Discover more from Better Bioeconomy
Better Bioeconomy Weekly - Apr 10th 2023 🌏
The first cultivated meat product you will eat will have a lot of plants.
WORD BUFFET 📖
🌱🥩 The Immediate Future of Cultivated Meat Is Hybrid
The cultivated meat industry is exploring ways to produce meat that is a hybrid of animal and plant-based proteins to bring down the costs of production and deal with the issue of limited supply.
Blending with plant-based proteins will allow cultivated meat companies to produce meat products that are more affordable for consumers. Eg: Ivy Farm Technologies' hybrid pork meatball contains 51% pig cells and costs $20 to produce, with 95% of the cost driven by animal cells.
In addition to cost, the total amount of cultivated meat produced will likely be small, so mixing animal cells with plant-based protein will help the limited supply go a lot further. Eg: Upside Foods has the largest cultivated meat pilot plant in the US, which can produce 50,000 pounds of cultivated meat each year. In comparison, 51,000,000,000 pounds of chicken was produced in the US alone in 2021.
🇮🇱 Israel Embraces Alternative Proteins for Economic Growth and Food Security
Israel aims to become a major power in alternative protein, and the government is planning to announce an official plan around alternative protein investment in June, including funding and investment directives.
Israel's commitment to alternative proteins is seen as a crucial factor in transitioning away from industrial animal farming, which is necessary for creating resilient food systems and reaching net-zero emissions.
Investments in alternative protein across Israel grew 130% between 2021 and 2022. Plus, Israel has earmarked nearly $5 million to educate young people about the climate crisis and how to fight it, with a 2050 target to achieve carbon neutrality.
📝 FAO and WHO Release First Global Report on Cell-Based Food Safety
More than 100 companies/start-ups are already developing cell-based food products that are ready for commercialization, and it is crucial to assess the benefits and risks associated with them, including food safety and quality concerns.
The report's aim is to equip the authorities, particularly in less-developed countries, with knowledge about cell-based food production and help them shape their regulatory framework.
The report concluded that many of the hazards identified in cell-based foods already exist in conventionally produced foods and livestock agriculture, and hence the meats are safe for consumption if produced and handled well.
🌋 Scientists Unlock Potential of High-Protein Extremophile Microalgae From Volcanic Hot Springs
Wageningen University researchers have developed a method to produce the extremophile microalga species, Galdieria sulphuraria, that grows in volcanic hot springs and can represent a resilient source of protein for future food and feed.
The nutritional profile of G. sulphuraria has been accurately quantified for the first time, and it has a protein content in the range of 62-65%, including all essential amino acids.
G. sulphuraria contains a high concentration of a natural blue pigment with potential industrial applications, including as a colourant in cosmetics and food and as a therapeutic agent.
🤝 ADM and Brightseed Team Up to Leverage AI to Decode the Gut Microbiome
ADM and Brightseed are partnering to develop synbiotic products that target microbiome enhancement by deciphering the molecular interactions between dietary plants and gut microbes through the use of Brightseed's Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform.
The Forager AI platform can discover bioactive ingredients in plants and map them out to specific modes of action, providing insights into biological changes that occur at the cellular level and will be used to discover bioactive ingredients to be used as synbiotics.
The partnership has the potential to accelerate the scientific understanding of the gut microbiome, with the intention of launching highly efficacious synbiotics in 2025 that can be incorporated into dietary supplements, functional foods, and beverages.
📈 Trendwatching at Future Food-Tech Summit
🤖 Tastewise, launched its new tool, TasteGPT, which is a conversational chatbot using generative AI, and helps food & beverage companies develop actionable insights on emerging trends.
🐢 TurtleTree, has developed lactoferrin, a bioactive milk protein, via microbial fermentation.
🥩 Novameat has developed a “low temperature, low pressure” texturizing technology, which it describes as “microforce technology.”
🍼 Helaina, a New York-based startup, is using microbial fermentation to produce immune-supporting glycoproteins found in breastmilk for the adult and infant nutrition markets.
🍄 Kynda Biotech has developed plug-and-play bioreactors for mycelium-based fermentation that can be scaled up for mass production.
🌾 Comet is opening a manufacturing facility in Denmark to extract prebiotic fiber arabinoxylan from wheat straw.
🧪 Forte Protein is a New York-based molecular farming start-up that uses a transient expression system to produce a range of animal proteins from lactoferrin to bovine serum albumin in plants like lettuce.
🥚 Eggmented Reality is an Israeli start-up that uses bioinformatics to identify proteins that can deliver specific functionality and produces them in host microorganisms.
❄️ Clean Crop Technologies uses cold plasma to tackle food waste.
🌿 Ergo Bioscience is an Argentinian start-up that uses plant cells as hosts for animal proteins like casein, myoglobin, and immunoglobulins.
🌽 IngredientWerks is a molecular farming start-up in Massachusetts that expresses animal proteins such as myoglobin and casein in genetically engineered corn.
And more companies!
🐟 Tufts University Creates First and Only Publicly Available Fish Muscle Cell Line From the Atlantic Mackerel
Tufts University Center for Cellular Agriculture (TUCCA) created the first and only publicly available fish muscle cell line from the Atlantic Mackerel, which can turn into muscle and fat, and is immortalized without genetic engineering.
The study provides the first spontaneously immortalized fish muscle cell line for research, ideally serving as a reference for subsequent investigation, and may address food security concerns through production efficiency, scaling, and controlled cultivation environments.
Other companies, such as Umami Meats and CellQua, are also developing fish cell lines for cellular aquaculture, but research on aquatic and marine species is relatively understudied when compared to mammalian cell culture research.
🇮🇳 Zero Cow Factory, India’s First Precision Fermentation Dairy Producer Raises $4 Million for Animal-Free Casein
The funding will speed up R&D efforts, scale up production capacity, and obtain regulatory approvals to hit the market.
The startup is focused on animal-free casein production, which hasn't been commercialized by any company globally, and aims to receive global regulatory approval for this protein.
Zero Cow Factory's animal-free "Smart Protein" is a healthy and sustainable alternative to cow's milk protein as it is free of lactose, antibiotics, growth hormones, cholesterol, and saturated fat. Moreover, compared to conventional dairy farming, it is far more sustainable, requiring 99% less land, 98% less water, emitting 84% less CO2e, and consuming 65% less energy.
🍄 Aqua Cultured Foods Raises $5.5 Million to Expand Production of Fungi-Based Seafood Alternatives
The company has built a fermentation-based production platform to grow high-protein whole cuts of fungi-based seafood and aims to launch with scallops and tuna, designed to be eaten raw, and ground shrimp, for cooked dumplings or shrimp cakes at a small number of restaurants.
Unlike many seafood alternatives that are made from extruded plant proteins, the firm uses a strain of fungi that grows into fibrous biomass and requires less processing.
The funding will help the start-up scale up production at its new plant in Chicago, hire new staff and launch products. The firm's plan is to enter the market this year with scallops and tuna for raw consumption and ground shrimp for cooked applications.
🍼 Danone Invests $2 Million Into Cultured Breastmilk Startup Wilk
Danone has invested in food tech startup Wilk, as part of a $3.5 million financing round, and plans to collaborate with the company to develop cultured breast milk components for infant formula.
Wilk has developed cell-based technology to produce cultured human breast and animal milk, and Danone's investment will help the company continue the development of its cultivated milk products.
Wilk is not necessarily looking to replace infant formula entirely, but it wants to contribute to the category with a product that is nutritionally superior and has a cost comparable to formula.
SOCIAL FEAST 📱
🍌 Looking Beyond the Label: Rethinking Our Perceptions of Processed Foods
“OMG, this banana is so processed... 🙄
Just look at the long list of ingredients. All these chemicals!”
The list of ingredients on a label can make food appear processed and unhealthy, but this isn't always an accurate representation.
Just because a food is labelled with a single word like "beef" or "milk" doesn't mean it's necessarily good or healthy.
Our perceptions of what is natural, processed, healthy, or unhealthy may be influenced by conventions and biases rather than the actual composition of the food.
🌱 Who Is Really Driving Plant-Based Innovation Adoption?
Plant-based innovation is being driven by all three major stakeholders: consumers, governments, and the meat and dairy industry.
Governments are investing in plant-based innovation to address food insecurity, reduce environmental damage, and lower healthcare costs.
The meat and dairy industry is under pressure to change their business models to be more sustainable, and switching to plant-based innovation could be more profitable for them.
💀 Breaking Down the Highlights of Bloomberg's 'Plant-Based Meat is Dead' Video
The Bloomberg "Plant-based meat is dead" story has resurfaced in video format and the media's portrayal of the plant-based meat audience is biased, as shown by the video.
The video piece is biased and doesn't provide sufficient data to support its claims, and it only focuses on two companies in the plant-based meat industry.
The video is almost 8 minutes long and contains some surprising segments, including one about a family in New Jersey who became upset that plant-based meats weren't helping them lose weight.
EAR FOOD 🎵
🥊 Oatly vs. Big Milk
Small companies find it challenging to compete with large industry players, especially in an industry like Big Milk, which has a long-standing influence on consumers' eating habits and lifestyles.
Adopting a revolutionary attitude instead of being just another milk brand requires determination. It takes courage and foresight to create a completely new food category, which is precisely what Oatly has done. Although Oatly is a trailblazing company, it has recently faced growth and competition challenges. This episode will encourage you to contemplate the food you consume, how the milk industry markets its products, and whether Oatly can deliver on its commitments.
🔮 What is the Future of Plant-Based Alternatives in a New Food Order?
A live show featuring experts (including Miyoko’s Creamery founder Miyoko Schinner, Rainfed Foods founder Sujala Balaji, and Danone’s VP of Marketing Plant-Based Beverages Olivia Sanchez) in the industry debated on the future of plant-based food.
The episode covered a wide range of topics, including the importance of having a plant-based diet for those in the industry, the role of big conglomerates in the plant-based sector, and the rising demand for meat in emerging markets.
🧀 Exploring the Intersection of Food and Astrophysics with Oliver Zahn of Climax Foods
Oliver Zahn had an early interest in the mechanics of the universe and went on to become a world-recognized astrophysicist and cosmologist.
Despite his successful career in astrophysics, Zahn's interest in food continued to grow, especially as he realized the potential of complex mathematical models to effect change in the food system.
Zahn founded Climax Foods, which uses artificial intelligence models to discover new, more sustainable plant-based ingredients that can replace those derived from animals, and has developed cheese with plant-based ingredients using AI. Check out the full story of Zahn and Climax Foods’ journey to building plant-based dairy products.
VISUAL DELIGHT 🎥
💼 Careers in the Alternative Protein Industry by GFI
The Good Food Institute's university innovation specialist, Christina Aguila, describes multiple paths you can take to pursue an academic or industry career in this rapidly growing field.
The webinar is for anyone interested in building a career in the alternative protein space, from students and entry-level folks to professionals with years or decades of experience in certain industries.
🍤 Sandhya Sriram Appeared on CNN to Talk About Cultivated Seafood
Sandhya Sriram spoke about cultivated seafood, the technology behind Shiok Meats, consumers, market, pricing, scale, taste, texture, timelines and Singapore.
The process of cultivated seafood production involves mimicking the animal's surrounding environment to trick the stem cells into growing outside of the animal's body. Nutrients are provided to the stem cells through a liquid media made up of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. The industry is still in its early stages and is working on scaling up the technology.
Currently, the industry is less than a decade old, meaning scaling the technology will be a challenge. However, this innovation could potentially offer a sustainable and ethical alternative to traditional seafood farming and fishing.
Thanks for reading! Have an awesome week 🙌🏾
Want to stay up-to-date with weekly news and updates? Subscribe for free!
If you liked this newsletter, please consider sharing it with your friends.
I'm always striving to improve and deliver the content that you find interesting and informative. So, I'd like to take this opportunity to invite you to share your thoughts on what you think I could do better. Your feedback is valuable and helps me to tailor the newsletter to your interests and needs. So, drop me a line or two and let's start a conversation!