WOA fava beans

© WOA / vegconomist

Ingredients

WOA Repurposes Proprietary Lupin Technology to Innovate Pea and Faba Protein Isolates

Australias Wide Open Agriculture Limited has announced the successful development of enhanced protein isolates from pea and faba (fava) beans using its proprietary technology. WOA’s technology, initially utilized for producing Buntine Protein from lupin, has now been successfully adapted for pea and faba proteins, showcasing the versatility of WOA’s extraction process and its potential applicability to a broader range of alternative proteins. The new protein isolates were developed in WOA’s R&D laboratory and produced at its pilot plant in Perth, Australia. Compared to standard isolates, the company claims these functional protein isolates show improved gel strength, solubility, and reduced viscosity. Superior products for evolving needs Enhanced gel strength contributes to better product texture, stability, and shelf life. Improved solubility aids in ingredient dispersion and incorporation, …

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Image supplied by Food Frontier

Company News

Isolate Manufacturer Australian Plant Proteins Enters Voluntary Administration

Australian Plant Proteins (APP), the only manufacturer of Australian-grown faba bean and pulse protein isolates, has entered voluntary administration. APP operates the largest of three commercial-scale plant protein fractionation facilities in Australia, producing 1200 tonnes of isolates per year at the site in Horsham, Victoria. The ingredients are used by domestic and overseas companies in products such as breakfast cereals, breads, bakery goods, snack foods, and meat and dairy alternatives. Melbourne-based financial and business advisory firm Romanis Cant has been appointed as administrator, with the hope that APP will be sold as a going concern. It is unclear why the company ran into trouble, but a plan to construct further manufacturing facilities may have been partially responsible; the federal and South Australian governments were initially …

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© Plant Based Treaty

Charity & Campaigns

Darebin Becomes 1st Australian Council to Endorse the Plant Based Treaty with 8 Votes Against 1

Darebin Council recently passed a motion becoming the first Australian council to endorse the global Plant Based Treaty having been overwhelmingly accepted with eight votes in favour and just one against the motion. The organisation advocates for a shift towards a plant-based food system, calling for a global agreement that aligns the food system to the Paris Agreement, along with the implementation of best practices in plant-based food policy at the city and institutional levels. The proposed treaty has been endorsed by 30 cities, including Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, and recently, Belfast. It has thus far generated support from 150,000 individual endorsers, 5 Nobel laureates, IPCC scientists, and more than 3000 groups and businesses, including The Australian Vegetarian Society (NSW), Animals Australia, Animal Justice Party …

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Organic fucoidan from Marinova

© Marinova

Ingredients

Australia: Marinova Triples Manufacturing Capacity in Response to “Rapidly Increasing” Global Demand for Fucoidan

Marinova, an Australian biotech focused on the research, development and production of of high purity fucoidan compounds (for information on this ingredient see below), recently completed an AUD $5 million expansion to its state-of-the-art fucoidan extraction facility. Marinova says it supplies fucoidan extracts to leading nutritional and personal care brands in more than 35 countries and that the ingredient is particularly popular in formulations targeting immune support, gut and digestive health, and healthy aging. The company produces Maritech® organic fucoidan, which it claims is the world’s only high-purity, certified organic fucoidan with global regulatory acceptance. “Marinova’s branded Maritech® range is the world’s only high purity, certified organic fucoidan with global regulatory acceptance,” says CEO Paul Garrott. “Natural, clinically proven and sustainably sourced, they are ingredients …

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Fresh green broccoli on orange background

©New Africa-stock.adobe.com

Health

Study Finds Plant Nitrates Linked to Lower Mortality Risk, Raises Concerns Over Animal Sources

New research from Edith Cowan University (ECU), Australia, led by Dr. Nicola Bondonno, has found that nitrate from plants can lower the risk of death from various causes, including heart disease and cancer. On the other hand, nitrates from animal products and processed meats can lead to a higher mortality risk. Nitrate and nitrite are found in food and drink; their sources could be plants, processed meats (added as additives), drinking water, or animal products, where they naturally occur, and their consumption impacts human health in various ways. The source matters To shed light on the topic, the study researched whether the health outcomes associated with nitrate and nitrite consumption differed depending on the source of these compounds. After examining 52,247 participants from the Danish …

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Made With Plants launches at Coles

© Made With Plants

Retail & E-Commerce

Australia’s Made With Plants Expands Into 500+ Coles Stores

Made With Plants, an Australian company producing meat and dairy alternatives, has announced it is expanding into over 500 Coles stores across the country. Coles customers can now purchase Made With Plants’ plant-based bacon, chicken, ham, and grated mozzarella. The ham and chicken are made from seitan, the bacon is soy-based, and the mozzarella is made from sunflower and coconut oils. Coles previously told the Sydney Morning Herald in 2022 that it was working to offer more plant-based options, after seeing a “rise in the flexitarian and people seeking out alternative protein sources”. A report published in May found that plant-based meat sales surged by 47% in Australia and New Zealand between 2020 and 2023, noting that the price gap between conventional meat and plant-based …

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A drink made with leaf protein

© The Leaf Protein Co.

Investments & Finance

The Leaf Protein Co. Secures $850K to Unlock the Highly Nutritious Rubisco Protein for F&B

The Leaf Protein Co., an Australian agritech startup extracting Rubisco proteins from green leaves, has raised $850,000 in a pre-seed round to accelerate its growth and propel the commercialization of its sustainable protein solutions for the F&B industry. The University of Melbourne Genesis Pre-seed Fund led the raise. LaunchVic’s Hugh Victor McKay Fund (supporting local agtech startups) and Loyal VC participated. With the new capital, the startup will expand its staff, optimize its pilot plant, and enhance its protein extraction methods to bring its leaf proteins to market. Hun Gan, CEO of Genesis Pre-Seed Fund, expressed pride and support on behalf of the University of Melbourne, acknowledging the significant progress the startup has made and highlighting the potential of innovations to improve people’s lives, tackle …

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Australian plant-based meat producer ProForm Foods enters voluntary administration

© ProForm Foods

Company News

Australian Plant-Based Meat Producer ProFrom Foods Enters Voluntary Administration

ProForm Foods, an Australian plant-based meat company and producer of the MEET brand, has entered voluntary administration. Gayle Dickerson and James Dampney of financial advisory firm KPMG Australia have been appointed as administrators, and the first meeting of creditors was reportedly held on May 30. ProForm Foods will continue to operate as normal during the administration process, with MEET products — which include mince, burgers, and tenders — remaining on supermarket shelves. ProForm Foods began operations in 2005 as a research and development company producing protein ingredients, before launching MEET in 2008. The company claims to have been Australia’s first commercial plant protein producer, and has developed a technology called ProForm High Moisture Cooking to improve the taste and texture of meat alternatives. As well …

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nuggets at V Honest

© Honest Burgers

Studies & Numbers

Report: Plant-Based Meat Sales Surge by 47%, Price Parity Gap Closes in Australian Market

Food Frontier, an independent think tank on alternative proteins in Australia and New Zealand, has released its 2023 State of the Industry report. It reveals the growth of the plant-based meat sector, an increase in per-capita consumption and foodservice sales, and positive developments regarding price parity. Looking at the general landscape, the analysis shows that the plant-based meat industry is growing despite navigating the challenges of a new food category, economic difficulties, inflation, and the dried investment environment. The figures show that plant-based meat sales increased by 47% between 2020 and 2023, and per-capita consumption increased by 28%.  Dr Simon Eassom, CEO of Food Frontier, commented on the report, “Despite the economic challenges faced by plant-based meat companies here and overseas it’s evident that the industry is here …

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Magic Valley introduces new cultivated pork bao buns at public tasting

Image courtesy of Magic Valley

Cultivated Meat

Magic Valley’s Cultivated Pork Impresses with “Indistinguishable” Flavor at Tasting Event

Australian firm Magic Valley, a cultivated meat company at the forefront of scalable solutions, debuted a new product —cultivated pork bao buns — at a recent tasting at John Gorilla Café in Brunswick. The event brought together a wide range of attendees from different industries, all intrigued by future technology, advancements in food technology, and the alternative protein sector, according to the announcement. Magic Valley claims to have developed a scalable platform for growing beef, lamb, and pork without fetal bovine serum using iPSC (induced pluripotent stem cell) technology. This tech allows cells to grow indefinitely to create unlimited quantities of meat. On the right track However, while producing volumes to stay competitive in the food industry is essential, Magic Valley’s primary goal is to replicate …

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Integra Foods, the new ingredients division of Australian Grain Export (AGE), has opened a faba bean protein facility in Dublin, South Australia.

© Integra Foods

Manufacturing & Technology

Integra Foods Breaks New Ground with Faba Bean Protein Facility in South Australia

Integra Foods, the new ingredients division of Australian Grain Export (AGE), has opened a faba bean protein facility in Dublin, South Australia. The facility, part of AGE’s $20 million vertically integrated value-adding precinct in South Australia’s Mid-North region, leverages sustainable and energy-efficient protein separation techniques. The new plant, described as a state-of-the-art facility, is set to produce 15,000 metric tons of “all-natural” and sustainable concentrates annually for innovative faba bean-based products. Mr. Tim Martin, managing director of Integra Foods, shared: “We’re proud to lead in developing Australia’s plant protein industry and launching South Australia’s newest industry.” Dry fractionation tech Unlike wet fractionating methods, the ingredients company uses pioneering dry fractionation, which does not require water, acids, alkalis, solvents, or drying to separate proteins and starches. …

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Stuart McAlpine Lupin Crop, WOA

Stuart McAlpine with Lupin Crop © WOA

Agriculture / Agribusiness

WOA Pioneers Novel Lupin Fiber, a By-Product of Lupin Powder, Marking “Significant Stride” for Food Industry

Wide Open Agriculture announces it has successfully developed a groundbreaking lupin fiber, characterized by a smooth texture, solubility, and neutral taste, which is ready for commercialization. The anticipated market introduction of this lupin fiber is poised to enhance revenues and profit margins of the company’s production operations in Germany as it transforms what was previously considered a waste by-product into a lucrative revenue source. In collaboration with Curtin University, Wide Open Agriculture has also pioneered the creation of Buntine Protein® powder, a world-first innovation derived from lupins, and holds the exclusive, globally protected patent for this product. The lupin fiber in question emerges as a secondary by-product of Buntine Protein production. Notably, both the lupin fiber and Buntine Protein® boast solubility and are capable of …

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Vegan Whole Cut Steak

©Chunk Foods/ The Butcher's Daughter

Sustainability / Environment

Study Finds Plant-Based Beef Significantly More Sustainable Than Traditional Beef

A research team from Macquarie University in Australia has conducted a comparative study analyzing papers from various countries on the sustainability and nutrition of beef versus plant-based beef, revealing some interesting results. Plant-based beef was found to significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions, with reductions ranging from 86% to 97% in various studies. Plant-based beef also requires less land, estimated to be less than 5%.  “Roughly 75 % of global agricultural land is for animal production while animal-based foods provide only 18 % human calories and 25 % protein in global good supply,” states the paper. The new research also shows that plant-based beef, particularly burgers, generally have lower energy and saturated fat content but lower levels of protein compared to beef. Emission sources Cattle contribute to emissions primarily …

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Sunfed Meats Bull Free Beef Raw Prime Diced

©Sunfed

Company News

Australian Supermarkets Withdraw Plant-Based Brand Sunfed Meats From Shelves

New Zealand-headquartered plant-based meat brand Sunfed Meats is reportedly no longer available in Australia, with supermarket chains Woolworths and Coles confirming that they no longer stock the brand’s products. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Sunfed’s valuation has been reduced to zero by its leading investor, Blackbird Ventures, though neither Sunfed nor the investment firm appears to have commented on this. The brand currently still seems to be available in New Zealand, but Australia is no longer mentioned on its website. It remains unclear why the products have been withdrawn from Australia; one commenter on Sunfed’s Facebook page said they had contacted Woolworths and were told the range had been discontinued due to lack of demand, but other commenters pointed out that the products had …

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Australian cultivated meat company Vow announces that it has secured regulatory approval from the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) to produce and sell its first product, cultivated quail.

Vow's cultivated quail product, Image courtesy of Vow

Company News

Vow Receives Regulatory Approval to Launch “World-First” Cultivated Quail Product in Singapore

Australian cultivated meat company Vow announces that it has secured regulatory approval from the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) to produce and sell the world’s first cultivated quail product.  Vow’s product originates from cells of the rare Japanese quail, Coturnix japonica, grown without animal-derived serum and antibiotics to provide a slaughter-free alternative. The Australian pioneer claims it is the only company globally that is currently offering a product free from the controversial fetal bovine serum. With this approval, Vow becomes the fourth company in the world to receive approval for a cultivated meat product (after the US companies UPSIDE Foods and GOOD Meat and the Israeli biotech Aleph Farms) and the third company to introduce a food made from cultured cells (Aleph Farms has yet to …

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Cauldron raises $9.5M AUD Series A to scale its continuous hyper-fermentation technology

Michele Stansfield, co-founder and CEO of Cauldron © Cauldron Ferm

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Investors Back Cauldron’s Plans for Global Network of Precision Fermentation Facilities to Tune of $6.25M

Precision fermentation company Cauldron Ferm announces it has secured AUD 9.5 million ($6.25M) in a series A round led by Horizons Ventures. SOSV, In-Q-Tel, and previous investor Main Sequence also participated in the round, bringing Cauldron’s total raised funds to $20 million.  Precision fermentation is crucial for increasing food production without expanding agricultural land while it addresses sustainability and security issues. The United Nations predicts a 70% increase in food production by 2025 to support the rising population. Cauldron says that it aims to deploy its cost-effective, continuous fermentation technology in a network of worldwide rural facilities to develop biobased products and contribute to meeting the growing global food, cosmetics, and materials demand.  Chis Liu of Horizons Ventures, comments: “Precision fermentation is an amazing technology, because it enables bio based production of …

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Cellular Agriculture Australia (CAA) announces the release of a pioneering Regulation Resource Hub to help cell ag companies streamline their food safety application process for novel foods.

© Cellular Agriculture Australia (CAA)

Fermentation

This Week in Australia’s Cell Ag Sector: Cauldron Ferm and QUT Lead Efforts to Scale Precision Fermentation Production

We are covering this week’s developments in Australia’s cellular agriculture ecosystem, with Cauldron Ferm and Queensland University of Technology (QUT) leading efforts to establish a global infrastructure for scaling up precision fermentation production for the Asia-Pacific region. Cauldron Ferm Receives License to Produce Animal-Free Proteins at 10,000 L Scale Precision fermentation company Cauldron Ferm announces that it has received a license from the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) to produce animal-free proteins at a 10,000 L scale. The DIR200 license allows Cauldron to utilize its proprietary hyper-fermentation technology and Pichia Pastoris yeast to produce dairy, egg, and spider-silk proteins. The OGTR, part of the Australian Government’s Department of Health and Aged Care, conducted the pertinent risk and management assessments, determining that Cauldron’s hyper-fermentation process is …

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Vegan meal kits cooked and served

© Just Add Vegan

Politics & Law

Australia to Include Sustainability Messaging in Dietary Guidelines to Align with Global Efforts

Australia is set to promote plant-based foods and diets as it looks to incorporate sustainability messaging into an updated version of its official Dietary Guidelines. Hailed as a milestone step by Food Frontier, a leading advocate for sustainable food solutions, sustainability messaging would raise awareness among Australian consumers about the environmental implications of dietary choices. The move, recommended by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), is poised to align the country with global efforts. As explained by the alt protein think tank, Canada, Switzerland, Sweden, Qatar, Norway, Brazil, and Germany have already recognized the need for more sustainable food systems in light of the increasing global population — from 8 to 9.7 billion by 2050 — and climate crisis concerns.  For the planet Dr. Simon Eassom, CEO …

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No Frickin Chicken's new location.

© No Frickin Chicken

Startups, Accelerators & Incubators

5 Small Vegan Businesses You May Not Know That Deserve to Be on Your Radar

This week we will introduce ten small vegan businesses you may have never heard of; below are five interesting small businesses from around the world, and stay tuned on Friday for another five that deserve to be on your watch list. From Chacino in Spain, offering vegan-friendly cured sausages, to No Frickin Chicken in the UK, serving cruelty-free chicken, these businesses are catering to the growing demand for sustainable and animal-free options. 1. Chacino – Ávila, Spain Born from a partnership between Jamones y Embutidos Pinantes and a team of chefs and scientists, Chacino offers unique plant-based cured sausages, combining the art of traditional curing with modern food innovation.  With a focus on honoring the heritage of past generations and expertise while looking toward the future, Chacino …

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Australian plant-based meat category sees significant changes

Image supplied

Meat- and Fish Alternatives

Australian Plant-Based Meat Category Has 3X More Products Than in 2017

Research by alt protein think tank Food Frontier has indicated that there have been significant changes in the volume and type of products available in the Australian plant-based meat category in recent years. In 2017, major retailers stocked less than five plant-based meat brands made by Australian or New Zealand-based companies; this has now risen to over 30. The number of products in the category has increased threefold, from under 90 to almost 300. As consumers seek more convenient options, products like nuggets, mince, deli slices, and meatballs are becoming increasingly available. Meat alternatives that are suitable for a variety of dishes — such as chunks, strips, and whole cuts — are also becoming more popular, though there are still relatively few of these products …

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