Raw potato on color background

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10 Molecular Farming Startups Transforming Everyday Plants into Protein Powerhouses

Today, we bring you a roundup of molecular farming startups transforming plants into biofactories to produce alternatives to animal proteins, pigments, next-gen sweeteners, and growth factors. Plant molecular farming, an additional production approach to plant-based, cultivated, and fermentation, promises unlimited and cost-effective ingredients for food and other industries. Since it doesn’t require expensive infrastructure and bioreactors — only the magic of plants and bioengineering —  existing greenhouses and fields can become ingredient factories, ensuring …

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The Israeli-based food-tech startup NewMoo has emerged from stealth mode, unveiling a plant molecular farming platform for producing caseins in agricultural plant seeds. 

Image courtesy of NewMoo

NewMoo Emerges from Stealth Using Plant Seeds as ‘Bioreactors’ to Grow Casein Proteins for Animal-Free Dairy

NewMoo has emerged from stealth mode, unveiling a plant molecular farming platform for producing caseins in agricultural plant seeds. “Our approach doesn’t require expensive bioreactor machinery to grow our proteins. The plant seeds themselves act as bioreactors,” explains the Israeli startup. Considered the “holy grail” of milk structure by the dairy industry, caseins are responsible for the taste and functional properties consumers love about cheese: melting, stretching, and bubbling. NewMoo …

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Mycelium bacon on a plate - CellX unveils its mycelium fermentation programme

Image courtesy of CellX

McKinsey Report: Majority of US Consumers Willing to Try Novel Protein Ingredients

A report by strategy and management consulting firm McKinsey has found that most US consumers are open to trying food and drinks that contain novel protein ingredients. The report divides novel proteins into three categories — animal-free products made using precision fermentation, biomass proteins derived from microorganisms, and fungi proteins such as mycoprotein and mycelium. Plant-based proteins were also studied for benchmarking purposes. The results indicate that 63% of respondents …

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A collage of the brands that have partnered with Spiber

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Spiber Raises Over JPY10 Billion for Mass Production of Fermented Proteins for Materials

Spiber Inc., a Japanese biotech “brewing” sustainable materials for the fashion, automotive, and personal care industry, announces it has raised over JPY10 billion (around $65M) from equity financing. Spiber has raised a total funding of $489 million over 9 rounds. The funding, which included additional investments from existing shareholders, will allow the company to accelerate mass production of its innovative Brewed Protein materials and facilitate global sales.  Founded in 2007, …

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Onego Bio raises funding for animal-free egg protein

© Onego Bio

Onego Bio Raises $40M to Commercialize “Revolutionary” Animal-Free Egg Protein

US-Finnish biotech company Onego Bio has raised $40 million in one of the largest Series A rounds in the Nordics. The funding will be used to drive the commercialization and manufacturing of the company’s animal-free egg protein, which is produced using precision fermentation. The round was led by NordicNinja, with participation from Tesi, EIT Food, Agronomics, and more. It also includes $10 million in non-dilutive funding from the Finnish government …

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New Zealand's Miruku, a startup growing dairy proteins in plants, has raised $5 million (NZD 8 million) in a pre-series A round to support its B2B model.

Back: (L) Abby Thompson and Ira Bing - Front: (L) Thomas Buchanan, Amos Palfreyman, and Lachlan Nixon (Motion Capital) © Miruku

Miruku Secures $5M to Develop Proteins in Oilseed Crops for Dairy 2.0 Products 

Miruku, a New Zealand startup developing novel dairy proteins and fats using molecular farming and oilseed crops, has raised $5 million (NZD8 million) in a pre-series A round to support its B2B model.  Motion Capital led the round with the participation of previous seed investor Movac and new investors NZVC, Cultivate Ventures, and Icehouse Ventures. The funding brings the startup’s total investment to $7.4 million, having previously raised $2.4 million in an …

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Yusto yeast protein by Arbiom

© Arbiom

Arbiom Unveils Yusto Yeast Protein as Part of “New Wave of Protein Ingredients”

French-American sustainable protein producer Arbiom has unveiled a new product, Yusto yeast protein. Produced using fermentation, Yusto is fiber-rich while also containing B vitamins and all the essential amino acids. Described as part of a “new wave of protein ingredients”, Yusto is already globally approved for use in food. It can be used in meat and dairy alternatives, snacks, sauces, specialized nutrition products, and more. According to Arbiom, one of …

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Mycelium bacon on a plate - CellX unveils its mycelium fermentation programme

Image courtesy of CellX

CellX Ventures into Mycelium Fermentation to Create Proteins for Plant-Based and Hybrid Products

CellX, a biotech that operates China’s largest cultivated and seafood facility, announces a new fermentation program, a parallel venture producing mycelium-derived proteins for alt meat and dairy, functional, and hybrid products.  With this expansion, the company aims to complement its cultivated meat platform and launch sustainable proteins more quickly. “Fermentation and cultivated meat both serve CellX’s vision of providing sustainable protein for everyone,” Operations Manager Liu Yu informs vegconomist.  CellX’s …

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UNLIMEAT and JUST Egg kimbap

© UNLIMEAT

Alt Protein Revolution in South Korea: Plant-Based Thrives & Cultivated Meat Receives Huge Investment

South Korea continues at the forefront of alt food developments as interest in alternatives to animal products soars. Several factors have been credited, including growing sustainability and food security concerns As reported by Korea JoongAng Daily today, Nongshim, the largest instant noodle and snack company in South Korea, has revealed plans to invest $7.4 million in venture funds to support food tech startups developing cultivated meat and smart farms. Nongshim believes cultivated …

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Jonathan Goshen, CEO of Yeap and an employee

© Yeap

Israel’s Yeap Receives Investment from Fermentation Expert Lessafre for Upcycled Yeast Proteins

Israeli startup Yeap announces that Lessafre, a global player in fermentation-derived products, has made a 10% investment in the company to introduce proteins made from upcycled spent yeast to the plant-based market. Yeap was founded by cultivated meat pioneer Didier Toubia, CEO of Aleph Farms, Dominik Grabinski, and Jonathan Goshen, CEO of Yeap, to develop sustainable proteins incorporating a circular economy model. Its shareholders include The Kitchen Hub by Strauss and AgFunder. The company …

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