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Better Bioeconomy Weekly - Feb 27th 2023 🌏
Let's farm microbes instead of animals.
WORD BUFFET 📖
Is there a bias in the media against plant-based and cultivated meat? 🤔
The criticisms of plant-based and cultivated meats as not being healthy are baseless scaremongering tactics, as they ignore the advantages of these alternatives over traditional meat.
Some environmental criticisms lack a comprehensive comparison of the effects of traditional vs. alternative meats on the environment.
Recent articles, such as the Bloomberg article on cell-cultured meat and cancer, are unfounded and irresponsibly create PR issues that do not exist, while traditional meat's legitimate concerns continue to receive a pass.
Investors remain optimistic about alternative proteins 💰📈
The alternative protein sector attracted $2.9 billion in investments in 2022, a decline of 42% YoY, but most investors remain optimistic about the sector's long-term potential.
Half of the world's largest protein producers are investing in alternative proteins, up from 28% in 2021, and large food companies are diversifying their protein options.
Respondents to a survey of over 100 investors in alternative proteins expect to increase investment in novel categories like fermentation, cultivated dairy, and alternative fats.
Plant-based beverages can still be labelled "milk" 🥛🌱
Plant-based drinks such as soy, almond, and oat milk can continue to use the term "milk" according to draft federal rules issued by the FDA.
The FDA recommends that plant-based beverage makers label their products clearly by the plant source of the food and provide voluntary extra nutrition labels to provide clear nutrition information to consumers.
While the National Milk Producers Federation applauded the call for extra nutrition information, they rejected the FDA's conclusion that plant-based drinks can be called milk because it's a "common and usual name."
4 ways food tech is making the food industry better 📈
Food tech improves efficiency and sustainability in food production, reducing waste and costs
Advances in food safety through faster testing methods, smart packaging, and blockchain technology
Enhanced customer satisfaction through delivery apps, meal kit services, and innovations in in-store shopping
How AI & ChatGPT will disrupt food tech 🤖
The use of AI across the food tech supply chain offers a wide range of use cases, including precision farming, crop monitoring, livestock monitoring, farm automation, and recipe optimization.
AI can also be used to create "new crops" and identify interesting properties in nature for plant-based meat alternatives, manage bioreactors for cellular agriculture, and optimize the food supply chain to reduce waste.
Conversational AI can greatly improve efficiency and adherence to recommendations in areas like personalization and transparency.
AI-enhanced protein design enables the creation of proteins that are completely new 🤖
ML and AI-based tools can predict protein structures and generate new proteins to help solve biomedical and industrial problems.
Researchers are currently retooling existing proteins to perform new tasks or enhance specific properties, but the ultimate goal is to build bespoke proteins with functions devised by users.
Some researchers have developed deep learning algorithms that can input the desired structure and generate an amino acid sequence to produce the backbone structure, and are working on generative models that can create entirely new proteins never seen before in nature.
Using leftover oil from restaurants to power a plane 🛩
Used oil from hot pot restaurants is exported to be recycled into sustainable jet fuel.
Waste oil from kitchens is emerging as a major source of sustainable jet fuel, particularly in China where hot pot restaurants generate a significant amount of waste oil.
Demand for sustainable aviation fuel is increasing as airlines aim to replace 10% of their jet fuel with a sustainable alternative by 2030, and more than 50 have begun to experiment with it.
SCROLL FEAST 📱
Why does the ingredient count of plant-based foods face public scrutiny? 🤔
Use of multiple ingredients has been considered a sign of craftsmanship in the food industry for ages. However, the plant-based food industry faces public scrutiny over the same.
Some argue that the meat industry is behind the negative perception of plant-based foods with a high ingredient count.
Brands like McDonald's have high standards for their suppliers, making it crucial for the plant-based food industry to address concerns around ingredients.
The Prime Minister of Japan has acknowledged the significance of cultivated food tech
“Plant-based is a fad”? 🤪
Big launches and partnerships from alt protein leaders Impossible Foods, Oatly & Beyond Meat this week
Definitely a fad 🤪
EAR FOOD 🎵
Regulatory approval in 🇪🇺 vs 🇺🇸 vs 🇸🇬
Lack of clarity and guidance is a major challenge for companies looking to enter new markets in the alternative protein industry.
Singapore has established a collaborative relationship between regulators and companies to streamline the approval process for cultured meat products.
The European Union has some of the highest safety and quality standards for food, but its approval process for novel foods remains challenging.
The success of the unlikely partnership between NotCo and Ingredion 🤝
NotCo's impressive growth and Ingredion's vision for plant-based protein.
The surprising collaboration between Ingredion and NotCo and the remarkable growth that resulted from it.
The advantages of partnering and advice for young startups when selecting partners.
Is organ-on-a-chip technology an alternative to animal testing? 🐀
President Biden recently signed the FDA Modernization Act 2.0, which gives companies the choice of whether to conduct animal experiments or not. This could lead to fewer animals being used as test subjects.
Emulate, an organ-on-a-chip company, claims that their technology delivers more reliable data than animal experimentation.
They use chips which mimic the functions of a human body and test actual human cells, promising to slash the number of animals used for testing while delivering safe drugs to the market more quickly.
How will DeSci change scientific research? 🔬
DeSci (Decentralized Science) is a movement using blockchain tools like smart contracts and tokens to improve modern science.
DeSci is changing the world of research publishing by making it more transparent, and accessible, and incentivizing collaboration and peer review.
Web3 tools like DAOs, blockchain, and NFTs can help solve problems like reproducibility, data privacy, and funding gaps in science research.
VISUAL DELIGHT 🎥
Why we should be farming microbes instead of animals 🦠🐮
Precision fermentation is a refined form of brewing that can be used to produce all the protein and fat we need while minimizing the environmental footprint.
It involves brewing bacteria in vats, and can drastically reduce land, water, and energy usage compared to traditional animal farming or plant-based protein sources.
This video highlights the absurdity of choosing to consume animal products when presented with the alternative of precision fermentation, which is both more sustainable and ethical.
Thanks for reading! Have an awesome week 🙌🏾