🪐 Michelin-Star Meals in Space

PLUS: 46 FoodTech World Cup Semi Finalists, mysterious disqualification of a vegan cheesemaker, launching the Amazon for proteins

The secret’s out. Meet the Semi Finalists of the FoodTech World Cup.

A line up bursting with global talents in: cell-cultured cacao, upcycling coffee waste, climate-smart farming, mycelium fermentation, carbon-negative recombinant proteins and personalised nutrition, to name just a few.

The regional Semi Finals conclude later today before the Jury selects the finalists to pitch live at the HackSummit.

Get to know the 46 Semi Finalists spanning 25 countries. Plus keep an eye out for the finalist announcement.

This week in FoodTech:

🍄 Real Truffle Fungi: Fermenting flavours
🍎 Cider Slump: Cutting down apple trees
🪜 Scaffold Free: 100% cultivated pork fillet

The Digest

Credit: Oatly

📈 What’s up? Oatly exceeded its revenue expectations in Q1 2024, with an increase of 1.8% year-on-year.

📉 Heineken has felled a 300-acre orchard full of trees planted in 1997, blaming slowing demand for cider.

🇰🇷 The South Korean government has designated a Regulatory-Free Special Zone for the development of cultivated foods in the country, which will exempt companies from certain regulatory hurdles in support of mass production of high-quality cultivated meat.

👎 Less progressively, Florida governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill to ban the sale and production of cultivated meat in the state, to “protect the industry against acts of man, against an ideological agenda that wants to finger agriculture as the problem, that views things like raising cattle as destroying our climate.” 🤨

🥛 A new study from the FDA has found traces of the bird flu virus in one in five samples of retail milk.

🎈Interesting: Frenchman Vincent Farret d’Astiè is building a balloon to take people to “near space”, high enough to be able to observe the Earth’s curve, and will serve Michelin-starred in-flight food to those lucky enough to afford the €170,000 ticket.

New in Funding

Credit: Chowdeck

☕️ Specialty coffee company Wakuli secured €5.2 million Series A funding, having successfully opened six coffee bars in Amsterdam and one in Utrecht in 2023, and with eight new openings planned for this year.

🔬 Caladan Bio, based in the US, raised $5 million in a seed funding round led by Twelve Below. Its aim is to build ‘next generation benchtop bioreactors’, designed to help synbio companies to lower the cost of their experiments as they scale their technology. Read their journey so far.

🇳🇬 Nigerian startup Chowdeck, which is backed by Y Combinator, raised $2.5 million seed funding to scale its food delivery service, which offers consumers the convenience of ordering food and having it delivered to their doorstep within an average of 30 minutes.

🍄 Canada’s Maia Farms secured CAD2.3 million in a pre-seed funding round led by Joyful Ventures, PIC Group, and Koan Capital. It will use the funds to scale production of CanPro, a textured protein ingredient made with mycelium, which it claims “dramatically” improves the taste and texture of food products. Here’s why were backed.

🔥 Check out all funding rounds from this week including protein from gaseous fermentation and microbes for soil regeneration and avoiding drought.

New in Startups

Credit: Shiru

🧬 Shiru launched an ‘Amazon for proteins’, the “world’s first” AI-powered protein discovery platform, designed to allow companies to find and buy sustainable proteins for product development. How to access the 33 million protein molecules.

🐖 German startup MyriaMeat announced that it has successfully developed a 100% cultivated pork fillet, without scaffolds for support or plant proteins for shape.

🦐 A new study from Finnish biotech startup Enifer reveals that shrimp fed with its PEKILO®Aqua mycoprotein lived longer and healthier, in spite of their natural susceptibility to diseases.

🍄 Swiss startup Nectariss is making natural truffle flavour concentrates via fermentation.The Nectariss Method ferments real truffle fungi and their microbes, obtaining their essence more cost-effectively and all year round.

60 Founders to Meet

60 Founders behind some of the most game-changing startups will join the HackSummit stages on June 13-14th to share actionable advice, crucial learnings and inspiring visions.

Including: Arkeon, Shiru, Planetary, Minus Coffee, Nourish Ingredients, Meala FoodTech, Triple Bar, Umami Bioworks, Biome Makers, microTERRA, Another Food, Project Eaden

Get a front row seat to listen in and meet them for 1-1 meetings, at the numerous side events or at lunch by the festival food trucks.

Use code FOODFOUNDER to save 20% on your pass. Valid until 5th May

Plant Based

Credit: omami

🇩🇪 Berlin-based omami debuted a chickpea-based tofu made with just three ingredients: chickpeas, water and a natural coagulant.

💰 Plant-based meat giant Impossible Foods is considering a “liquidity event” that could see it raise more capital, IPO or even be sold to another company in the next few years.

🧀 Why vegan cheesemaker Climax Foods was abruptly disqualified from the Good Food Awards on the eve of the awards ceremony. The news even made it onto The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Big Food

Credit: Hilton

🏩 Hilton has rolled out zero-waste menus at four of its hotels in the UK, plus a low-waste menu at nearly 20 additional sites, as part of its target to halve waste sent to landfill by 2030.

🛒 Walmart Inc. launched a new private label line, Bettergoods, of approximately 300 products in categories such as frozen food, dairy, snacks, beverages, pasta, soups, coffee and chocolate, with a focus on creating culinary experiences, plant based and “made without”.

👎️ Unilever is scaling back its environmental and social aims, in what appears to be a strategic U-turn. Here’s what we learn from this.

🤝 Starbucks Canada partnered with Dairy Farmers of Canada on a new collaborative effort to advance sustainability in the dairy sector, committing CAD 500,000 to supporting Canadian dairy farmers on their path to net zero over the course of this year.

🛵 Turkish “instant delivery” company Getir is pulling out of the US, the UK and Europe to focus solely on its home market.

HackTrends: Blockchain for Biodiversity

🔎 Discover in the full HackTrends Report:
- 2x case studies (Biota Nexus, Single.Earth)
- The why, the challenges and the figures behind the space
- List of 19 companies using blockchain for biodiversity and food supply chains

Find out more about how blockchain technology holds huge potential in encouraging regenerative agriculture and providing financial incentives for conservation and sustainable practices in the food value chain.

From the Community

🔍 Are you hiring or looking for a job in Food and Climate? Check out this list.

🌎 Join us at a FoodHack Meetup near you in Lisbon and Mexico City.

🤔 Opinion: How durable are ESG claims made for aluminium packaging?

👍 Good Read: A new report from ProVeg Incubator explains why there is cause for optimism in the alt protein sector.

👋 Results: How important are warm intros for founders raising?

📊 Infographic: A biofactory breakdown for our new ear of food production.

⌛️ Last chance: Volunteer at the HackSummit and help deliver a world-class event while getting in on the action.

 🥑 Just for fun: VC Fund thesis

Until next time - Stay Hungry

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