🍳 A fat hat-trick
PLUS: Plant based is on the rise down under, $30M for molecular farming, 3D printed gummy supplements
The human gut microbiome is complex, yet it’s only 10% as diverse as the soil microbiome.
And while they are different ecosystems, they share the same principles:
relying on microbes for nutrition
diversity ensures health and resilience
first line of defence against pathogens
modern life impacts microbial diversity
Probiologist, Nina Vinot details the striking similarities in the symbiosis between soil and the human microbiome in this short piece.
Credit: Nina’s Microbial Discoveries
This Week in Food:
🇮🇹 Italy’s U turn on cultivated meat
🔝 10 food trends to watch in 2024
💦 Water footprint of food, tracked
📈 What’s up? Ocado’s latest digital deposit return scheme has been deemed a success, after a pilot through the summer which saw its customers claim monetary rewards for two and four pint milk bottles.
📉 What’s down? The US Department of Agriculture has reduced its estimate of 2022-23 sugar supply, due to severe drought across the sugar cane growing region.
🇮🇹 Italy has made a U-turn on its proposed law to ban the production and sale of cultivated meat in the country, withdrawing its Technical Regulations Information System notification to the EU this week. Here’s how Italian FoodTech is perceived abroad.
🇩🇰 Denmark has introduced the world’s first national action plan to promote plant-based foods, as part of its 2021-announced climate agricultural plan to cut food emissions, which will involve promoting plant-based foods in school meals, chef training, and increasing exports.
🤝 Tetra Pak has partnered with Sweden’s Lund University to launch Biotech Heights, a new research hub exploring food and materials production using bioprocessing technologies.
📊 This graph by EIT Food shows the water footprint of our food.
🔟 Whole Foods Market forecasts its top 10 Food Trends for 2024 (already).
New in Funding
🇯🇵 Japanese plant-based meat company DAIZ raised $47.4 million Series C funding to build a new 40,000sq ft facility for its ‘miracle chips’ for vegan analogues made via its proprietary soy germination tech.
🌱 Moolec Science secured $30 million to expand its molecular farming platform, which bioengineers plants such as yellow peas and soybeans to produce bovine and porcine proteins. Here’s what they’ll be up to next.
🤖 Agtech startup Zordi, which specialises in autonomous greenhouses equipped with AI and robotics, came out of stealth to announce $20 million of funding from Khosla Ventures.
🧂LA-based Salted, which develops and scales better-for-you QSR brands, secured $14 million Series B funding to accelerate its goal of having “thousands of locations” over the next few years.
🍿 Catch up on all the latest funding news including Notpla’s latest grant, better-for-you Mexican foods and South Korea’s largest instant noodle company backing cultivated meat and smart farms.
Instant Ice Cream
🍦 Coldsnap, based in the US, is preparing for commercial rollout of its countertop ice cream machine, which can make instant ice cream from room temperature, shelf-stable liquid, having significantly expanded its production facility.
🍄 US fungi startup MycoTechnology is launching a Fermentation as a Service (FaaS) platform, aimed at helping companies that are struggling to secure fermentation capacity to scale their operations.
🐟 Berlin-based BLUU Seafood is supporting a €1.3 million three-year cultivated seafood research project, backed by the German federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture to support sustainable seafood production in the country.
💊 Personalised nutrition startup Elo Health partnered with UK-based Nourish to launch 3D-printed gummy supplements.
Credit: Nourish Ingredients
🌈 Two Australian plant-based meat brands, v2food and Nourish Ingredients, unveiled colour-changing plant-based meat and ultra-realistic animal-free fat respectively at South by Southwest Sydney this week. See how Nourish Ingredients’ fat looks and cooks.
🇦🇺 And two more Australian startups, Fenn Foods’ vEEF and All G Foods’ LOVE BUDS, are merging to form a new company called The Aussie Plant Based Co, which will then have access to 6,000 distribution points across Australia, along with a manufacturing hub on the Sunshine Coast.
🐈 CULT Food Science unveiled Noochies! Freeze-Dried Cat Snacks, which it says are North America’s first vegan cat treats.
🧀 Austrian startup Wunderkern debuted what it says is the first plant-based cheese alternative made from upcycled apricot kernels to be available in national retail in Billa Plus stores across the country.
🇸🇪 Swedish oat milk giant Oatly launched a new campaign calling for mandatory carbon labelling on the UK food and drink industry’s product packaging. It’s offering free ad space to dairy producers, and is challenging them to publish their climate footprint alongside ads displaying its own footprint. Watch the viral call for a big dairy AMA co-host.
🦟 Tyson Foods, Inc. is joining forces with Dutch insect ingredients company Protix to upcycle food manufacturing byproducts into sustainable insect proteins and lipids for use in the pet food, aquaculture, and livestock industries.
🌾 General Mills, Inc., Walmart Inc. and Sam’s Club are collaborating to bring regenerative agriculture practices to 600,000 acres across the US by 2030.
Wendy’s is planning to open 55 outlets across Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan by 2030, and will introduce a “next generation” restaurant layout and AI-based drive-thru in Kazakhstan by the second quarter of next year.
🍕 Domino’s Pizza, Inc. is partnering with Microsoft to use AI and cloud computing power to make it easier for consumers to order online and earn free food through its reward program.
☕️ Good Read: Globally, coffee crops are suffering because of climate change. Here’s how Starbucks is helping.
HackTrends: Solar Desalination
To desalinate water refers to the process of removing salt and other minerals from seawater, brackish water or other salty sources of water.
This is usually by a combination of processes like reverse osmosis, distillation, and electrodialysis. These methods aren’t inherently sustainable and use a lot of electricity, which is why startups and scaleups are looking to leverage the advancements in renewable energy to power desalination plants.
🔎 Discover in the full HackTrend Report:
- 2x case studies (NONA Technologies, Desolenator)
- The why, the challenges and the figures behind the space
- List of 10 companies purifying water using the sun’s rays
- Expert insights from Isabella Fandyrch and Namratha Kothapalli
From the Community
Get a job in FoodTech:
- ProteinDistillery (Germany) are recruiting a Strategic Finance Associate
- Greencovery (Netherlands) are hiring a Food Technologist
- ShakeUp Factory (France) are looking for an Intern Program Manager
🇵🇹 The 6th EIT Food Venture Summit is heading to Lisbon on 8-9th November to unite Europe’s agrifood startups, investors and experts.
🌎 40+ top Climate VCs to know from across LatAm.
🏉 If your startup can answer these 7 points in a way that most people can understand them, you’re way ahead of the game.
Just for fun: Elon compares founder life to eating glass.
Until next time - Stay Hungry