- FoodHack Weekly
- ⚡️ Lightning fast crops
⚡️ Lightning fast crops
PLUS: 21 funding announcements, the startup who risked messing with America and could more packaging cut food waste?
It’s (already) December 1st. Which means you’ve still got 1 more month to hit your Q4 goals and complete those NY resolutions you made back in January.
There’s no better time to get started / finish what you started. Here’s to making this month count 🥂
P.S. Looking for inspiration or reason to celebrate? Why not head to an end-of-year Meetup to make new connections as we get closer to 2024.
This week in Food:
€8M for protein from air
Call for a 90% cut in meat
$49M raise for pea protein
📈 What’s up? A new study finds that raising the temperature of most frozen foods by just three degrees to -15℃ could cut 17.7 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.
📉 What’s down? A report from the FAO advises that rich nations need to cut their meat intake by up to 90% in order to meet global climate goals.
📚 Tufts University has launched what it claims to be the world’s first undergraduate degree in cellular agriculture, aiming to “empower undergraduates in tissue engineering research to translate cellular agriculture research into food industry innovation”.
📦 Research from Michigan State University suggests that using more packaging could help to cut food waste.
⬆️ Useful Roundup: Green Queen rounds up all the cultivated meat startups announcing new production facilities across the globe.
📊 A neat pie chart on how food causes greenhouse gases.
👀 Good Read: Grey Silo Ventures addresses how we can revolutionise foodtech through molecular farming.
New in Funding
Credit: Liberation Labs
US-based pea milk company Ripple Foods raised $49.2 million, bringing its total investment to date to $274 million. Its USP is Ripptein, its pea protein, made via patent-pending technology that it claims eliminates “the impurities like flavonoids and tannins that can give other plant-based milks their plant-ey flavour”.
💸 Liberation Labs secured a $25 million government-backed loan to build its first US commercial-scale precision fermentation facility, which will have 600,000 litres of capacity and is set to become operational by the end of next year. Here’s the latest on the project.
🐟 Indonesian digital solution provider for the shrimp farming industry Jala raised $13 million Series A funding to scale its services, including in-depth aquaculture analysis, financing, and marketplace services.
☀️ Finnish startup Solar Foods secured €8 million Series B funding as it works to commercialise its Solein protein, made out of thin air via a fermentation process. Solar Foods uses carbon dioxide and hydrogen instead of sugars to feed its microbes, and hopes to secure EU approval for its protein late next year. See how it’s made.
🇰🇪 Amini, based in Kenya, raised $4 million in a seed funding round led by Salesforce Ventures and the Female Founders Fund. It uses AI and space technologies to make data on Africa's environment accessible to farmers. Hear how Africa can become a central player in AI, according to their founder.
👀 See all 21 funding announcements including $195.9M of investments for the ag supply chain and bio-inhibitor shelf-life extending stickers.
New in Startups
🇸🇬 Singapore-based TurtleTree has obtained what it says is the first-ever self-affirmed GRAS status for its precision-fermented lactoferrin in the US, and plans to obtain full FDA approval next year. The startup is working to commercialise its whey protein by the end of the year, and says it will sell at a positive gross margin.
🇨🇦 Female-led, Toronto-based startup Neighbourhood Coffee Company unveiled its fully compostable, single-serve coffee pod, the first of its kind in Canada, made entirely from plant-based materials.
☕️ Turkish company Wastea is turning tea industry waste into a sustainable leather alternative. Turkey is the world’s fourth-largest tea producer, but tea industry waste usually has few applications, as its caffeine content is too high to be used in animal feed or the food industry, so Wastea has access to a local and almost limitless resource. Read the full story.
⚡️ Rainstick, based in Australia, is developing technology that mimics the power of lightning to grow crops bigger, faster, and with tailored precision, starting with mushrooms. Take a look at their lightning generator.
Credit: Kraft Heinz x NotCo
🧀 Kraft Heinz is launching a plant-based version of its iconic Kraft Mac & Cheese, the brand’s first plant-based offering in the US, thanks to its joint venture with Chile’s NotCo. Here’s why Matias risked ‘messing with America’.
👅 Are you a sucker or a smoosher? New research from the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences examines how different people eat their food, and what that means for their mouthfeel preferences for foods like burgers and steak, which could potentially be a useful resource for the plant-based meat sector, where texture remains a major hurdle.
🍔 A new study from the University of Queensland has found that giving plant-based dishes more attractive names on restaurant menus (think “juicy American burger”) could help to boost sales.
🍕 Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas O’Connell are opening a vegan Italian restaurant in LA, in partnership with plant-based restaurateur Nic Adler.
🍗 British plant-based meat brand VFC launched a new range of “naked” unbreaded vegan chicken, including a “first-to-market” Chick*n Mince and Chick*n Breasts.
🤝 Italy’s HIFOOD joined forces with Alianza Team Europe to develop a clean-label, plant-based fat alternative to tropical oils and chemical emulsions, designed to improve the taste and texture of plant-based meat.
Credit: Buhler Group
🇨🇭 Bühler Group opened a new sustainable food innovation hub in Switzerland, where its teams will develop foods including plant-based meats.
🎣 Sweden’s Hooked Foods has secured a listing in 400 Rewe West stores across Germany for its plant-based seafood products, starting with its vegan tuna spreads.
🤝 Diageo is partnering with circular economy technology company EcoSpirits to launch a 4.5-litre EcoTote, which will function like a reusable keg, for its Gordon’s gin, Smirnoff vodka, and Captain Morgan rum brands.
🍕 Beyond Meat is launching its plant-based pepperoni into Pizza Hut restaurants in the UK, despite having struggled to gain traction with a similar partnership in the US.
🍼 Danone is partnering with Canadian company Else Nutrition to enter the vegan baby formula market, currently worth $50.7 billion and set to expand by 5.6% annually.
🥗 McDonald’s New Zealand unveiled its latest vegetarian offering: the Salad Burger. That’s right, it’s a patty-less version of a traditional burger.
From the Community
🔬 Looking for a job in FoodTech?
👋 Join your local FoodTech Community at a Meetup in Nottingham, Dubai, Zurich and Valais. Sign up for free here.
🇹🇷 The Turkish AgriFoodTech ecosystem, mapped.
💡 Opinion: Ryan Bethencourt at Sustainable Food Ventures posits that “70-90% of [cultivated meat] players will fail in the next year”.
✅ Join the ProVeg Incubator Cohort 11 Day online on Thursday 14th December to hear from 8 emerging FoodTech startups. Sign up for free here.
👉 Join MassChallenge’s Sustainable Food Solutions Challenge; a free online program opening doors to collaborations with industry leaders like Nestlé, Bühler, Givaudan and more. Apply by December 13.
🪞 Just for fun: Can you spot the difference? Reveal answer here.
That’s a wrap! Have a wonderful weekend.
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Until next time - Stay Hungry