A bowl with algae oil

© Checkerspot

Studies & Numbers

Study Finds Switching From Animal Fats to Plant-based Fats Reduces Risk of Disease

Switching from a diet high in saturated animal fats to a diet rich in plant-based unsaturated fats influences the fat composition in the blood. This in turn influences the long-term risk of disease, finds a recent study. The study, published in Nature Medicine, conducted by a team of researchers from the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbrücke (DIfE), Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and several other universities, shows that it is possible to accurately measure diet-related fat changes in the blood. These can then be directly linked to the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. “Our study confirms with even greater certainty than before the health benefits of a diet with a high proportion of unsaturated vegetable fats, such as those …

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California’s Savor, a startup revolutionizing fat production with agriculture and animal-free solutions, has developed a butter prototype made from CO2 and hydrogen

© Savor

Ingredients

Savor Successfully Develops Dairy & Plant-Free Butter From CO2 and Hydrogen

California’s Savor, a startup revolutionizing the production of fat with agriculture and animal-free solutions, has developed a butter prototype made from CO2 and hydrogen, that is said to offer the taste and functional properties of dairy butter. Henrik Bennetsen (CEO), Kathleen Alexander (CTO), and Ian McKay (CSO) founded the startup in San Jose in 2022 to offer a solution to industrial fats that could significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help mitigate the impacts of climate change. Animal fats have a well-known negative impact on the climate; meanwhile, many plant-based alternatives currently on the market are made from canola, sunflower, coconut, and palm crops that contribute significantly to GHG emissions and fuel deforestation and biodiversity loss. Other methods, such as precision fermentation and cultivated fats …

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Cultimate Foods showcased its CultiFat at a tasted event held at ProVeg Incubator in Germany

© ProVeg International

Cultivated Meat

Cultimate Foods Secures €2.3M to “Deliver the Meaty Flavors Consumers Crave” Via Cultivated Fats

Despite the difficult fundraising environment, German startup Cultimate Foods, a B2B cultivated fat supplier for the alt protein industry, has secured €2.3 million in seed funding to scale the production of its functional ingredient, CultiFat, and expand its operations and commercial collaborations. High-Tech Gründerfonds, one of Europe’s leading seed investors, led the round, which also included participation from the Life Science Valley Wachstumsfonds, b.value AG, and Kale United. Food tech investor Big Idea Ventures also joined the round. Made from beef and pork fat cells using cell ag technology, CultiFat contains the essential fatty acids responsible for the distinctive flavor and aroma of meat. According to Cultimate Foods, its fat is a game-changing ingredient that elevates the taste and texture of plant-based meat. The German startup has developed two …

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The Live Green Co. unveils two new functional ingredients from its precision fermentation division: GreenTAGs Human Milk Lipids for infant nutrition and GutRevyv Postbiotics for gut health.

Image courtesy of The Live Green Co.

Fermentation

The Live Green Co. Unveils Yeast-Derived Breast Milk Fat and Gut Health Postbiotic

The Live Green Co. (TLGC), a US food tech company headquartered in Boston since 2022, unveils two active functional ingredients developed with precision fermentation: GreenTAGs —  an analog of human breast milk fat known as OPO — and GutRevyv, a postbiotic for gut health. Human milk fat, mainly containing Triacylglycerols or OPO, plays a crucial role in infant development and health: It benefits nutrient absorption, supports neurodevelopment, boosts immunity, favors gut health, and promotes infant well-being. Yeast-derived, GreenTAGs is said to closely mimic the nutritional profile of this human milk fat providing essential nutrients for infants. The functional ingredient is described as a game-changing alternative to the commonly used vegetable oils in infant formulas, capable of bridging the nutritional gap between breast milk and formula feeding. CEO …

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Dutch startup Time-Travelling Milkman (TTM) has raised €850.000 in funding to scale production and expand the market entry of Oleocream, a sunflower fat .

© Time-travelling Milkman

Ingredients

Time-Travelling Milkman Raises €850K to “Cream” Plant-Based Dairy with Sustainable Sunflower Fat

Dutch startup Time-travelling Milkman (TTM) has raised €850,000 in funding to scale production and expand the market entry of Oleocream, a sunflower fat designed to replace palm and coconut oil in plant-based dairy. New investor Alianza Team and existing shareholders Oost NL, SHIFT Invest, and Oterap participated in the seed funding round. This capital injection builds on the previous investment round in 2021. TTM’s readily available and scalable solution, Oleocream, is developed using a patented process that produces small globules of fat (oleosomes) from the seeds of European sunflowers. Described as a dairy cream equivalent, the sunflower fat is said to improve the mouthfeel and creaminess profiles of dairy-free products. Dimitris Karefyllakis, CEO and co-founder at TTM, commented: “We have a clear plan on how we want …

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Four cows in a field

© AF -stock.adobe.com

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Toronto Startups AuX Labs & Genuine Taste Join BioCreate Accelerator to Create Alternatives to Cheese and Beef

Two cutting-edge biotech startups from Ontario, Canada — AuX Labs and Genuine Taste — have been selected to join BioCreate, an accelerator program that supports innovative companies in the health, food, agriculture, and cleantech sectors. AuX Lab was founded in 2021 by Ted Jin to create affordable bioidentical animal proteins using precision fermentation and engineered yeasts. The company is working to develop yeast strains with high protein-yielding capabilities and a bioprocess fueled by low-cost feedstocks established in “capital-light” fermentation facilities.  AuX Lab’s first protein — milk casein — is used to create animal-free cheese with the same taste and melting and stretching functionalities as dairy cheese. The startup has raised $3 million in a seed round from investors Bluestein Ventures, Congruent Ventures, and Flying Fish Partners. Meanwhile, Genuine …

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A precision fermentation derived fat

Image courtesy of Melt&Marble

Fermentation

Melt&Marble Unlocks Commercial-Scale Production for Animal-Free Designer Fat, Sets Sights on US Market by 2025

Melt&Marble, a Swedish precision fermentation company that specializes in designer fats for food and other applications, has revealed new headquarters with expanded R&D and production capabilities. The facility features “state-of-the-art” molecular biology and microbiology labs, pilot-scale bioreactors, and a food application kitchen to test its “meat-like” fat in meat alternatives and other products. Melt&Marble says that it has already successfully scaled its production to one cubic meter. However, with the new capabilities, the company believes it will be able to achieve commercial-scale production beyond its previous milestone. Anastasia Krivoruchko, co-founder and CEO of Melt&Marble, says: “We are excited about the achievements to date. In the last months, we constantly improved key performance indicators related to rate, titre and yield, successfully achieving metrics relevant for commercial-scale and …

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Cultivated Biosciences prepares for market debut with $5 million raised in seed round

Image courtesy of Cultivated Biosciences

Fermentation

Cultivated Biosciences Raises $5 Million for Yeast-Derived Cream and 2025 Market Launch

Swiss biotech Cultivated Biosciences announces it has raised $5 million in a seed round to accelerate the development of its yeast-derived cream and prepare for a market debut. After successfully testing its application in dairy-free coffee creamers, milk, and ice cream products, the company says it is now focusing on scaling up production and building collaborations to introduce the ingredient in consumer products.  Pending regulatory approval for consumption, the company plans to introduce its cream to the US market in 2025 and the European market in 2026. Dutch VC Navus Ventures led the investment round with participation from previous investors Founderful, HackCapital, and Lukas Böni (the founder of Planted). New investors, including US-based Joyful VC, Mandi Ventures, and Zürcher Kantonalbank, backed the company in this round.  Eduard Meijer, …

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Cellva ingredients secures R$6.5 million to cultivated pork fat

© Cellva Ingredients

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Brazil’s Cellva Raises R$6.5 Million to Develop Cultivated Pork Fat

Cellva Ingredients, the first startup in Brazil to develop and produce cultivated animal ingredients, starting with pork fat, has raised R$6.5 million in its first financial round.  Seed4SCience from Fundepar led the round with the participation of ProVeg Incubator, the Spanish fund Rumbo Ventures, and the Rio Grande do Sul angel investor network EA Angels. Cellva expects to close the round by March 2024, aiming to raise R$10 million. The startup was part of the 11th cohort of the ProVeg Incubator, joining a cluster of aspiring entrepreneurs determined to address some of the biggest challenges in alternative proteins. Cultivated pork fat in 21 days Sérgio Pinto (CEO), a former BRF executive, and Bibiana Matte (CSO), a cell culture and tissue engineering researcher, founded Cellva in Porto Alegre, Rio …

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Lars Langhout, founder of No Palm Ingredients

Lars Langhout, founder of No Palm Ingredients, image supplied

Interviews

NoPalm Ingredients: “Our Oils and Fats Have a Dramatically Lower Impact on Nature, Climate and Biodiversity”

Based in Wageningen, Netherlands, NoPalm Ingredients “brews” tailor-made fermented oils and fats. These serve as high-quality, sustainable, local, and circular alternatives to palm oil in food, cosmetics, and detergent products. Lars Langhout (MBA) is the co-founder and CEO of NoPalm Ingredients. He founded NoPalm Ingredients together with Prof. Dr. Jeroen Hugenholtz (CTO) in 2022. Can you share some of the key challenges and highlights NoPalm Ingredients faced in 2023, particularly in the context of scaling up your production of sustainable palm oil alternatives? As with most startups, the key challenge has been raising money to scale up. The investment climate for sustainable, circular start-ups deteriorated over the past two years. At the same time, it is a process we have learned a lot from, and …

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Hoxton Farms cultivated fat

©Hoxton Farms

Company News

Hoxton Farms Appoints Former Impossible Foods CSO Following Recent Hires from GOOD Meat and Aleph Farms

UK cultivated fats specialist Hoxton Farms announces it has appointed Nick Halla to its Board. Halla is the former Chief Strategy Officer at Impossible Foods, where he was a founding employee having teamed up with Pat Brown back in 2011. The biotech states that Halla’s experience in commercialisation and growth at Impossible Foods will prove invaluable as it begins to scale and expand internationally. With Nick’s help, Hoxton Farms takes one step closer to creating a deliciously fatty future. The news comes on the heels of the company’s recent strategic hiring of Vítor Espirito Santo, previously Senior Director of Cellular Agriculture at GOOD Meat, and Nadav Tal, former Director of R&D Engineering at Aleph Farms, in preparation for commercialisation of its product, which it describes …

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A fat developed using precision ferementation by the German startup Zayt Bioscience.

© Zayt Bioscience

Fermentation

Zayt Bioscience Creates Fermented Fats to Combat Deforestation in Food Industry

Amr Aswad and Venkat Konasan founded the biotech startup Zayt Bioscience in Berlin, Germany, to create a new generation of fermented fats that do not come from agricultural commodities. Palm and soybean oilseeds are the primary sources of oil, an essential product for food production, from chocolates to biscuits to margarine and frying fats. Additionally, plant oils find applications in various industries, such as cosmetics, cleaning products, and biofuel production. However, according to an Our World in Data report, palm and soybean crops account for 18% of global deforestation annually, mainly in the global south. Backed by the VC FoodLabs in a pre-seed funding round, Zayt Bioscience developed a patent-pending precision fermentation platform that uses microbes and fruit waste to make alternatives to palm oil and margarine. The proof of concept of the …

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Hoxton Farms announces two strategic hires from leading cultivated meat companies GOOD Meat and Aleph Farms to propel its next commercialisation phase.

Vítor Espirito Santo (L) and Nadav Tal © Hoxton Farms

People

Hoxton Farms Announces Strategic Hires from GOOD Meat and Aleph Farms to Accelerate Cultivated Fat

After opening the UK’s first pilot production facility for cultivated fat, Hoxton Farms announces two strategic executive hires from leading cultivated meat companies GOOD Meat — a subsidiary of Eat Just — and Aleph Farms, to propel the company’s cultivated fat into its next commercialisation phase. The UK aims to become a leading food tech and biotechnology hub. The government has invested £12 million in a cellular agriculture hub, and recently, it unveiled a £2 billion plan to seize the potential of biotechnology for novel foods and medicines and sustainable fuel. While the government has been looking to streamline the approval for cultivated meat to boost food security and sustainability, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has released new guidance on cell-cultivated products and the authorisation process to bring them to market in Great …

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Cultivated Biosciences, a Swiss biotech startup creating fats from yeast fermentation, has presented its first proof-of-concept, a dairy-free coffee creamer.

© Cultivated Biociences

Fermentation

Cultivated Biosciences Crafts Dairy-Free Coffee Creamer Using Yeast-Based Fat

Cultivated Biosciences, a Swiss biotech startup creating fats from yeast fermentation, has developed its first proof-of-concept, a dairy-free coffee creamer. The innovative prototype, made with the biotech’s yeast-based fat, is said to match the performance of dairy creamers, challenging commercially available plant-based alternatives: it is white like milk and tastes just like a regular American commercial creamer. In addition, it blends without flaking (flocculation) despite not containing binders and additives, making it a clean-label product.  Tomas Turner, founder and CEO of Cultivated Biosciences, commented: “We are proud to show the industry the value of our ingredient in a convincing final product application, it marks the beginning of our path to commercialization.” Superior dairy-free fats Using yeasts and biomass fermentation, the biotech is developing functional fats with …

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Scelta mushroom fat

Image: Scelta / vegconomist

Ingredients

These 3 Companies Are Creating Healthy Fat Alternatives From Mushrooms

Today, we look into three companies using mushrooms to create healthy fats for plant-based foods. Interest in mushrooms continues to grow among consumers and manufacturers since these wonders of nature, neither plants nor animals, offer exceptional functionality, encompassing supplements, textiles, meat alternatives, beverages, colorings, and now fats.  Some mushrooms have a high lipid content, composed of unsaturated fatty acids, that can be used to replace vegetable and saturated fats. According to Brazilian researchers, edible mushrooms worldwide contain linoleic, linolenic, and oleic acids (some more than others), making them an important essential fatty acid source for a healthy diet.  The global mushroom market is expected to reach $115.8 billion by 2030, and mushrooms were named Ingredient of the Year by The New York Times in 2022. 1. Scelta Mushrooms Scelta Mushrooms, …

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Plant based grilled burger patty with grill marks and rock salt isolated on white. Top view.

© Moving Moment-stock.adobe.com

Ingredients

HIFOOD and Alianza Team Introduce Revolutionary Fat Alternative to Tropical Oils for Better Plant-Based Meat

HIFOOD and Alianza Team Europe have developed an innovative, clean-label, plant-based fat alternative to tropical oils and chemical emulsions. The companies claim that the new product improves the taste and texture of plant-based meat, allowing manufacturers to make realistic alternatives. The Italian company HIFOOD, a CSM Ingredients subsidiary, specializes in researching, developing, and producing natural ingredients. Alianza Team Europe, headquartered in Germany, is the European division of the Colombian multinational vegetable fats and oils company Alianza Team. MirrorTissue Using MirrorTissue, a plant-based lipid solution by Alianza Team, and HIFOOD’s proprietary proteins, plant fibers, and technologies, the companies developed a protein emulsion with superior performance.  Made with a blend of allergen-free plant proteins, soluble plant fibers from oilseeds, and local oils and fats, the new enhanced product contains 10% more natural ingredients than …

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Yali Bio dairy fat ice cream

© Yali Bio

Fermentation

Yali Bio Reveals Precision-Fermented Dairy Fat Alternative at US Food Tech Event

Yali Bio, a California-based food tech firm, has revealed its precision-fermented dairy fat alternative during the MISTA Growth Hack event in San Francisco. The company showcased its new solid hard fat through the presentation of dairy-free ice cream at the event, created in collaboration with MISTA supporters, including AAK, Ingredion, and Givaudan.  Having secured a substantial $3.9 million in funding last year, Yali Bio has been working towards formulating customized fats that enhance the flavors and functionalities of plant-based alternatives in the meat and dairy sectors. In a strategic move, the company recently appointed Dr. Don DiMasi, a former executive at Impossible Foods, as the Senior Vice President of Engineering and Biomanufacturing. Dr. DiMasi has been focusing on expanding process development and the company’s biomanufacturing …

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A photo of the Tastilux product.

Image courtesy of Nourish Ingredients

Company News

Nourish Ingredients Establishes Strategic Hub for Animal-Free Fat in Singapore

Australian precision fermentation company Nourish Ingredients has revealed plans to establish its operations in Singapore to accelerate the production of animal-free fats. Just a few weeks ago, the company debuted its new fat Tastilux in a plant-based chicken wing to showcase its capabilities in improving the taste and smell of alternative meats. Nourish Ingredients will produce its flagship ingredient at Nurasa’s Food Tech Innovation Centre (FTIC), which features labs and a shared pilot facility. Nurasa is part of the Singapore government-owned investment accelerator firm Temasek. The Australian food tech has also partnered with ScaleUp Bio, a local CDMO launched by Nurasa and ADM, to support and accelerate its fermentation capacity and to work with the regulatory body, the Singapore Food Authority. Singapore’s regulatory and legal support, its production capabilities, …

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Yali Bio appoints Don DiMasi, a bioeconomy leader and former Impossible Foods executive, as the new senior vice president of engineering and biomanufacturing.

Don DiMasi © Yali Bio

People

Former Impossible Foods Executive Joins Yali Bio to Scale Animal-Free Fats

Yali Bio, a biotech company based in California, announces the appointment of Dr. Don DiMasi, a bioeconomy leader and former Impossible Foods executive, as the new SVP of engineering and biomanufacturing. DiMasi, the first to fill this role, will focus on building process development and the company’s biomanufacturing capacity to meet the growing demand for animal-free fats for alt dairy products such as butter, cheese, and ice cream. DiMasi has an extensive experience in industrial bioprocessing. He was recently recognized in The Bioeconomy 500 2023, as one of the sector’s most outstanding leaders. Formerly, he was Impossible Foods’ SVP of engineering and process development. During his tenure at Impossible, the company launched the Impossible Burger and rolled out the Impossible Whopper with Burger King. “Don will …

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Nourish Ingredients has unveiled Tastilux, a new animal-free fat

Image courtesy of Nourish Ingredients

Ingredients

Nourish Ingredients Unveils New Animal-Free Fat in Plant-Based Chicken with Edible Bones

Australian food tech company Nourish Ingredients has unveiled Tastilux, a new animal-free fat that the company claims can address the challenges of taste, nutrition, and consumer adoption in the plant-based meat market. To demonstrate the potential of the new ingredient, the company’s head of culinary innovation crafted a realistic, plant-based chicken wing featuring edible calcium-based bones that was presented at the SXSW event in Sydney, Australia.  “Attendees can experience the authentic flavor, juicy texture, and enjoyment of chicken wings without involving animals,” said the company.  A “quantum leap” to deliciousness Developed with natural lipid molecules and scaled through precision fermentation, it took the company’s scientific team three years to develop a product capable of replacing conventional fats and oils without animal ingredients or artificial chemicals, explains Nourish Ingredients. Tastilux …

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