At Future Food-Tech on December 2-3, we put a spotlight on alternative proteins and how we can unlock new collaborations and investment within the space.
Ahead of their speaking roles at the summits we spoke to six pioneers to uncover more about the potential of alternative proteins.
New Wave Foods is overcoming nutritional challenges within the plant-based category and advancing plant protein functionality and flavor.
“We see two important nutritional challenges within plant-based food, the first is that consumers are advocating for cleaner labels for plant-based products they perceive as being heavily processed. Plant-based companies need to empower consumers to make informed choices and continue innovating toward cleaner labels. When creating New Wave Foods’ plant-based shrimp, our main priority was ensuring a great tasting product while following clean label guidelines.
The second nutritional challenge is protein and protein digestibility. In plant-based foods, it is important to understand the quality and digestibility of the protein is important. There is a tremendous opportunity for companies to provide education about what getting a complete source of protein means from plant-based products.
One innovation that stands out is the advancement of plant protein functionality and flavor. Ingredient suppliers have come a long way to provide proteins with neutral flavor profiles and different functional characteristics. At New Wave Foods, we’ve had a lot of success using those proteins and combining it with seaweed derived ingredients to create the characteristic texture of shrimp and other shellfish.” Michelle Wolf, Co-Founder and Chief of Staff at New Wave Foods
“Since our goal is to bring cell-based seafood to the world as aggressively as possible, our strategic investors and partners are essential to our success as they are experts in supply chain, operations, sales, marketing and distribution. They will help bring us to market in the most effective, cost-efficient way and we will leverage all of our strengths to collectively bring cell-based seafood to the world.
We are seeing more interest in cell-based seafood as a solution to global food security. The global pandemic of COVID-19 has created increased awareness of our planet’s vulnerability. We have seen heightened interest from the investment community, the media and our future customers, as they see cell-based meat and seafood as a solution to food security that results in a more stable supply chain, with dramatically enhanced consistency and traceability.” Lou Cooperhouse, President and CEO, BLUENALU
“I hope to see the role of cellular agriculture grow significantly to help humanity reduce animal farming. We all know that this source can offer a more sustainable and healthier proteins and it is up to technology to solve the cost challenges we face.
I am most excited about new ways to reduce media cost (the ‘feed’ we use to grow the cells) that will result in affordable scale up.” Rom Kshuk, CEO, FUTURE MEAT TECHNOLOGIES
Lever VC sees exciting growth for the alternative protein sector and is encouraged by its rapid expansion.
“At Lever VC, we focus on companies in the alternative protein space, and if you look at the year on year increase in the number of companies taking really innovative approaches to producing real meat, egg and dairy protein without the need for live animals, its pretty staggering. Whether it’s companies producing dairy protein from plants, meat from yeast cells, or single cell proteins from carbon dioxide and other waste emissions, we’re in the exciting early expansion period of a set of technologies that are going to seriously disrupt traditional agriculture.” Nick Cooney, Managing Partner at Lever VC
The Kitchen Hub is committed to advancing sustainable solutions to ensure resiliency across the food supply chain through partnerships and collaborations.
“Today, more than ever, the world needs more sustainable ways to feed its growing population. Right now, economic, environmental, social and commercial interests are aligned towards a common goal. This alignment combined with technological advancements in cultured meat technology makes up a very unique opportunity to significantly change how we produce and consume meat. This does not happen very often and that time is now.”
“Most needed solutions are around safety and traceability, shorter supply chain, efficient E-Com and immune system enhancement. We constantly seek for breakthrough technologies around these areas and invest and cultivate the best in class. As an example, The Kitchen invested in BioFence which sells special transparent coating that can protect any surface against Covid-19 or other virus/bacteria” Jonathan Berger, CEO The Kitchen Hub
RSSL helps world-leading brands and SMEs develop and supply products that are safe, innovative and of the highest quality.
“Many consumers are looking for plant-based products which can be used as a direct substitute for the animal derived products that they consume currently, this means that, ideally, the alternative should provide a comparable nutritional profile in terms of protein and micronutrient content. Additionally, the majority of ‘flexitarian’ consumers state that health is their top reason for increasing their consumption of plant-based foods. Therefore, products should not contain high levels of saturated fat, added sugar or salt. Boosting levels of fibre and other nutrients, such as omega-3 or polyphenols, can also be attractive to consumers.” Carole Bingley, Technical Specialist – Food Product Development, RSSL