Students from the University of Waterloo in Canada, have received over $700,000 in grants to expand their AI-based research in advancing cultivated seafood.

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Cultivated Seafood

University of Waterloo Students Secure $700,000 to Revolutionize Cultivated Seafood with AI

Kevin Shen and Rikard Saqe, students from the Faculties of Science and Mathematics at the University of Waterloo in Canada, have received over $700,000 in grants from Good Food Institute (GFI), Mitacs, and New Harvest to expand their research in advancing cultivated seafood with AI. The research goals, formulated within the Waterloo Alt Protein Project design team, a global network of over 60 student-led organizations supported by the GFI, aim to establish the large-scale production of cultivated seafood, specifically fish. Using AI, the researchers will predict and enhance cell behavior and create detailed genomic and proteomic profiles. Additionally, they will employ multi-omics technologies and use single-cell RNA sequencing to gain insights into the cellular makeup of fish. The collected data will be used to develop …

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South Korea’s plant-based foods producer Pulmuone has signed a business agreement with with ABB Korea Robotics, a leading company in automation and robotics to develop cultivated fish technologies.

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Cultivated Seafood

Pulmuone Announces New Collab to Streamline Cultivated Seafood Using AI Robotics

South Korean plant-based foods producer Pulmuone has signed a business agreement with ABB Korea Robotics, the local corporation of Switzerland’s ABB, to develop cultivated seafood. The collaboration aims to automate the cultivation process for seafood using ABB’s robotics technology, with a target of mass-producing cultivated seafood products by 2026. According to the announcement, the companies hope to spearhead research and development in AI robotics for cellular agriculture. At the same time, Pulmuone expects this partnership to be the world’s first to apply AI robotic automation to cultivated meat production. Both companies will focus on several areas, including the robotic automation of the seafood cell cultivation process, enhancing production efficiency, protecting intellectual property, sharing research facilities and equipment, and exchanging specialized personnel. Key representatives from both …

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Cultivated meat by Aleph Farms

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Cultivated Meat

Aleph Farms Partners with BioRaptor to Streamline Cultivated Beef Production With Cutting-Edge AI

Israeli biotech Aleph Farms announces a partnership with the AI-powered insights platform BioRaptor to streamline and lower the costs of its cultivated meat production process by integrating cutting-edge AI technology. Aleph Farms, the first and only company to receive regulatory approval for cultivated beef, is preparing to produce larger volumes of its products, Aleph Cuts, in Israel and Thailand. In Thailand, it will install a large-scale manufacturing plant, targeting Southeast Asia as its central hub. Its growth approach involves strategically expanding its production capacity to ensure long-term success and minimize risks. The partnership with BioRaptor is a key part of this strategy, as it will enable the implementation of advanced tools in R&D to optimize processes before making significant infrastructure investments.  Dr Neta Lavon, CTO …

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PIC Artificial Intelligence Projects

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Startups, Accelerators & Incubators

Protein Industries Canada Launches $10M Fund to Increase Use of AI in Plant-Based Food Sector

Protein Industries Canada (PIC)  announces it is offering $10M CAD for food tech projects that use artificial intelligence to improve plant-based food production. The funds are aimed at accelerating the commercialization of new foods and ingredients while making Canada’s plant-based sector more efficient and sustainable.  According to PIC, an industry-led nonprofit organization, AI has the potential to transform how food ingredient processors and manufacturers operate, especially by increasing the speed of recipe and ingredient formulation. AI also has a strong potential to improve food safety and quality assurance, says PIC.  Wide scope of projects From now until March 31, 2026, PIC plans to invest $30 million into AI projects that wil benefit the plant-based and agrifood sectors. The amount invested in each project will depend on …

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Plantbased Business Hour

All In Podcast’s David Friedberg: Plant-based Innovation Can Grow the Economy. Here’s How.

The podcast I have been waiting years to record! The All In Podcast’s Sultan of Science: David Friedberg, CEO of The Production Board, is on The Plantbased Business Hour with me to discuss how AI can impact the Plant-based Innovation sector (plant-based foods and alternative proteins) as well as what the sector can do to scale up production and reduce costs. The All In podcast doesn’t talk about plant-based innovation as part of an economic driver as much as they could, so we do it here. So much to discuss! We dish on politics, the economy, innovation and culture…all as it relates to global food systems transformation. Specifically, they discuss, How the sector can scale to price parity or better and the innovations that will get us there, The …

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Bel Brands USA Dairy-Free Products

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Investments & Finance

The Bel Group Invests in Climax Foods to Create New Generation of “Best in Class” Vegan Cheese

Global cheese leader The Bel Group and biotech startup Climax Foods announce a partnership to introduce a new generation of “zero compromise” plant-based cheese. By leveraging Climax’s data science and artificial intelligence, the two companies will co-create plant-based versions of Bel Group’s Laughing Cow®, Kiri®, Boursin®, Babybel® and Nurishh® brand cheeses. Bel also reveals it has acquired an equity stake in Climax Foods for an undisclosed amount.  Described as “best in class”, the new cheeses aim to be indistinguishable from their dairy counterparts while being nutritious, affordable and carrying a lower carbon footprint. The upcoming products appear to be different from the dairy-free BabyBel and Boursin that Bel Group has released in the US and Canada in recent years.  The partnership will utilize Climax’s powerful …

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Fernando Machado/ Matias Muchnick

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Company News

NotCo Hires Veteran Global Marketer Fernando Machado as New Chief Marketing Officer

Food tech unicorn NotCo announces it has hired Fernando Machado, a celebrated leader in global marketing, as its new Chief Marketing Officer, effective in April.  Known for “brilliant” marketing campaigns that pushed creative boundaries to drive business growth, Machado most recently served as CMO of Activision Blizzard, one of the world’s most successful entertainment and gaming companies. Prior to Activision, he also served as CMO for Restaurants Brands International, where he created award-winning advertising for brands like Burger King and Popeyes. Machado’s career began as an intern at Unilever, where he last worked as Global Brand Development VP for Dove.  $1.5Bn brand Machado’s hire follows NotCo’s $70M series D1 funding round in December, which valued the company at $1.5Bn. According to Machado, he has long …

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vegan 2023

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Market & Trends

Industry Leaders Reveal Their 2023 Food Trend Predictions, Part 1

As an eventful 2022 draws to a close, leaders across various sectors in the food industry share with vegconomist their food industry predictions for 2023. In the first part of this series, gimme Snacks, Aleph Farms, Stray Dog Capital and Tastewise predict what will happen in the plant-based food and alternative protein spaces. We offer you their thoughts and insights classified by sectors to contextualize each leader’s unique perspective on what’s coming in 2023. Plant-based foods gimme Snacks: Diego Norris, CMO Foods with low environmental footprints: Norris, a marketing expert at gimme Snacks, considers climate change’s effects undeniable. “In 2023, we expect to see a step-change in demand for brands and products that are produced in sustainable ways or that significantly reduce their carbon footprints by …

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Karim_Pichara_and_Matias_Muchnick_notco

Karim Pichara & Matias Muchnick © NotCo

Fundraising

NotCo Raises $70M to Catapult New B2B Platform Ahead of IPO

NotCo announces it has closed $70M in Series D1 funding to “catapult” a new B2B unit and accelerate the transformation of the industry, with Forbes suggesting today that the Chilean unicorn is “actively preparing for an IPO likely in 2025”. “These partnerships will help diversify and accelerate our impact while scaling the accessibility of truly delicious plant-based options to further propel the industry forward” The new platform will enable other CPG brands, ingredient suppliers and tech providers to leverage NotCo’s AI platform “Giuseppe” for their own innovations, while NotCo will continue to operate its branded business, NotCo Food, offering products like NotMilk™, NotBurger™ and NotChicken™ through both retail and food service across the US. Kraft Heinz Not Company The news comes three days after the …

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Protera Team

Protera team, image supplied

Manufacturing & Technology

ICL and Protera Biosciences Partner for AI-Driven Precision Fermented Ingredients

ICL Food Specialties of Israel has joined forces with Chile’s Protera Biosciences, an AI-driven food tech startup and designer of novel proteins used to develop precision fermented ingredients for food manufacturers. Protera closed a $10M Series A round last year, while ICL employs more than 12,500 people worldwide, and reported revenues in 2021 of around $7 billion.  Through the newly announced partnership, ICL and Protera will develop and commercialize sustainable protein-based ingredients using precision fermentation. These ingredients, according to the company, will “improve the sensory properties in plant-based food applications, while positively impacting the world’s food security challenges.” Deep-learning platform Protera’s AI tech, called madiTM, a deep-learning platform, can predict and match the structure and functionality of vegetable proteins. It designs proteins from a database …

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Kraft Heinz Not Co Joint Venture

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Products & Launches

Kraft Heinz and NotCo Reveal First Joint Products: Animal-Free Cheese and Mayo

Kraft Heinz Co. and food tech startup NotCo reveal the first products of their innovative partnership will be animal-free cheese slices and mayonnaise. Beginning in November, Not Cheese will be tested in 30 Cleveland, OH stores, with a national rollout planned for later next year. The two companies’ new mayo is also expected to launch in early 2023, reports Bloomberg.  Kraft Heinz and NotCo joined forces to create The Kraft Heinz Not Company in February to accelerate the development of affordable plant-based foods. Combining Kraft’s iconic brands with NotCo’s AI-driven technology, Kraft stated the venture would develop premium, co-branded products with an “unprecedented” focus on speed, quality and scale.  Cheese singles The newly unveiled products include dairy-free Not Cheese, which recreates Kraft’s classic Singles slices in …

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Proveg AI NFH

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Manufacturing & Technology

Big Plant-Based Data: Four Ways to Harness AI and Transform your R&D Process

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning technologies are transforming the world as we know it, and are proving to be integral to advancements within the plant-based industry. ProVeg International recently published an article which details four key ways in which your company can utilise AI to improve your plant-based product-development process, helping to reduce company costs, promote productivity in your workforce, and truly excite consumers. In ProVeg’s full article, which draws on insight from experts in the plant-based AI field, you can find out how to effectively harness AI by adopting the following four key strategies: Lead with consumer insight Drive innovation and reduce costs with AI-powered flavours Connect and collaborate with other companies Keep humans at the forefront But why is AI becoming such a …

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NotChicken US launch

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Products & Launches

NotCo Preparing to Launch First NotChicken Products in US By End of 2022

Food tech startup NotCo announces it will be launching NotChicken patties at US Sprouts Farmers Markets in coming months. In addition, NotChicken nuggets are set to make their US debut in the beginning of 2023, reports FoodNavigator-USA.  Taste test winner The new products, which retail for a suggested price of $7.99/ 4-pack, performed better than competing plant-based chicken brands in a consumer taste test, according to co-founder and CEO Matias Muchnick.  While plenty of plant-based chicken patties and nuggets have appeared on the market, NotCo maintains its products – created by a patented, AI-powered tech platform  – stand apart because the company possesses unique IP and formulations. Special ingredients The brand also says NotChicken’s ingredient formulation differs according to global regional markets, with the US …

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Kraft Heinz Not Co Joint Venture

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Company News

Kraft Heinz’s New Chief Growth Officer Reveals First NotCo Products Will Launch in Late 2022

Kraft Heinz’s newly appointed chief growth officer, Diana Frost, reveals the global food conglomerate aims to “democratize” plant-based foods through its partnership with food tech startup NotCo. In addition, Kraft Heinz plans to roll out NotCo’s first co-developed plant-based products by the end of 2022, reports Ad Age.  Frost, who previously served as chief marketing officer and the head of disruption for Kraft’s Canadian region, states the CPG company is looking to use its much-publicized joint venture with NotCo – known as The Kraft Heinz Not Company – to improve the taste, texture, and price of plant-based proteins.  Frost describes working with the Chilean food tech brand as an “amazing experience”, and says she has already participated in multiple “fantastic” tastings.  Major venture Kraft Heinz …

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Products & Launches

NotCo Launches Best-Selling NotBurger in US Retailers Nationwide

NotCo, the Chile-based food tech unicorn, is launching its signature NotBurger in retailers across the US. The brand’s AI-created burger, which has enjoyed sell-out success in Latin America, can now be found at Whole Foods Market and select regional retailers, with an upcoming rollout at Sprouts Farmers Markets in August.  Created with ingredients like peas, bamboo, spinach, chia seeds, and cocoa powder, the NotBurger offers the taste and tenderness of a conventional burger with no eggs, gluten or GMO’s. Like all of NotCo’s products, the NotBurger recipe was developed by Giuseppe, the brand’s patented AI technology, and a team of AI chefs and R&D experts, who use Giuseppe’s knowledge to craft plant-based foods with the same taste, texture and functionality as animal products.  5% market …

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drawing of a black chicken crossed in purple purple on a yellow background

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Company News

NotCo Announces New Patents to Replicate “True Experience” of Animal Products Using Plant-Based Molecules

Foodtech Unicorn NotCo announces it has secured a new set of patents related to the ability of Giuseppe — its proprietary AI technology — to develop scents and aromas, claiming to be the first company leveraging AI to explore the re-creation of aromas in food. The company states that Giuseppe is now the only technology with the ability to reproduce the positive associations created in the brain when it experiences scent and aroma, through plant-based food and beverages. “By understanding taste at the molecular level and interpreting the emotion our brains associate with it, NotCo can recreate these experiences through flavor and aroma using only plant-based ingredients,” says the fast-growing Chilean company. NotCo’s patented new technology will be applied to all product development moving forward, …

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Brightseed Plant Science

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Ingredients

Brightseed Completes $68M Series B to Commercialize Novel Hemp Ingredients

Brightseed, a pioneer in tech-based phytonutrient research, announces it has raised $68M in Series B funding to accelerate its plant nutrient discovery and bring new ingredients, including special hemp-derived compounds, to market. The company’s first hemp compounds, NCT and NFT, are derived from upcycled seed hulls and are expected to launch in the next nine months.  Hemp may lower fat Using its Forager AI platform, Brightseed is able to identify and map plants’ bioactive compounds and relate them to human health benefits with rapid speed, reports NutraIngredients-USA. Forager technology has so far mapped 2 million plant compounds, including N-trans caffeoyltyramine (NCT) and N-trans-feruloyltyramine (NFT) from hemp hulls. Preclinical research suggests the hemp compounds help to reduce liver fat and regulate lipid levels. To commercialize these …

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The Live Green Co

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Company News

The Live Green Co Merges with 5 Chilean Startups to Demonstrate Its Tech Across Product Categories

The Live Green Co, a Boston-based food tech company, announces five Chilean food startups have merged with it to accelerate the world’s transition to a healthier plant-based food system. Through the merger, Live Green also aims to position Chile as a global leader in the sustainable foods marketplace.  The five merging brands – Terrrium, Aztlan, Gibit, EcoKetrawe and Regional Food – will operate independently while mutually benefiting from each others’ strengths, Live Green says. The fusion will also expand Live Green Co’s portfolio in the US, Mexico and Latin America, bring special products like Chilean lupines to the international market, and allow the five brands to access Live Green Co’s overseas market presence. The five startups include:   Terrarium – Dedicated to researching and manufacturing vegan …

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Investments & Finance

Live Green Co. Raises $7M, Will Relocate From Chile to Boston MA

The Live Green Co has raised $7 million in Pre-Series A funding to make food cleaner and more sustainable with AI-driven plant-based ingredients. The company reports it has increased revenue by 10x since 2020. Founded in Chile in 2018, the food tech startup hopes to usher in “Plant-Based 2.0” –  shifting alternative protein from removing animal products to also eliminating processed ingredients and plastic packaging. To fulfill this bold mission, The Live Green Co is relocating to Boston, MA where the company will develop the AI capacities of Charaka, its proprietary intelligence platform. An AI recommendation engine Through Charaka, The Live Green Co leverages machine learning and the “ancestral wisdom” of plant nutrition to analyze thousands of plants and plant combinations. This information is used …

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Equinom - Gil Shalev

Gil Shalev ©Equinom

Interviews

Equinom: “We Simply Need to Make the Most of the Wonders That Nature Has Designed Over Millions of Years”

Israel’s Equinom is a company with a clear mission: to ensure the supply of nutritious and affordable alt proteins for a sustainable future. This year, the company celebrated a $20 million Series C funding round to help achieve that goal. Developing AI and plant breeding techniques to produce improved seeds without the use of genetic modification, Equinom has been involved in a host of partnerships recently, including for Black Sheep Foods’ plant-based lamb, as well as Meatless Farm and Europe’s largest milling company GoodMills. We talked with Founder and CEO Gil Shalev about the company and its work with various high profile partners in the field to assist the acceleration of plant-based. Please introduce EQINOM and its mission Equinom is a food-tech company combining agricultural know-how, …

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