Plant-based meat by Fuji Oil

© Fuji Oil

Protein

Fuji Oil, Amano Enzyme & Nissin Foods Lead Japan’s Surge in Alt Protein Patent Rankings

By embracing innovation, Japanese companies are expanding their foothold in the alternative protein market. Nikkei Asia and the Tokyo-based research firm Patent Result analyzed a report on patents filed by companies and research institutions, giving each a score based on its value. Their analysis shows that three firms—Fuji Oil, Amano Enzyme, and Nissin Foods Holdings—ranked the 2nd, 6th, and 16th spots (as of April 2024) in the top 20 list of worldwide organizations filing patents related to technologies and methods to produce alternatives to animal products. What are these patents for? Fuji Oil According to Nikkei, the soy-protein innovator Fuji Oil holds patents for making plant-based butter and cheese. Fuji Oil employs a patented specialized Ultra Soy Separation process to make plant-based cheese and create low-fat soy …

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Creativity and new ideas in business. Art collage.

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Politics & Law

Mathilde Do Chi, Expert on Food Law, Part 4: Why Patents Are Not the Safest Way to Protect Your Food Innovation

Mathilde Do Chi is the CEO of Vegan Food Law, a food law and regulatory consultancy in global alternative protein regulations. She is an international food law and regulatory consultant with expertise in alternative proteins, novel foods, the future of food, and much more. A frequent public speaker at numerous food and foodtech conferences, Mathilde helps VCs, startups and multinationals comprehend complex food regulations, assisting the likes of Blue Horizon, Planted, and Formo with their legal matters. In this fourth installment of this special series, Mathilde discusses the limitations and dangers around patents in food innovation. Why Patents Are Not the Solution for Protecting Food Innovation In the realm of food innovation, the question of how best to protect novel ideas and creations arises. Having worked with a lot of investors …

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Chickpea flour in a bowl and a bag of raw chickpeas

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Manufacturing & Technology

India’s Supplant Foods Secures Patent for Functional and Flavorless Chickpea Flour

Supplant Foods, a company based in India that sources, processes, and markets high-quality plant-based ingredients, announces that it has secured a patent for a method to produce a high-performance chickpea flour for plant-based alternatives and gluten-free foods. Developed by Supplant Foods’ team of researchers and experts, the patented process enhances the functionality of chickpea protein, effectively eliminates the compounds responsible for undesired off-flavors, and removes the color, expanding its use for food and beverages. Headquartered in Pune, Maharashtra, Supplant Foods has access to raw materials and low-cost quality manufacturing, allowing it to create a long-term, sustained value chain of sustainable products. The company has distribution partners in the US, Canada, Mexico, UK, and Australia, in addition to India.   The taste challenge Despite the health and sustainability …

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Pluri announces that it has secured a patent from the Israel Patent Office for its System for its 3D bioreactor plant cells technology.

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Company News

Pluri Receives First-Ever Patent for 3D Bioreactor Technology in Plant Cell Cultivation

Pluri (Nasdaq:PLUR) (TASE:PLUR), parent company of the recently launched cell-based coffee biotech PluriAgtech, announces that it has secured a patent from the Israel Patent Office for its “System for 3D Cultivation of Plant Cells and Methods of Use.” Pluri claims this is the first-ever patent approval for 3D bioreactor technology in plant cell cultivation. Pluri’s 3D technology enables the cultivation of plant cells in bioreactors to develop sustainable and disease-free plant material for various sectors, from sustainable agriculture to healthcare.   According to the company,  approximately one-fifth of the 50,000 medical plants used today are on a list of threatened species, while climate change and restricted access to fresh water threaten temperature-sensitive crops such as coffee and cacao. Yaky Yanay, Pluri’s CEO and President, commented: “PluriAgtech’s patented …

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Veg of Lund applies for Swedish patent

Eva Tornberg. © Veg of Lund

Company News

Veg of Lund Applies for Swedish Patent for Plant-Based Meat Alternative

Veg of Lund — a Swedish company best known for its potato-based alt milk brand, DUG — has applied for a Swedish patent for a plant-based alternative to red and white meat. The company says it is in ongoing commercial discussions with various partners, and the patent will help to secure its position. It is unclear what the new meat alternatives will be made from. Veg of Lund’s patent portfolio already includes patents for DUG milk alternatives in Europe, the US, and Canada, along with potato-based smoothies, cream, and ice cream in Sweden. “The patent for the meat analogue is extensive and I am proud of our fundamental development work. The patent secures our unique competence and is important when we are going to commercialise …

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DUG lifestyle lady pouring milk cereal

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Company News

Veg of Lund Receives US Patent for DUG’s Vegan Potato Emulsion

Swedish plant-based company Veg of Lund announces it has received patent approval from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for its vegan potato emulsion used in its DUG potato drinks. The patent protection will cover the entire US market. Veg of Lund’s patent portfolio includes protection for potato ice cream covering the Swedish market and a patent for the improved recipe of its award-winning DUG drink in Sweden, Europe, and Canada. Additionally, the Swedish company has active patent applications in Australia, China, India, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Hong Kong, and the United Arab Emirates.  “We are pleased to note that a patent is also being approved for the American market for our unique vegetable milk alternatives,” says Eva Tornberg, founder of Veg of Lund. Tornberg founded …

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Nestle Maggi Veg

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Products & Launches

Nestlé Announces New Shelf-Stable Line in Chile After Registering 333 Plant-Based Patent Applications

Nestlé, the world’s largest food and beverage company, is expanding its plant-based portfolio with the launch of a range of shelf-stable plant-based meat products for the Chilean market. These new items, launched under the brand name Maggi Veg, are certified vegan and include the company’s first shelf-stable plant-based mince meat made from soy.  The launch is part of Nestlé’s efforts to expand its plant-based offerings and give consumers more options for affordable alternatives to meat. The new product line bulks out the company’s plant-based portfolio, which features plant-based eggs, chocolate, and plant-based toddler milk. “We continue launching plant-based products in many regions of the world to offer people tasty, nutritious alternatives to meat that they can enjoy with family and friends,” said Torsten Pohl, Global …

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ProVeg NFH product developer piece

Image: ProVeg International

People

Overcoming Trials as a Plant-Based Product Developer

The food industry is a hard nut to crack at the best of times. Add to that the highly competitive and still immature plant-based sector and you have an even greater challenge. But what if the traditional startup route isn’t the one that’s best suited to you? What if you’re a solo innovator with a stand-out idea, and new to the food industry? Enter Anthony England, PhD Chemist and Product Developer. Dr England is currently developing a plant-based food product that he hopes could change how some consumers perceive eating and nutrition. As a solo innovator, Dr England wants to take his product to the next level of development and eventually, to the mass market. In its latest New Food Hub (NFH) interview, ProVeg International …

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Nestlé and Clextral revoke patent for Ojah's plant protein tech at EPO

© Ojah

Politics & Law

Ojah’s Patent for Transforming Plant Proteins Into Meat Revoked Following Nestlé Appeal

Following an appeal by Nestlé and Clexrtal, the EPO Boards of Appeal (the department of final instance in proceedings before the European Patent Office) have revoked a patent belonging to Dutch alt meat producer Ojah BV this April. Ojah’s patent covers a technology to transform plant-based proteins, such as soy, into meat-like structures.  Clextral is a French machine manufacturer, an expert in twin-screw technology, offering design and testing of industrial solutions, equipment manufacturing, on-site installation maintenance, and improvement services. Big Food conglomerate Nestlé has a broad plant-based portfolio including, Wunda, Garden Gourmet, Plant-Based Milo, Vuna, Vrimp, and Veggie Eggs, among others. The European Patent Office Opposition Division upheld Ojah’s patent in amended form during proceedings in March 2021, with Nestlé and the French company Clextral …

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Marc Coloma and Bernat Ananos, Heura founders

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Company News

Heura to Unlock “Unprecedented Nutritional Value” With New Patent-Pending Technology

Heura has announced the development of a new patent-pending technology that claims to make it possible to produce plant-based foods with previously unattainable nutritional values. The Spanish food tech startup says it aims to address unresolved challenges in the plant-based industry, creating a “superior sensorial experience with high value nutritional products” and no additives. The new technology — derived from Heura’s Good Rebel Tech platform, which launched last year — is also said to provide a faster and more efficient way to design and process food products. According to Heura, the proprietary technology uses a novel thermomechanical technique, with heat and mechanical energy used to shape or modify a material’s properties. It is one of numerous innovations developed by Heura’s R&D team; another is an …

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Nair Flores

©The EVERY Co.

Company News

The EVERY Co. Appoints Nair Flores, Formerly of Facebook and UPSIDE Foods, to Lead Its IP Strategy

Food tech company The EVERY Co. announces it has appointed legal veteran Nair Flores as the company’s Senior Vice President, Head of Legal. Flores previously served in “seminal” roles at hypergrowth companies like Facebook, Lyft and Upside Foods. In her new role, Flores will lead EVERY’s IP estate as the company scales global production of its alternative proteins.  According to EVERY, the hiring of Flores comes as the company positions itself for key growth milestones for its nature-identical egg products. Flores will be tasked with leading the company’s legal strategy and laying the IP groundwork for EVERY’s expansion.  Flores brings 20 years of experience, most previously as Vice President, Legal at cultivated meat company Upside Foods, where she was instrumental in developing IP infrastructure and …

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office workers image ProVeg

Image: ProVeg International

Politics & Law

How Can I Protect the Intellectual Property of My Plant-Forward Business?

The plant-based space is bursting with innovation, creativity, and inventiveness. But how do you protect the fruits of your labour from being stolen or copied as a plant-forward business? ProVeg International recently published an article on their latest webinar, ‘An Introduction to Intellectual Property’ (IP), which explores the importance for plant-forward businesses to protect their IP and how to do so.  During the eye-opening webinar, ProVeg partnered with Withers and Rogers, a leading UK and European firm of patent and trademark attorneys with an active base in the food and drink market. The Withers and Rogers experts who participated were Partner and Chartered Trademark Attorney Mark Caddle and Associate Georgia Mann, who, together, head up Withers and Rogers’ specialist food and drink group. Some of …

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steakholder foods banner for patent approval

© Steakholder Foods

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Steakholder Foods Receives Patent Approval for Cultivated Meat Whole Cut Tech in Canada

3D-printed cultivated meat company Steakholder Foods (Nasdaq: STKH) announces it has received approval in Canada for its patent on Physical Manipulation of Cultured Muscle Tissue, a key technology to produce and bring cultivated meat whole cuts to markets. Already approved in the US, Australia, and New Zealand, the patent covers systems and methods for applying external forces to muscle tissue to develop high-quality complex structured meat. A game-changing technology Steakholder Foods CTO, Dan Kozlovski, commented: “Our patented systems and methods for physical manipulation of cultured muscle tissue have been a game changer in the cultivation of structured meat. By strengthening and enhancing the muscle tissues in a way that mimics a cow’s natural development, we can achieve a desired texture that drives consumer preference.” According to …

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Motif Foodworks

©Motif Foodworks

Politics & Law

Motif Foodworks’ IP Battle Intensifies as Europe Revokes Impossible Foods Patent

Food tech startup Motif Foodworks announces it has filed four new challenges to US patents held by Impossible Foods. The company’s legal move comes a week after The European Patent Office (EPO) announced it had revoked an EU patent held by Impossible Foods. The EU and US patents that Motif is challenging involve meat alternative products containing heme protein, sugars and sulfur compounds. Motif argues these ingredients are not patentable by Impossible due to their longstanding use as taste and smell enhancers for meat alternatives. The reasoning behind the EPO’s decision to revoke Impossible’s patent (No. 2,943,072 B1 – Methods and compositions for affecting the flavor and aroma profile of consumables – ‘072) has not been published, but an Impossible Foods spokesperson asserted that the …

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Thrilling Bakon

©Thrilling Foods

Company News

Thrilling Foods’ Bakon Receives US Patent for ‘World’s First’ Fat Streaked Plant-Based Bacon

Portland, Oregon food company Thrilling Foods announces it has received a US patent for its novel fatty and lean protein-streaked vegan bacon, known as Bakon. The innovation covers a breakthrough protein structure that releases fat during the cooking process, in much the same way as conventional bacon. The company is also planning to open a third production facility to keep up with soaring demand.  The US patent covers Thrilling’s techniques that harness the genuine flavor and texture of pork bacon, specifically its proprietary use of “protein-bound fat layers” that alternate with ultra-lean meaty layers, and the company’s use of the natural umami flavors found in certain proteins.  These special processes allow the product to render and fry in its own fat, just like traditional pork …

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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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Politics & Law

How Patent Protection Can Secure the Future of Alt Meat

Gavin Dundas, Senior Associate at Reddie & Grose LLP – a European firm of patent, trademark and design attorneys– says that as meat substitutes continue to move into the mainstream and investment in these products increases, protecting market position and investments is going to become even more critical in the future. The market opportunity for meat alternatives, both plant-based and cell-based, is huge and growing.  According to Statista, the UK market for such products is the largest in Europe and valued at over €500 million and globally it is estimated the market will be worth roughly $16.7 billion by 2026.  Protecting market position and investments is going to become even more critical in the future. Plant-Based meat Companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are …

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Beyond Meat on screen

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Market & Trends

This is Why Beyond Meat is Wise to Enter the Alt Dairy Category With Beyond Milk

Among Beyond Meat’s recent filing of 109 trademark applications, including Beyond Eggs, Beyond Tun’ and Beyond Crab;  one trademark application stood out more than others. Filed on August 12, Beyond Milk’signals the alt meat giant’s imminent entry into the booming alt dairy sector. The epic list of trademark applications includes Beyond Fish, Beyond Ham, Beyond Lamb, Beyond Shrimp, Beyond Cheese, Beyond Pulled Chicken, Beyond Turkey and Beyond Steak. However, the most recent application filed is for “BEYOND MILK” which covers ” the categories of food products made of milk substitutes based on vegan substances; milk; milk products; milk based on or made of plants, nuts, seeds, oat, wheat or rice; milk products based on or made of plants, nuts, seeds, oat, wheat or rice; milk …

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