AG. Similarly to Lallemand, Evolva is focused on researching, developing, and commercializing natural yeast-derived ingredients. The company’s products are used in several sectors, including flavors and fragrances, health ingredients, cosmetics, and health protection. The transaction was announced to the Swiss Stock Exchange on November 21, and was confirmed by shareholders of Evolva Holding — Evolva’s previous parent company — at a general meeting on December 21. The initial purchase price is CHF 20 million (US$23.5 million), though this may be adjusted. Evolva Holding may also receive a payout of up to CHF 10 million (US$11.75 million) if certain product-based sales targets are …

more

Catherine Bayard of Givaudan

Catherine Bayard. © Givaudan

Interviews

Givaudan: “In the Future, Alternative Proteins in Dairy Won’t Be an Alternative Anymore”

Givaudan is a Swiss multinational company producing flavors and fragrances. In recent years, the company has been increasingly focused on alternative proteins, particularly dairy alternatives. Earlier this year, Givaudan partnered with open data intelligence agency Synthesis to research the topic of Dairy Alternative Futures, which anticipates future scenarios and challenges in the alt dairy industry. The company also expanded its Protein Hub in Kemptthal, Switzerland, in July to support the development of dairy alternatives. Last month, Givaudan released a research paper in partnership with The University of California Berkeley, identifying primary challenges and opportunities in alt protein and ten actionable pathways towards improved efficiency. Catherine Bayard, Global Product Manager at Givaudan, told us more about how the company envisions the future of alt dairy and other …

more

mycoprotein meatballs in tomato sauce

© Patrycja-stock.adobe.com

Cultivated Meat

New Hamilton White Paper Identifies Key Cost Drivers in Cultivated Meat Production

Hamilton, a leading name in laboratory automation technology and analytical sensors for the scientific community, has released a comprehensive white paper providing insights into the critical challenge of the cultivated meat industry: high production costs. In the white paper, Hamilton addresses the key cost drivers in cell-cultured meat production, proposes applying Process Analytic Technologies (PAT) to enhance performance and cost-effectiveness, and outlines innovative solutions to improve production by implementing these principles. According to Hamilton, PAT integrates advanced sensor technology to enhance efficiency and sustainability. It allows for real-time control and measurement of critical production parameters. In addition, it promises higher quality and volume yields while accelerating process optimization and shortening commercialization timelines. Proteins for future generations Additionally, the company highlights how in-line sensors can measure …

more

Cultivated Biosciences, a Swiss biotech startup creating fats from yeast fermentation, has presented its first proof-of-concept, a dairy-free coffee creamer.

© Cultivated Biociences

Fermentation

Cultivated Biosciences Crafts Dairy-Free Coffee Creamer Using Yeast-Based Fat

Cultivated Biosciences, a Swiss biotech startup creating fats from yeast fermentation, has developed its first proof-of-concept, a dairy-free coffee creamer. The innovative prototype, made with the biotech’s yeast-based fat, is said to match the performance of dairy creamers, challenging commercially available plant-based alternatives: it is white like milk and tastes just like a regular American commercial creamer. In addition, it blends without flaking (flocculation) despite not containing binders and additives, making it a clean-label product.  Tomas Turner, founder and CEO of Cultivated Biosciences, commented: “We are proud to show the industry the value of our ingredient in a convincing final product application, it marks the beginning of our path to commercialization.” Superior dairy-free fats Using yeasts and biomass fermentation, the biotech is developing functional fats with …

more

Givaudan and neuroscience company Thimus have partnered to understand consumers' experience with food .

© Thimus

Food & Beverage

Givaudan and Thimus Partner to Revolutionise Product Development Using Neuroscience

Givaudan and neuroscience company Thimus have partnered to revolutionise product development and consumer satisfaction using neuroscience. The collaboration aims to understand consumers’ experience with food to redesign products that meet expectations such as sustainability, health, and quality. Neuroscience has the potential to bridge the gap between consumers’ opinions and their actual experiences to understand better and respond to consumer preferences, explains Givaudan. Thimus has developed a ready-to-use platform called TBox that provides integrated data on consumer behaviour, opening a window to their minds. According to Givaudan, it exceeds traditional methods like focus groups or questionnaires. “Neuroscience has the unique ability to reveal how consumers truly feel about a product throughout the eating or drinking experience,” commented Fabio Campanile, Global Head of Science & Technology for Taste & …

more

Swiss technology group Bühler has unveiled a new food innovation hub in Uzwil, Switzerland-

© Bühler

Manufacturing & Technology

Bühler Unveils Swiss Food Innovation Hub Featuring Protein Center for Plant-Based Foods

Swiss technology Bühler Group has unveiled a new food innovation hub in Uzwil, Switzerland, to develop sustainable foods, including plant-based meat. The food innovation hub comprises four new Application & Training Centers (ATCs): Flavor, Food, Protein, and Energy Recovery, joined by existing Chocolate, Extrusion, Pasta, and Grain (under construction) ATCs. Bühler emphasizes that all its ATCs connect the entire food production value chain, offering customers the ideal environment to “master market changes” and innovate. “In this world where requirements are changing so fast, customers need flexibility and creativity to adapt their products addressing key issues such as sustainability, the use of local raw materials, healthy diets, and affordability,” says Johannes Wick, CEO of Grains & Food at Bühler Group.  Innovation for plant-based foods Operated in partnership with …

more

Redefine Flank PLANTSTEAK

Redefine Flank steak, image supplied

Company News

Redefine Meat Arrives in Switzerland as Swiss Plant-Based Market Gains Traction

Israel’s Redefine Meat this week announced its commercial launch in Switzerland, marking the 13th country to offer its New Meat products. The announcement comes just a week after MACH Consumer, the largest continuous consumer media study in Switzerland, found that 21% of the Swiss population (notably, mostly meat-eating individuals) consumes plant-based products at least once per week. The company’s foodservice range is now available to operators across Switzerland through its exclusive distributor, Fredag AG, starting with Redefine Beef Flank, Redefine Beef Mince, and Redefine Premium Burger products. From next spring, Redefine Lamb Kabab Mix and Redefine Pulled will be added to the Swiss range. Additionally, the plant-based butchery Butch Bunny is now offering the company’s New Meat in its Geneva shop. Fabian Eggli, Head of …

more

Mcdonald's Mcplant

© Mcdonald's

Products & Launches

McDonald’s Launches the McPlant in Switzerland and Slovenia

McDonald’s continues its global plant-based menu expansion following the successful launch of the McPlant Steakhouse in the Netherlands, which features a patty co-developed with Beyond Meat and three other new plant-based options. Now, Switzerland and Slovenia are the latest European destinations to add meatless offerings to the menu. McPlant in Switzerland As the popularity of flexitarianism continues to grow in Switzerland, McDonald’s is catering to the demand by introducing the McPlant to the menu. The plant-based patty is crafted in collaboration with Beyond Meat and can be served entirely plant-based by omitting the cheese and sauce.  Lara Skripitsky, managing director of McDonald’s Switzerland, highlights: “With the McPlant, we offer our guests who eat flexitarian food even more choice. The McPlant patty is made from plant-based …

more

Alice Fauconnet of New Roots

Alice Fauconnet ©SusanneGoldschmid

Interviews

New Roots: “We Honour Swiss Cheese Heritage by Making it More Ethical and More Sustainable”

Alice Fauconnet is co-founder and marketing director at New Roots, a vegan cheese company based in Switzerland. When she’s not inventing the cheese traditions of the future, Alice can be found mountaineering in the Swiss Alps, or advocating for animal rights.  New Roots offers a large range of artisan cheeses and spreads as well as yogurts and creamery products. When we last spoke with Alice, back in 2018, she urged that the “dairy industry is an environmental disaster”, and she wasn’t wrong. What is your current product line and which are the bestsellers? We currently offer a range of 12 different cheeses, as well as yogurts and cooking creams. Our two best sellers are the Soft White, our alternative to soft cheese with a rind …

more

Swiss vegan award winners in all categories

© Swiss Vegan Awards

Fairs & Events

Winners of Yesterday’s Swiss Vegan Awards 2023 Include New Roots and Planted

Yesterday, the Swiss Vegan Society presented the Swiss Vegan Awards for the 8th time, honoring companies, products, and people whose innovations and offers have made a significant contribution to the further development of the vegan sector in Switzerland. A country steeped in traditional culinary values and intertwined with dairy heritage, Switzerland has seen recent moves from food producers, activists, retailers, and policymakers to update these traditions in a more planet-friendly and ethical direction. Paving the way in Switzerland for an ethical future Campaign group Animal Rights Switzerland recently initiated a project outlining how the country could become animal-friendly, describing how meat and dairy products could, in place of conventional methods that involve cruelty and killing of animals, be produced through fermentation and cultivated technologies. In …

more

Umiami whole cuts in pan

© Umiami

Products & Launches

Umiami’s Plant-Based Fillets to Arrive in Swiss Stores Through FFF Fresh & Frozen Food Partnership

Umiami, the French plant-based food tech brand, is set to grace the shelves of 165 Coop stores across Switzerland with its 100% vegan chicken fillet. This milestone comes as a result of a strategic partnership with FFF Fresh & Frozen Food, a Swiss distribution specialist.  Umiami’s journey began in 2020, founded by Tristan Maurel, Martin Habfast, and Clémence Pedraza. The company’s cutting-edge umisation technology led to the creation of plant-based chicken fillets, and it is currently developing new recipes, which it plans to launch in 2024. This product has under ten ingredients and is free from texturing agents or methylcellulose, but the company claims it still perfectly mimics meat in taste, texture, and appearance. Founder and CEO of Umiami, Maurel, comments on the milestone, “It’s …

more

Aleph Farms submited an application to Swiss regulators, marking the first-ever submission for cultivated meat in europe

© Aleph Farms

Company News

Aleph Farms Becomes First in Europe to Submit Cultivated Meat for Novel Foods Approval in Switzerland

Cultivated meat company Aleph Farms announces it has initiated the regulatory approval process to commercialize in Switzerland its premium Angus-style thin cultivated steak — dubbed the Petit Steak and claimed as the world’s first cultivated steak — marking it the first-ever submission for cultivated meat in Europe. Aleph Farms says it has submitted an application for placing on the market novel and novel traditional foodstuffs to the Swiss Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO). It is worth noting that if Aleph Farms gets novel food approval in Switzerland, the EU requires authorization from the European Commission for market placement in the region.  The Israeli company has previously announced plans to launch its brand of cultivated meat Aleph Cuts in Singapore and Israel in limited quantities (tasting experiences) once the …

more

Givaudan Zürich Innovation Centre

© Givaudan

Milk- and Dairy Alternatives

Givaudan Expands its Zurich Protein Hub With New Capabilities for Dairy Alternatives

As the latest addition to its global innovation ecosystem, Givaudan has expanded the Protein Hub at its flagship Zurich Innovation Center in Kemptthal, Switzerland, to support the development of dairy alternatives. The expanded Hub offers specialised expertise, state-of-the-art digital technologies, and an integrated portfolio of solutions specifically designed for dairy alternative products to accelerate new product development. “At Givaudan, we take a unique co-creation approach, working side-by-side with our customers, partners, start-ups, chefs, academics, and many others as a driving force for innovation,” said Doruk Ongan, President Europe Taste & Wellbeing. “We are excited to open the doors of the Protein Hub to alternative dairy customers so that together we can shape the future of this dynamic category.” Direct access to experts Customers visiting the …

more

Two brown cows/ cattle

© Mosa Meat

Charity & Campaigns

Animal Rights Switzerland Sets Out Vision to Make the Country Vegan

Campaign group Animal Rights Switzerland has launched a project outlining how the country could become animal-friendly. The group describes how meat and dairy products could be produced through cultivation and fermentation technologies, removing the need for animal agriculture. Slaughterhouses could then be repurposed, or turned into museums. Recreational fishermen could remove litter from rivers rather than catching fish, or focus on monitoring and photographing aquatic life. Contraceptives could be used to prevent wild animals such as deer from becoming overpopulated, removing the need for hunting. To make clothing, leather and petroleum-derived materials would be replaced with alternatives such as mushroom or apple leather, and plant-based alternatives to wool would also be used. Animal protection laws would be updated to totally forbid harming and killing animals. …

more

New Roots Soft White cheese

© New Roots

Cheese Alternatives

What’s More Sustainable, Dairy From the Cashew or the Cow?

Much has been said around the issue of sustainability in plant milks, with almond milk in particular having notoriety and receiving a plethora of bad press including a well-documented Guardian piece from 2020. However, almond is said to cause the least C02 emissions. It’s a complicated issue. Those milks seen as more beneficial, or indeed least detrimental to the environment, include soy, oat, and pea. But what about the cashew? Highly nutritious despite their high calorie content, this drupe (a stone fruit) offers a good source of magnesium as well as the amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin. In terms of sustainability, the cashew requires little water usage and emits fewer greenhouse gases than some other alternatives. Also, their surrounding fruit can be upcycled …

more

Plant-based momos

© Planted

Products & Launches

Planted Launches Plant-Based Momos at Swiss Migrolino Convenience Stores

Swiss brand Planted launches plant-based momos at migrolino convenience stores, a Migros subsidiary in more than 300 at railway stations, petrol stations and city locations. The Nepalese-style steamed dumplings are filled with Planted’s plant-based meat, which is said to be “better than pork”. They also contain naturally-sourced ingredients such as soy sauce, black bean garlic sauce, chili, and sesame oil. “Get ready to steam up your taste buds with our brand new planted.momos, now available exclusively at selected stores of migrolino AG!” said Planted on LinkedIn. “Experience the perfect balance between juicy and flavourful packed into each and every plant-based bite.” Planted has also announced that its popular plant-based chicken skewer, described as “the ideal addition to your next BBQ”, is now available at migrolino. …

more