Kern Tec is an Austrian startup participating in the current cohort of the ProVeg incubator. It was founded by Luca Fichtinger, Michael Beitl, Sebastian Jeschko, and Fabian Wagesreither.
The company has a unique concept — upcycling fruit pits to make ultra-sustainable plant-based products. As part of our series about the current ProVeg incubator cohort, we spoke to Kern Tec’s founders to find out more about the company’s products and its plans for the future.
Introduce yourself and your mission
We at Kern Tec believe that there are far too many side streams in food production. We have developed a unique supply chain and technology to process the valuable fruit pits from apricots, cherries, and plums. These usually discarded raw materials are turned into new ingredients for companies in the food and beverage industry.
Our mission is to upcycle hundreds of thousands of tons of pits and develop new and unique products to bring into everyone’s daily diets.
Tell us about your product
The seeds of apricots, cherries, and plums can be defined as a new nut. They contain loads of healthy fats, proteins, fibre, and minerals. This is why their applications are similar to other nuts. We offer oils for the food industry, we have developed a new chocolate cream, and we are about to launch a new dairy alternative drink and yoghurt. They set a new category in terms of sustainability and, of course, excellent taste!
At what stage is your company currently?
After almost two years, we have successfully built a production line to process the different pits on a large scale here in Austria. Our production line has the capacity to upcycle several thousand tons of fruit pits, and with our highly scalable supply chain we plan to “save” far more pits in the future. As well as processing, we have developed a variety of products that these new raw materials can be incorporated into. Last but not least, we have created our own IP for a technology to either manage or extract cyanide — a non-edible substance — from seeds and products thereof.
What are your plans for the next five years?
We have a lot of milestones in front of us. Of course, we want to scale our impact and production, with more suppliers from across the whole of Europe. We will continue to develop new products to help accelerate the transformation. For example, we will extend our product range with proteins extracted from seeds. Additionally, we will apply our tech and supply chain to other by-products. Fruit pits are just the beginning.
To accelerate our growth, we are currently looking for suitable investors to help us scale. Potential investors are welcome to get in touch via email at [email protected]!