Fatima Zoundri

Fatima Zoundri, image supplied


Op Ed: Fatima Zoundri of dsm-firmenich, Upcycled Ingredients Will Play a Crucial Role in Shaping a Sustainable Future

dsm-firmenich, created through a 2022 merger of DSM and Firmenich, offers nutrition, health, and beauty solutions. Director of Sustainability, Taste, Texture and Health, Fatima Zoundri, believes that the protein transition is a great thing for society, and says the challenge for manufacturers is to create products with the right sensory qualities and are produced as sustainably as possible. A key way to achieve this is via upcycled ingredients. “I received my very own ‘wake-up call’ several years ago having worked a decade in operations at dsm-firmenich. One morning I literally woke up and realized that as one of the world’s leading biotechnology companies, we are in a unique position to turn this negative story into a positive – and change the way our society produces, …


Fooditive Group unveils a new sustainable alternative to sugar for the US market: Keto-Fructose, a plant-based sweetener derived from upcycled apple and pear byproducts through fermentation.

© Fooditive Group


Fooditive Unveils Guilt-Free Sweetener Made With Upcycled Apples & Pears for US Market

Dutch plant-based ingredient manufacturer Fooditive Group unveils a new sustainable alternative to sugar for the US market: Keto-Fructose, a low calorie sweetener derived from upcycled apples and pears through fermentation. Fooditive claims that its new sweetener closely mimics the flavor profile of sugar, offering “extraordinary” sweetness, unparalleled taste, functionality, and sustainability, establishing a new standard for sugar alternatives. Keto-Fructose is currently undergoing FDA GRAS assessment. The company states it aims to significantly impact the industry with a sugar alternative capable of delivering the sweet taste that consumers love. Moayad Abushokhedim, CEO of Fooditive, comments, “Fooditive understands the challenges associated with replacing sugar, and we recognize that the effectiveness of a sugar alternative is not solely measured by taste. “This is why our Keto-Fructose sweetener goes beyond …


Voyage Foods foodservice bulk spreads

© Voyage Foods / vegconomist

Products & Launches

Voyage Foods Launches its Peanut-Free Butter & Hazelnut-Free Nutella Dupe in Bulk on Amazon

Voyage Foods announces the availability of its allergen-friendly peanut-free butter and hazelnut-free spread (self-described as a Nutella dupe) in foodservice-sized tubs on Amazon. These products are designed to cater to the needs of small foodservice operations, such as restaurants, bakeries, daycare centers, and juice bars, that may struggle to meet minimum order quantities from distributors. Voyage Foods’ CEO and founder, Adam Maxwell, explained the strategy behind the new product format: “Offering bulk tubs allows smaller and independent foodservice operators to expand their allergy-friendly and plant-based offerings, diversify their menus, streamline ordering, and bring in and retain new customers. Our core focus is ensuring our products are easily accessible and reasonably priced to reach the broadest possible community.” Sustainability and accessibility  The company’s products, including the …


Apparo's sunflower protein

© Apparo


Apparo and Döhler Partner to Break Ground with Upcycled Ingredients for the F&B Market

Minnesota-based plant-based ingredients company Apparo Inc. has entered a joint development agreement with global provider of natural ingredients and solutions Döhler to formulate upcycled ingredients for the F&B market. Döhler, recognizing the growing consumer interest in healthy and sustainable products, is exploring the use of Apparo’s “Total Crop Utilization” system, to add sustainable ingredients that contribute to the circular economy to its toolbox of solutions for plant-based products. Leveraging further innovations in protein, Döhler and US biotech Superbrewed Food recently partnered to scale the production of a postbiotic protein ingredient. They plan to launch it in the US this year in healthy, high-quality products. Apparo CEO Ian Mackay expressed his excitement about partnering with Döhler, indicating that he anticipates the partnership will lead to the creation of …


The Spare Food Co. Spare Starter

© The Spare Food Co.

Market & Trends

Upcycled Ingredients Market to Rapidly Gain Traction as Consumers Demand Solutions to Food Waste

According to a report by FACT.MR, the global upcycled ingredients market will grow with a CAGR of 6.4% over the forecast period 2022-2032, reaching a valuation of $512 million. Currently, a significant proportion of the food produced worldwide is wasted, which has a harmful impact on the environment. As consumer awareness of food waste increases, a growing number of companies are attempting to solve the issue by upcycling ingredients that would otherwise be discarded. However, the industry has faced some challenges, such as a lack of oversight when sourcing upcycled ingredients. Additionally, the nutrients in some upcycled foods may not be readily available. Some companies are addressing this by developing methods to extract nutrients from byproducts usually regarded as waste; for example, Austria’s Kern Tec …


Enifer mycoprotein facility

© Enifer

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Enifer Raises €36M for Mycoprotein Facility Producing the “Missing Ingredient for a Sustainable Food Chain”

Finland’s Enifer has secured enough funding to begin the construction of a mycoprotein facility that will upcycle food industry sidestreams into fungi-based protein ingredients. The facility will cultivate up to 3,000 tons of Enifer’s proprietary mycoprotein, PEKILO®, every year; this is said to be enough to meet the annual protein needs of around 40,000 people. According to the company, the plant will be the first worldwide to produce this type of mycoprotein from sidestreams. The construction of the facility is expected to cost €33 million and be completed by the end of 2025, with operations ramping up in 2026. The new funding consists of a €15 million Series B round led by the private equity fund Taaleri Bioindustry Fund I, with follow-on investments from existing …


Rais Case X Dole X Ananas Anam

© Rais Case

Leather Alternatives

Dole Partners With Rais Case and Ananas Anam to Transform Agricultural Waste Into Sustainable Fashion

Dole Packaged Foods, one of the world’s largest producers of fruit and vegetables, has joined forces with Rais Case, a circular design brand from Southern California, and Ananas Anam, the creator of plant-based material Piñatex. This collaborative effort aims to repurpose organic waste into functional fashion accessories, beginning with a limited-edition Vida Bag crafted from Piñatex, a vegan leather alternative derived from pineapple leaf fibers sourced from Dole Philippines farms. Senior Vice President and Managing Director for Dole Packaged Foods, Americas, Orzse Hodi, spoke on the significance of waste reduction efforts, stating, “For every ton of pineapples harvested, three tons of pineapple leaves are discarded, making it our job to find ways to reduce and repurpose our waste as much as we can. In addition …


© Migros

Meat- and Fish Alternatives

Migros Launches Upcycled Meat Alternatives Made From Spent Brewer’s Grain

Swiss supermarket chain Migros has partnered with Circular Food Solutions to launch a new range of upcycled meat alternatives. The products are made from spent brewer’s grains, a byproduct of the barley used in beer production. The grains, rich in nutrients such as proteins, vitamins, and fibre, are combined with Swiss-grown peas and wheat to produce the meat alternatives. There are currently three products in the range: burgers, mince, and marinated pieces. The meat alternatives have been developed using Circular Food Solutions’ technology, which aims to help companies take advantage of the growing demand for plant-based foods while making better use of resources. The technology is said to produce alt meats with “a unique fiber texture, taste, and elasticity”. The new products are part of …


Berger-Schinken, a German firm with over 130 years of history in ham and sausage processing, and the Austrian upcycling and food tech company Kern Tech have partnered to launch a 100% cheese plant-based sausages.

© Kern Tec

Products & Launches

Ham Producer Berger-Schinken & Upcycled Fruit Pit Startup Kern Tec Unveil Plant-Based Cheese Sausages

Berger-Schinken, a German firm with over 130 years of history in ham and sausage processing, and Austrian upcycling and food tech company Kern Tec, have launched a co-branded product: plant-based cheese sausages. The new vegan sausages are crafted from pea protein and feature Kern Tec’s most recent development — Berg-Gaudi — a plant-based cheese made from upcycled fruit pits.  This first-of-its-kind cheese launched in various flavors last year under Kern Tec’s brand Wunderkern, joining a range of no-milk drinks made with apricot kernels that became the most-sold product at vegan superstore BILLA Pflanzilla a few months later. Wunderkern also offers oils and chocolate spreads from waste seeds from the juice and jam industries.  The plant-based cheese sausages are gluten-free, lactose-free, certified vegan, and are available just in time for …


Atomo Coffee

© Atomo Coffee


Atomo Coffee Expands Upcycled, Beanless Coffee Availability Through Bluestone Lane Partnership

Seattle-based Atomo Coffee, which produces a beanless coffee alternative, has partnered with specialty coffee chain Bluestone Lane to distribute its espresso across all 58 of the chain’s locations in the United States. This new development marks a significant market expansion for Atomo, whose products were previously available exclusively at Gumption Coffee near Times Square in New York City. Atomo’s beanless coffee utilizes upcycled ingredients such as date pits, chicory root, and grape skin to replicate the molecular structure of traditional coffee. This method reportedly uses 94% less water and generates 93% fewer carbon emissions than conventional coffee production. Additionally, Atomo Coffee offers health benefits, including high antioxidant content and lower acidity. Ed Hoehn, Atomo’s chief operating officer, expressed the company’s approach to its distribution strategy …


Enifer Secures €12 million grant to build a first-of-its-kind mycoprotein ingredient factory

Image courtesy of Enifer

Investments & Finance

Enifer Receives €12M EU Grant for “First-of-its-Kind” Mycoprotein Facility in Finland

Finnish biotech startup Enifer announces that it has received a grant worth over €12 million from the European Union’s NextGenerationEU programme, to construct its first commercial-scale mycoprotein facility in the Uusimaa region (the exact location has not been revealed). Enifer has developed a mycoprotein ingredient called PEKILO using fungal fermentation, industrial byproducts, and waste streams. The plant’s total construction cost is €30 million and is set to be completed by the end of 2025, with production starting in 2026. Once operational, the biotech claims that the mycoprotein factory, the first-of-its-kind, will be ready to produce three million kilograms of PEKILO per year — equivalent to the protein yield of 30,000 cows while emitting at least 20 times fewer carbon emissions. “This plant will be a critical …


Smallhold mushroom pesto

© Smallhold

Fungi, Mushrooms & Mycelium

Smallhold Launches “World’s First” Upcycled Mushroom Pesto

US-based organic mushroom producer Smallhold has launched what it claims is the world’s first mushroom pesto. The vegan-friendly pesto is made by dehydrating surplus or imperfect organic mushrooms that would otherwise go to waste. The mushrooms — which include blue oysters, trumpets, and shiitake — are then ground and cooked down with roasted onion and garlic, balsamic vinegar, spices, and oil. Like traditional pesto, the resulting sauce can be used in sandwiches, pasta dishes, dressings, and more. It is currently available at various independent retailers in New York City, Los Angeles, and Austin, Texas. “Something brand new” Smallhold uses cutting-edge technology to grow mushrooms in both urban and rural spaces. The company has farms in Brooklyn, New York, Austin, Texas, and LA. Smallhold also operates …


The Spare Food Co. Spare Starter

© The Spare Food Co.


The Spare Food Co. Debuts Spare Starter Made From Upcycled Farm Produce

The Spare Food Co., a company dedicated to tackling food waste through upcycling, has launched its latest product, Spare Starter, a versatile plant-based ingredient blend with a range of applications. Spare Starter can partially substitute animal protein in dishes like burgers and meatballs, aligning with the growing trend of plant-forward diets. Spare Starter uses surplus farm produce to turn quality, edible produce that often goes unused into a valuable culinary ingredient. Comprising six vegetables and a proprietary spice blend, it utilizes parts of vegetables that are typically discarded in the food production process. Following the success of its fermented whey beverage, Spare Tonic, the company’s latest product development and potential was recognized early by leading college food service provider, Harvest Table Culinary Group. In response, …


Revyve egg white replacer

© Revyve

Sustainability / Environment

It’s Time to Address the Huge Potential of Agricultural Byproducts in Alt Proteins

A recent Good Food Institute report highlights the potential of under-utilized agricultural byproducts to sustainably scale up production of alternative proteins. Based on North American research, the findings are also applicable to Europe, offering insights into how farmers and ingredients producers can leverage sidestreams from barley, maize, wheat, and rapeseed / canola. The report describes how agricultural sidestreams which would normally go to waste can be valorized by the plant-based, cultivated meat and fermentation sectors. Byproducts can be utilized in several ways to create a circular economy that can help produce food more efficiently, affordably, and sustainably: Byproducts from rapeseed / canola oil extraction can be used to produce protein concentrates, adding texture and nutritional properties to plant-based meat,  Byproducts from the maize milling process …


© Wunderkern

Cheese Alternatives

Wunderkern Launches the “First” Cheese Made from Upcycled Apricot Kernels at Billa Plus Austria

Austrian startup Wunderkern introduces what it says is the first plant-based cheese alternative made from fruit pits to be available in national retail. As of now, Wunderkern Kesä is available at Billa Plus throughout Austria, in three variants: Mountain Gaudi, Pesto, and Tomato Olive. At the heart of Wunderkern’s mission is to reduce the waste of fruit pits that would otherwise be produced in the manufacture of juice and jam. Through unique processes, the seeds of apricots, plums and cherries are transformed into sustainable food that not only tastes good, but is also good for the planet. Melts when grated The startup based in Lower Austria has already celebrated considerable success with the Wunderkern Drink, a plant-based milk alternative made from apricot seeds, and last …


Kern Tec raises funding for alt dairy made from upcycled fruit pits

Kern Tec founders. © Chris Landl

Investments & Acquisitions

Kern Tec Raises €12M to Scale Up Alt Dairy Products Made From Upcycled Fruit Pits

Austrian company Kern Tec, which uses upcycled fruit pits to produce sustainable plant-based foods, has raised €12 million in funding. Claimed to be the largest ever Series A raise for an Austrian food tech company, the capital will allow Kern Tec to further scale up the production and commercialisation of its plant-based milk alternatives and confectionery. The round was led by Telos Impact, with participation from the PeakBridge Growth 2 fund and the European Innovation Council (EIC) Fund. Kern Tec’s products are made by extracting oils from the seeds within upcycled apricot, plum, and cherry pits, of which 500,000 metric tonnes are currently sent to landfill each year. These oils can then be formed into a base compound for plant-based alternatives to dairy products such …



© Fotortec

Company News

Chilean Biotech Fotortec Partners with Sustainable Firms to Introduce Food Waste Upcycling Technology in Sweden

Chilean biotech Fotortec announces a partnership with Swedish consultancy firms A Better Future AB and Xylo Sweden AB to introduce its innovative food waste upcycling technology and mushroom-based ingredients into the Swedish market.  Fotortec aims to redefine waste by repurposing food waste or by-products into new and valuable items. The company has developed a scalable technology for cultivating mushrooms using food waste. These mushrooms can be transformed into beneficial ingredients, including flavor enhancers, protein isolates, fertilizer, energy-boosting methane gas, animal feed, and raw materials suitable for packaging. The company franchises its technology to third parties and this collaboration marks Fotortec’s expansion into the Nordics. Better Future AB and Xylo Sweden AB will represent Fotortec in Sweden, promoting sustainable and circular solutions for the region, aligning with their sustainable future goals. “This …


revyve's healthy foods made with BSY proteins

© revyve


Upcycling: 7 Companies Redirecting Byproducts to Create Waste-Free Ingredients

On a planet with a growing population and limited resources, many companies are redirecting industry byproducts such as sesame, spent brewer’s yeast, barley, oats, and forest industry side streams into a new generation of high-quality plant-based ingredients and foods. The upcycled trend is gaining traction and according to Upcycle Trade Association (UFA), in the US alone, the upcycled foods market is expected to grow to $80 billion by 2032. Let’s take a look at the latest developments involving partnerships or investments that are making it possible to bring these novel products to market. Sesame The Planting Hope Company ©Planting Hope US producer, The Planting Hope Company, uses wasted sesame from the oil industry to make the ‘world’s first’ milk Upcycled Certified by UFA. According to …


Mexicana More Foods

© More Foods


More Foods and Osem-Nestlè Group Partner to Develop & Market “Meaty” Products Made of Pumpkin Seeds

More Foods of Tel Aviv announces a strategic collaboration with Tivol, a subsidiary of the Osem-Nestlè Group, to bring to market a portfolio of ‘meaty’ products made from pumpkin seeds The collaboration between More Foods and the Osem-Nestlè Group seeks to address the increasing demand for nutritious and environmentally friendly food choices. The Osem-Nestlè subsidiary caters to the Israeli market, where 13% of the population identifies as vegetarians or vegans and an additional 45% of the population actively reduces their meat consumption. The technology developed by More Foods enables them to utilize discarded remnants of highly nutritious seeds, commonly referred to as “superfoods,” which are generated during the production process of pumpkin seed oil and sunflower seed oil. The company announced in 2022 its plans …


David Whitewood -founder of upp

Image courtesy of upp

Agriculture / Agribusiness

Upp Project Extracting Proteins from Upcycled Broccoli Gets £800K Grant from UK Government

A UK consortium led by upp, a broccoli harvesting and protein specialist, has been awarded an £800K grant from the UK government for a project to accelerate the development of low-cost, low-impact, highly nutritious protein from upcycled broccoli.  In cooperation with the James Hutton Institute and Agri-EPI Centre, the SusProt Project targets 80% of currently unharvested broccoli crop biomass, such as the stem and stalk, to extract proteins and ingredients for plant-based foods. The Department of Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) selected the consortium’s project at UKRI’s Transforming Food Production Challenge.  Sustainable food from waste David Whitewood, co-founder and CEO of upp, commented:  “We’re delighted to have won this grant and to be working with some of the UK’s best AgriFoodTech teams to …