The next generation of pioneering food-tech start-ups from around the world.
Feeding our planet’s growing population is one of the most pressing issues of our time. Demand for livestock and animal produce will continue to soar over the next 40 years and with climate issues it will become increasingly challenging to meet that need. At least some of our future food will, and must, come from a laboratory. Technology is moving at the speed of light, and with industry giants such as Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat being leading lights, we look at the next generation of pioneering food-tech start-ups from around the world.
With demand for seafood at an all-time high, Plantish was founded last year by foodie scientists on a mission to create boneless fish whole-cuts made entirely out of plants. Its first product, Plantish Salmon, is packed with protein, omega 3 and healthy fats, and is free of mercury and antibiotics.
Perfect Day, California
Californian company Perfect Day has made a real dairy protein without animal products. The company uses precision fermentation technology to produce whey protein from microflora, circumventing the need for raising dairy cows. Ice cream, milk, protein powder and cream cheese using its protein are already being sold and it has partnered with Mars to produce a new chocolate bar called Co2Coa.
Amai Proteins, Israel
Creating a sugar substitute that was sweeter than sugar was the first milestone hit by Rehovot-based Amai Proteins, founded by Ilan Samish in 2016. Amai (‘sweet’ in Japanese) proteins are produced by precision fermentation biotechnology, just like one that brews beer, into a zero-calorie, GMO-free, sustainable and affordable sugar substitute. The sweetest protein in the world, it is also thermostable and enables significant sugar reduction without affecting taste. Other alternative designer proteins in the pipeline include meat, milk and plant proteins.
Peace of Meat, Belgium
Antwerpen-based Peace of Meat is a B2B supplier of cultured fat, produced directly from animal cells without harming animals or the environment. Co-founder and CEO, Dirk Standaert: “We are moving forward with a clear R&D and go to market strategy. We have established a superior cell platform for the industrialization of cultured meat products that allows us to develop tasty, nutritious cultured avian products made sustainably." Peace of Meat was founded in 2019 and has so far received investment of more than 10 million euros.
BioTech Foods, Spain
This San Sebastian-based cultivated meat start-up was co-founded in 2017 by award-winning scientist Mercedes Vila. It is dedicated to producing cultured meat, synthesising it from animal tissue samples. Compared with conventional methods of meat production — which involve the breeding, raising, feeding, and slaughter of living animals— cultured meat instead involves using a cell sample to grow desired tissue in a controlled environment, making use of biotechnology originally developed for medical research and organ transplants.
With recent investment from professional footballer Dele Alli, Tindle is the first chicken made from plants that was created specifically for chefs and by chefs. It was designed to be a versatile and easy-to-work-with product. It features similarities in taste, texture and aroma to chicken from birds thanks to Lipi: an emulsion of plant-based ingredients that mirror the aroma, cookability and savoury qualities that come from chicken fat.