The Tnuva Group, Israel’s largest food conglomerate, has announced it will establish a new research and development center dedicated to alt protein. The major food manufacturer said that as growing numbers of Israelis are turning away from animal-based protein sources, Tnuva aims to improve access to alt protein for the public.
“We have the most advanced infrastructures, capabilities, and knowledge in all categories”
The new R&D center will be based in Rehovot and will focus on alt protein development based on plant-based sources, including dairy alternatives, as well as cultivated meat and cultured milk, fish, and eggs. Tnuva claims to have invested over NIS 40 million ($11.5M) into alt protein startups to date through its investment arm, Tnuva NEXT. With eight startups currently operating in its own incubator program, the company expects this to grow to 40 startups over the coming years.
Despite its history in milk production and traditional dairy products, Tnuva sees more and more Israelis looking towards alt proteins for health and environmental reasons. Tnuva is particularly interested in the cultivated sector, recently launching a collaboration with biotech Pluristem to develop cultivated products for the food industry. Tnuva was also at the forefront of the recent historic government investment in Israel’s cultivated meat consortium.
“With dozens of product launches a year, we have the most advanced infrastructures, capabilities, and knowledge in all categories to move Tnuva and its partners forward to the technological forefront in the alternative protein field,” chief R&D officer Pnina Sverdlov told The Jerusalem Post.