A foto of a dandelion. California-based Shiru launches ProteinDiscovery.ai, the world's first protein marketplace and discovery platform. 

© Shiru

Protein

Shiru Launches ProteinDiscovery.ai, the “World’s First” Protein Marketplace Touted as the Amazon of Proteins

California-based Shiru, an AI-enabled startup developing performance ingredients, announces the launch of what it claims to be the world’s first protein marketplace and discovery platform, ProteinDiscovery.ai. Shiru‘s new platform catalogs millions of molecules by sequence, metadata, performance, and functional use. It allows users to discover, test, and purchase molecules for food, agriculture, personal care, and advanced material applications. Dr. Jasmin Hume, Shiru’s founder and CEO, shares: “With ProteinDiscovery.ai we’ve made the world of natural proteins for industrial applications accessible. We’ve even added the ability for users to easily purchase samples, creating the ‘Amazon for proteins.’” Saving time and money Described as a first of its kind in the industry, ProteinDiscovery.ai allows users to access and utilize advanced AI in an easy-to-use web to search for ingredients and develop new products. It …

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Torg raises funding for AI-powered platform for ingredient sourcing

© Torg

Investments & Acquisitions

Torg Raises €2.7M for AI-Powered Platform Matching Buyers With Food Suppliers

German startup Torg has closed an oversubscribed €2.7 million seed funding round for its AI-powered platform, which helps food service and private label buyers connect with food and beverage suppliers. Torg features a database of more than 100,000 verified suppliers, over ten times more than are present at major trade fairs such as Anuga and SIAL. The platform streamlines supplier discovery, communication, negotiation, and financing to make the sourcing process as simple as possible. It features several product categories, including a vegan category with 282 suppliers. In just two minutes, buyers can set up a product request and distribute it to hundreds of manufacturers. The supplier database features profiles, certifications, product capabilities, and contact information for the manufacturers; Torg claims that handling these large unstructured …

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A view of the display possibilities of the Proxy Foods' AI platform

© Proxy Foods

Investments & Finance

AI Recipe Formulation Platform “Proxy Foods” Raises $2.3M to Make Tasty & Nutritious Alternatives More Quickly

Washington-based Proxy Foods, a software developer for the F&B industry, has raised $2.3 million in a seed round for its AI platform that promises to solve the most complex challenges in food and recipe formulation more quickly: flavor, nutrition, and sustainability. The round was led by Ted Leonsis, Proxy Foods’ co-founder and renowned sports entrepreneur, and the co-founders of CAVA Group Inc., Ike Grigoropoulos, Ted Xenohristos, and Dimitri Moshovitis.  Investors Anthony Nader and Fredrick Schaufeld from SWaN & Legend Venture Partners, Robert G. Hisaoka from RGH Capital, and industry veteran Richard Ware backed the AI recipe formulation platform in this round. With the new capital, Proxy Foods will expand its team to accelerate product development and innovation and address the evolving demand for tasty, nutritious, cruelty-free, and …

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Sam Tucker of Open Paws speaking at ProVeg Incubator

Sam Tucker of Open Paws, image credit Jan Michalko

Interviews

Open Paws: “AI Can Play a Crucial Role in Marketing and Customer Engagement for Vegan Businesses”

Open Paws is a groundbreaking nonprofit dedicated to using AI to make animal exploitation obsolete. Its core mission is to build open-source AI models for animal advocates, help animal rights charities and plant-based / vegan businesses implement AI in their workflows, and advocate for systemic consideration for animals in the wider AI industry. We spoke to founder Sam Tucker, who spent 15+ years working in animal advocacy and now works at the intersection of AI safety and animal advocacy, striving to address the urgent and under-addressed challenge of speciesism in AI. Through combining his expertise in animal advocacy and artificial intelligence, Sam developed VEG3, the world’s first AI assistant dedicated to helping both individuals and organisations be more effective in advocating for animals and navigating …

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Plantbased Business Hour

Can We Have a Sustainable Future? With Roger Spitz of Techistential

Roger Spitz (M.Sc., FCA, APF) is an international bestselling author, a celebrated futurist, the president of Techistential (Climate & Foresight Strategy), and the chair of the renowned Disruptive Futures Institute, based in San Francisco. In this episode, they discuss how we can prepare for the disruption ahead and come out financially and consciously better. Specifically, they discuss: How do we have strategic foresight for an adaptive and resilient future? What is a virtuous inflection point and how does it help to achieve critical mass adoption? What is transformation innovation and how does it encourage systems change? What levers are the most effective for systemic change: this may be the most holistic point of all and, thus, perhaps the most complex. What does this mean for …

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MYCO's future facility

Image courtesy of MYCO

Manufacturing & Technology

MYCO Announces “Food Industry First” Site for Oyster Mushroom Protein to Meet Demand for Sustainable Meat Alternatives

MYCO, a UK producer of Hooba, an oyster mushroom protein, announces that it has secured a 20,000 square feet former facility in Leeming Bar, North Yorkshire, with plans to transform it into a vertical farm unit and a product development plant for sustainable meat alternatives. The plant will be specifically repurposed to support the company’s next growth phase, creating 70 jobs in the next few years “to cope with the expected influx of demand for plant-based foods.” According to the company, it will be the first site of its kind in the UK. “This new site is a food industry first, and the concept of combining both the growing of the raw materials and the manufacturing of the finished product under one roof will pave …

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The Planteat noodles in boxes

©The PlantEat

Protein

Korea’s The PlantEat Uses AI to Make Soybeans Better-Tasting & More Digestible

Korean food tech company The PlantEat has used artificial intelligence to develop a variety of soybeans that is said to address several challenges commonly faced by plant-based food manufacturers. The new variety — called Hayoung — is non-GMO and does not have the off-taste and indigestibility often associated with soybeans. As reported by The Chosun, it also improves yields, with 100 beans producing 32.3 grams after processing compared to 21 grams for conventional soybeans. Additionally, The PlantEat claims that the beans do not contain the proteins that typically cause soy allergies. Hayoung was developed by using AI to analyze over 4 million food data points, significantly speeding up the R&D process. The project was funded by the Korean Food, Agriculture, and Forestry R&D Information Service. …

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Multus and New Wave Biotech are joining forces to accelerate the production of cultivated meat.

© Multus

Cultivated Meat

UK: Multus and New Wave Biotech Partner to Lower the Costs of Cultivated Meat Using AI

Multus, a UK growth media innovator for cultivated meat, and London-based New Wave Biotech, a leader in AI bioprocess optimization software, are joining forces to lower the costs of cultivated meat using AI. Multus develops food-safe, animal-free growth media for the cultivated meat industry through AI, lab automation, and novel ingredients. New Wave Biotech develops AI bioprocess optimization software to help biotech companies launch their products more quickly and at a lower cost. Through the collaboration, Multus will harness the speed and accuracy of New Wave Biotech’s AI software to expand the production of its products at convenient prices. The software will help the growth media specialist create virtual experimentation on thousands of processes, leveraging real-life data for continual improvements. The AI eliminates unviable processes, accelerates …

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Libre Group shot

© Libre Foods

Fermentation

Libre Foods Wins €335K Grant to Pioneer Low-Cost Mycelium for Meat Alternatives

Libre Foods, a Spanish biotech based in Barcelona, has been awarded a €335,000 public R&D grant by Neotec (a program that supports technology-based companies) to develop a low-cost mycelium ingredient for meat alternatives.  Mycelium holds the potential to enhance the texture and nutrition in meat alternatives; however, scaling its production to lower the final product’s costs remains an industry challenge, argues Libre Foods. With the funds, the Spanish biotech plans to launch an advanced screening platform, integrating rapid imaging robotics and machine learning to discover and optimize fungi-based applications and accelerate product development. The platform could increase efficiency in R&D by more than 800 times, explains the company. Low-cost mycelium The technology’s first task will be developing a low-cost mycelium ingredient with a superior nutritional and …

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robot and burger

© LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS - stock.adobe.com

Food Service

Chipotle Founder to Open Meat-Free Concept “Kernel” Powered by Robots

Chipotle founder and ex-CEO Steve Ells is venturing back into the food industry with a new meat-free concept called Kernal. Set to open its first location in Manhattan early next year, Kernel will exclusively serve a meat-free, fast-casual menu, all crafted with the help of robotic technology. The restaurant model features a streamlined operational process where a team of only three employees is needed to run each location. Customer orders are transmitted to the kitchen, where a robotic arm handles the food preparation and places pans in the oven. A programmed toaster warms up buns while conveyor belts move dishes through the kitchen. Employees then add any final touches, package the orders, and pop them into cubbies for the customers to collect.  Ells highlighted to …

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Biocraft Cat food in dish

Cat food © Biocraft Pet Nutrition

Pet Food

BioCraft Pioneers AI to Streamline Production of Cultivated Meat for Pets

BioCraft Pet Nutrition, formerly Because, Animals, states it is pioneering AI to reduce costs and accelerate the development of cultivated meat for the pet food market.  BioCraft claims to have developed a new proprietary AI tool that supports R&D in finding nutrient inputs, giving it an edge in achieving optimal cell proliferation, thus expediting production. Using AI, the company conducts fewer and more focused experiments to improve cell growth and enhance the nutritional value of cultivated meat.  “The main costs and time sinks on the way to commercialization are R&D-related, and our AI has substantially streamlined this process, accelerated our progress, and reduced costs,” said BioCraft founder and CEO Dr. Shannon Falconer.  BioCraft’s AI collects and processes data from publicly available scientific papers and databases. Subsequently, …

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