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Better Bioeconomy Weekly - May 8th 2023 🌏
Why pay big bucks for an MBA when you can take the free Masters of Beef Advocacy course? 🤡
As we start another week, I wanted to remind you of something important: drink enough water and hydrated. Alright, let’s dive into this week's newsletter! 🤿
WORD BUFFET 📖
🇨🇳 Joes Future Food Technology Has Raised “Tens of Millions” of Yuan (RMB) In Series A+ Funding
The company raised $10.9 million in a Series A funding round in 2021 and became the first China-based company to create cultivated meat in the country.
The cultivated pork producer plans to establish a pilot plant capable of producing cultured meat on a 1000 L scale.
China is turning its focus to safety assessments of cultivated meat (with other companies like CellX and Jimi Biotech both developing cultivated meat), with announcements expected this year.
Read full article - Green Queen
🇦🇺 Fënn Foods Has Become the 1st Certified Carbon-Neutral Food Producer in Australia
Fënn Foods' vEEF brand provides vegan-friendly meat alternatives from peas, mushrooms, and non-GMO soy protein. In 2018, the company certified its premium plant-based mince beef as carbon-neutral and now the entire business.
The carbon-neutral certification process is rigorous, with the CRI (Carbon Reduction Institute) conducting a full audit of Fënn Foods’ ingredients, products, packaging, and practices, including employees’ commutes to and from work.
Fënn Foods raised $3 million in an oversubscribed funding round from Bombora Investment Management last year, which it plans to use for expansion across all areas of its operations and refining its production processes.
Read full article - Green Queen
🍅 Norfolk Healthy Produce Plans to Launch Genetically Modified Purple Tomatoes Later This Year
Purple tomatoes differ from purple-hued tomatoes sold in grocery stores because their purple pigment extends beyond the skin, into the flesh, providing more anthocyanins and additional antioxidants.
The CEO reports positive media reactions to GM tomatoes due to their potential to impact sustainability, food quality, and security. Produce packers are excited about purple tomatoes' "wow factor" as they seek the next big thing.
Norfolk Healthy Produce's purple tomatoes passed USDA safety tests and are now undergoing voluntary pre-market consultation with USFDA for new plant varieties.
Read full article - AgFunder
💸 Above Food to Go Public on the NYSE Through SPAC Merger
Above Food has a vertically integrated business model that spans 3 different sectors of food production (agriculture, ingredients, and CPG), giving it a vast and unique supply of commodity crops and an advantage to expand its margins.
Above Food is projecting significant organic growth in both its speciality ingredients and agriculture businesses in the fiscal year 2024, driven by more penetration of its oat and pet food ingredients and increasing output.
Above Food, which the deal values at $319 million, generated $294 million in revenue in the 12 months ending on Jan. 31, with 61% from agriculture, 37% from ingredients, and 2% from CPG.
ICYMI: The only other food company to go public this year was Moolec Science (MLEC), which was listed on Nasdaq also through a SPAC merger.
Read full article - Food Dive
🇰🇷 South Korea’s CellMEAT Has Developed a Prototype for Cell-Based Osetra Caviar
CellMEAT claims that the product comes in various shapes and sizes, delivering a “less fishy” flavour and better texture than traditional caviar.
Cell-based caviar is a sustainable and ethical alternative to traditional caviar, as it doesn't involve removing eggs from live sturgeons, which is especially concerning given that some sturgeon species are critically endangered.
CellMEAT is also working on other seafood prototypes and has developed a cell-based Dokdo shrimp.
Read full article - Green Queen
🍔 Shake Shack Adds First 100% Vegan Patty and Two of NotCo’s Frozen Treats to Permanent Menu
The 100% vegan patty, the Veggie Shack, underwent extensive R&D and taste tests. It includes grains, seasonal veggies, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, carrots, farro, quinoa, American cheese, crispy onions, pickles, and ShackSauce.
The Non-Dairy Chocolate Shake and Non-Dairy Frozen Custard was developed in partnership with NotCo using their plant-based milk, NotMilk.
Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer is an investor in NotCo, and he also invested in Slutty Vegan, another plant-based brand.
Read full article - vegconomist
🇸🇬 Scientists at NUS 3D-Printed Edible Scaffolds for Affordable and Sustainable Cultivated Meat Production
Cell culture scaffolds are typically made from synthetic or animal-based materials, which are expensive or inedible, but plant proteins are biodegradable, biocompatible with animal cells, and meet food consumption requirements.
The researchers used zeins, hordeins, and secalins, derived from corn, barley, and rye flour respectively, which were compatible with muscle cells from agricultural animals and supported their growth.
The team was able to produce meat that was similar in texture and overall appearance to animal meat within 12 days using the plant protein-based scaffold, opening up a new method for producing cultured meat with fibrous qualities.
Read full article - NUS News
🍺 Belgian’s Bar.on Created the World’s 1st Molecular Beer Printer
The machine uses "beer cartridges," small vials of flavour compounds that adjust the beer's hoppiness, sweetness, fruitiness, and aroma, allowing the user to adjust the parameters and have a beer ready to drink within minutes.
The Bar.on system makes beer instantly, without the days-long process of brewing and fermenting, unlike other home brewing appliances.
The One Tap overcomes the messiness and time-consuming aspect of home beer making, bringing it closer to the convenience of a Sodastream or Keurig coffee maker.
Read full article - The Spoon
🤝 Every Co. Partnered With Alpha Foods to Improve Alpha’s Plant-Based Meat Using Every’s Animal-Free Egg Protein
According to the companies, the result is meat that tastes more like conventional animal products without disease risk, price volatility, or environmental footprint.
Every’s precision fermentation-based animal-free egg protein has been shown to create desired textures and flavours in various plant-based foods, delivering taste and performance outcomes beyond those of plant-based replacements.
The partnership can potentially help demonstrate the technology and efficacy of animal-free egg protein and broaden its use in future launches.
Read full article - Green Queen
🇦🇪 Sustainable Food Production Efforts Increase in the UAE as Food Sovereignty Gains Global Priority
Dubai’s Food Tech Valley aims to become a global leader in sustainable food management systems and includes vertical farms, an R&D center, a logistics center, and a shopping area.
The Food Tech Valley will support farmers and producers globally and aims to establish future food standards and address challenges such as water scarcity and land shortages.
Switch Foods' new plant-based meat production facility can produce 1,000kg of plant-based meat per hour, helping to bring down the costs of its products.
Read full article - Green Queen
🍬 Sweegen Achieves FEMA GRAS Status for Ultra-Sweet Protein Brazzein Made from Precision Fermentation
Brazzein is an ultra-sweet protein that is 500-2,000 times sweeter than sugar and is stable in a wide range of pH conditions, making it an ideal ingredient for sugar reduction across a spectrum of applications.
Brazzein is the only natural non-nutritive sweetener that specifically targets a taste receptor (T1R3) associated with umami (savory) tastes, which can stimulate a new sweet experience and bring fuller flavor to certain products.
CPG companies are unlikely to use brazzein as a standalone sweetener, but instead, Sweegen is pairing it with its Bestevia stevia sweeteners as part of its new Sweetensify collection.
Read full article - AgFunder
⚒️ Picks and Shovels Investment Perspective in Alt Protein Industry
The "picks and shovels" investment perspective suggests investing in the underlying and more diversified infrastructure that supports a new industry or technology, rather than just betting on a single company or product.
A surge towards alternative proteins is driven by the urgent need to mitigate the severe environmental impact of the conventional food industry.
Enabling infrastructure for alternative protein startups includes fats and oils, coloring, gelatine, functional ingredients, strain development, and protein design.
Read full article - Christian Guba
⭐️ 10 Women Re-Imagining The Future Of Food With The Help Of Synthetic Biology
Niyati Gupta: CEO and Co-founder of Fork & Good, Inc. which is a company that produces affordable and sustainable cell-cultured meat without the animal.
Francia Navarrete: COO and Co-Founder of Protera Biosciences, a biotechnology company that uses deep learning algorithms to design high-value proteins and enzymes for food.
Jasmin Hume: Founder and CEO of Shiru, a biotechnology startup that makes sustainable, scalable, and nutritious plant-based ingredients for food companies.
Maricel Saenz: CEO & Founder of Minus Coffee, a company that creates delicious and sustainable coffee without the coffee bean.
Lisa Dyson: Founder and CEO of Air Protein, a company that makes meat from elements of the air, using synthetic biology and food tech.
Christine Gould: Founder and CEO of Thought for Food, an accelerator of food systems transformation that works with startups, companies, investors, and creatives to come up with cutting-edge solutions.
Kasia Gora: Co-founder and CTO of SCiFi Foods, a food tech company that combines cultivated meat with plant-based ingredients to make burgers similar in taste to conventional beef.
Stephanie Michelsen: Co-Founder and CEO of Jellatech, a biotech business producing animal-free collagen and gelatin for various applications using synthetic biology.
Sandhya Sriram: CEO and Co-founder of Shiok Meats, a cellular aquaculture and cell-based meat company that produces sustainable and healthy crustacean substitutes.
Monica Bhatia: Co-founder and Co-CEO of EQUII, a food tech company that uses fermentation and synthetic biology to enhance bread's nutritional profile.
Read full article - Forbes
SOCIAL FEAST 📱
🤥 Masters of Beef Advocacy (MBA): The Free Course That Teaches You How to Lie About Climate Change
Big Food companies, including Big Meat, use lobby dollars to fund misinformation and disinformation campaigns to protect their interests and prevent action on climate change.
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) has developed a free online training course called Masters of Beef Advocacy to teach participants how to promote big beef messaging and engage with consumers on environmental topics using industry talking points and infographics.
Only 0.5% of 92,000 recently published articles on climate in global English language media mentioned meat or livestock as an emissions source, indicating biased news coverage on food-related climate issues.
Read full post - Sonalie Figueiras on LinkedIn
🇦🇺 Why Australia Needs To Develop A Cultivated Meat Industry
Australian consumers are likely to embrace cultivated meat as a viable alternative due to the increasing demand for more sustainable sources of protein.
The development of cultivated meat industry in Australia has the potential to create thousands of jobs in the production, processing, and marketing of cultivated meat products.
The development of an Australian cultivated meat industry could lead to the creation of new export opportunities, increasing the nation's export income and helping to drive economic growth.
Read full post - Paul Bevan on LinkedIn
🤔 Beef Industry's Controversial Strategies to Combat Negative Public Perception
The beef industry has been spending millions of dollars to fight the science behind beef's destructive impact on the planet.
The industry has developed a comprehensive strategy, including climate denial, funding pro-animal agriculture science, building a military-style command center to monitor messaging, paying influencers, and inventing a narrative to fight in Congress.
The industry is training hundreds, if not thousands, of students to become beef advocates and pushing pro-meat messages on social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.
Read full post - Jennifer Stojkovic on LinkedIn
EAR FOOD 🎵
🍄 The Quorn Story with Marco Bertacca: Mycelium-Based Alt-Meat Giant that Dominates 99% of the Market
The podcast episode features an interview with Marco Bertacca, CEO of Quorn Foods, which dominates the mycelium-based alt-meat sector, controlling more than 99% of the market.
Quorn is the number one alt-meat brand in the EU and has partnered with companies like KFC. Bertacca discusses the company's plans for expansion in the US, including investing in a fungi protein startup and potentially building its own fermentation assets.
He also reveals Quorn's intention to remove all egg whites from its products and why he believes Quorn is better suited as a chicken alternative than beef. Bertacca talks about his experience working undercover as a factory worker before becoming CEO and his commitment to creating a more sustainable food system.
💰 Early Investing in the Future of Food: Lisa Feria's Journey and Insights
Lisa Feria, the Managing Partner and CEO of Stray Dog Capital, talks about her professional journey and how she entered the world of food tech investing.
She discusses the importance of conviction in making investments and her experience as an early investor in Beyond Meat, and why she is still bullish about their future.
Lisa also talks about the evolution of the alternative protein investment landscape, from its inception to now, and the shift towards healthier alternative foods. She explains how Stray Dog Capital is contributing to this change.
🥓 Fun-guy Eben Bayer Scales Mycelium Again with Bacon at My Forest Foods
Eben Bayer, the founder of Ecovative, discusses the intersection of biotech, sustainability, and business growth. He emphasizes the importance of aligning business with mission building, focusing on mycelium and adventure studio to promote sustainability and growth.
They also explore the potential of bacon in driving business growth and promoting sustainability, and how biotech companies are expanding into bigger meat cuts and clean label meat.
Lastly, they delve into the challenges of balancing innovation with environmental concerns and how biotech companies are working towards sustainable solutions while driving business growth.
VISUAL DELIGHT 🎥
💡 Paul Shapiro's TED Talk: How Fungi Can Disrupt the Meat Industry
Paul describes how writing used to be done with quill pens until the invention of the metal fountain pen. He argues that we need to recreate the meat experience without animals, in the same way that we replaced quill pens with fountain pens.
He then discusses the need for more sustainable meat alternatives and how fungi could be the answer. Fungi, specifically mycelium, can be used to produce meat alternatives that have the texture and nutritional qualities of meat.
🤩 The Future of the Environment Is Brighter Than You Think
The RethinkX Director of Research, Adam Dorr, discusses the potential for clean technology disruptions in the foundational sectors of energy, transportation, food, and labor to solve pressing environmental problems.
He introduces the concept of disruption and clean technologies such as solar power, wind power, electric vehicles, precision fermentation, and artificial intelligence. The video explores the history and economics of disruption and how these clean technologies will transform our relationship with the natural world and meet our environmental challenges.
🚦 GFI and FDA: Navigating FDA's Pre-market Food Ingredient Evaluation Programs
GFI and the FDA hosted a seminar on how to navigate the agency's pre-market food ingredient evaluation programs, including the GRAS Notification Program and the food and color additive petition programs.
They covered the FD&C (Food, Drug, & Cosmetic) Act, pre-market review processes for FAPs and CAPs, an understanding of GRAS and the GRAS Notification Program, how to engage with the FDA regarding your food ingredient, and some FAQs.
That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading. Have an awesome week! 🙌🏾
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