A bowl with algae oil

© Checkerspot


Checkerspot and AAK to Produce Novel, Climate Change-Resistent Oils from Microalgae & Precision Fermentation

California’s Checkerspot and the Swedish company AAK have announced a partnership to develop, scale, and commercially produce novel algae oils for meat alternatives, plant-based food, and personal care products. Checkerspot makes renewable oils using microalgae and precision fermentation for materials and food, and AKK specializes in value-adding vegetable oils for food, confectionery, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. With this initiative, both companies aim to provide a sustainable alternative source of structuring fats and oils that can be manufactured at scale and are resistant to the impacts of climate change. Structuring fats and oils are used for products with healthier nutritional profiles, less fat, and better emulsion capabilities, including alt meat and bakery. Scott Franklin, co-founder & CSO of Checkerspot, shared: “Our team at Checkerspot is able to …


The COLIPI team

The COLIPI team (from left to right): Erich Müller, Dr. Philipp Arbter, Dr. Tyll Utesch, Jonas Heuer, Maximilian Webers, Maëlle Grimault, Dr. Jan Herzog and Arjun Krishnakumar © COLIPI

Investments & Acquisitions

Hamburg: COLIPI Receives €1.8M in Seed Financing to Further Develop CO2-Neutral Oil

Thanks to an innovative fermentation process, COLIPI is achieving a breakthrough in more sustainable alternatives to petroleum and palm oil for a wide range of industrial sectors. Investors in the seed financing include the High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), the Innovationsstarter Fonds Hamburg (IFH), Nidobirds Ventures GmbH and Stefan De Loecker. The capital will be used to expand the team, test the market together with partner-made products, and scale the technology. The startup, founded in 2022 by Philipp Arbeiter, Tyll Utesch, Jonas Heuer and Maximilian Weber, is a spin-off from the Technical University of Hamburg. The founders aim to produce millions of tons of climate oil per year from 2039 and displace this amount of CO2 severalfold. The seed financing that has now been completed is another …


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

© Zayt Bioscience


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 …


shake shack and zero acre farms

© Zero Acre Farms

Gastronomy & Food Service

Shake Shack Transitions to Zero Acre Farm’s Cultured Sugarcane Frying Oil

US burger chain Shake Shack announces its new partnership with Zero Acre Farms, a food company focusing on creating environmentally conscious cooking oil made from cultured sugarcane. The collaboration was announced this morning, coinciding with the kick-off of Climate Week NYC. Two Shake Shack locations in New York City, at Hudson Yards and Battery Park City, will exclusively use Zero Acre oil for frying, replacing traditional soybean oil. Last year, Zero Acre Farms received a series of investments from notable figures like Robert Downey Jr. and Richard Branson, along with further sum from fast-casual chain, Chipotle earlier this year. Cultured sugarcane oil The world currently devotes 20–30% of all agricultural land to vegetable oil crops. But Zero Acre’s mission is to end the food industry’s …


fermentation-derived beef fat

© Melt&Marble

Market & Trends

Fat and Oils Industry to Focus on Plant-Based Innovation as Consumers Demand Healthier Food

A market report by The Business Research Company has predicted that the fat and oils industry will increasingly focus on plant-based food innovation in the coming years. As consumers choose healthier foods, demand for specialty fats and oils is increasing, with many companies turning to novel technologies to produce alternatives to animal fats and tropical oils. Examples include Connectomix Bio, which is investigating a method to transform agricultural waste into lipids for use in meat alternatives, and ÄIO, which converts industry sidestreams such as sawdust into fats that could replace tropical oils. Similarly, agribusiness giant Cargill recently announced that it is collaborating with food tech startup Cubiq Foods to co-develop and commercialize plant-based fat technologies for alt protein products and more. Meanwhile, Luxembourg-based CSM Ingredients …


Zero Acre Healthy Plant-Based Oil

©Zero Acre Farms

Investments & Finance

Chipotle Makes Investment in Cultured Oil Innovator Zero Acre Farms

Fast casual chain Chipotle Mexican Grill announces it is investing in cultured oil startup Zero Acre Farms through its venture fund, Cultivate Next. The investment, made for an undisclosed sum, is part of a series of initiatives Chipotle is taking to help it further its socially responsible mission and meet ESG goals.  Zero Acre Farms is a company focused on ending the food industry’s dependence on vegetable oils by offering healthier, more sustainable oils and fats. According to Chipotle, the world’s vast production of vegetable oils every year contributes heavily to global deforestation and carbon emissions. Zero Acres says it has created a new category of healthier, cultured oils using environmentally-friendly fermentation techniques.  Market debut In July 2022, Zero Acre launched its first commercial product …


Zero Acre Farms oil lifestyle

©Zero Acre Farms


Zero Acre Farms Says “The Day Has Finally Arrived. Cultured Oil is Here”

Zero Acre Farms, the cultured oil innovator backed by Robert Downey Jr., announces the release of its first product. Available now via the company’s website, the cultured oil is high in healthy mono-unsaturated fats and low in unhealthy poly-unsaturated fats, with a fraction of the carbon footprint of conventional cooking oils.  All-purpose cooking oil with a purpose Co-founder and CEO Jeff Nobbs stated yesterday: “The day has finally arrived. Cultured Oil is here, and officially for sale at zeroacre.com. It’s time to start saying goodbye to the era of unhealthy, unsustainable, and not-very-tasty vegetable oils. “Cultured Oil is a cooking oil made by fermentation. We call it the all-purpose cooking oil with a purpose. Cultured Oil has even more healthy fats than olive oil and …


Mara Renewables

© Mara Renewables

Algae, Microalgae & Seaweed

Tuna Giant Thai Union Invests $10M in Algae Ingredients Leader Mara Renewables

Thai Union Group, the global tuna giant, has announced a CAD $10 million investment in Mara Renewables Corporation, one of the world’s leading producers of sustainably grown algae-based bio-products. The investment comes as part of Mara’s CAD $39.5 million growth funding round, as Thai Union – owner of Chicken of the Sea and John West – continues to diversify in the alt protein sector.  Based in Nova Scotia, Mara has successfully built a portfolio of micro-algal strains that the company claims can be processed using a clean, environmentally-friendly extraction method into high-quality algal oil. These oils – approved by multiple respected regulatory bodies – offer a plant-based solution for DHA-rich omega-3 fatty acids. Thai Union joins other financial partners in the round to accelerate the …


FryAway plant-based powder cooking oil


Products & Launches

FryAway Plant-Based Powder Provides Sustainable Solution to Cooking Oil

FryAway, a new plant-based solution for cooking oil clean-up, is causing a buzz for discerning home chefs across the US. The FryAway plant-based powder solidifies used cooking oil, removing stress in the kitchen and providing a sustainable solution to leftover oil. Founded by CEO Laura Lady, FryAway cooking oil solidifier is simple to use and turns the oil into completely organic waste that will later decompose thanks to the plant-based non-toxic ingredients. The product comes in three varieties and is currently available via the FryAway website and Amazon.  Fatbergs Proper disposal of frying oil is a big issue. Pouring it down the drain can cause plumbing clogs and dumping it outside can be dangerous for the environment. Oil that joins other waste products in the …