Precision Fermentation & Cell Agriculture Disrupting the Dairy Industry

In the dairy industry, cell cultures and fermentation techniques are beginning to demonstrate industrial and commercial viability, as shown by the growth of investment in this sector and the emergence of new startups using these technologies as their foundation. Proof of this is that investment in the dairy segment has tripled in 2021, compared with 2020, according to Dealroom data analyzed by Eatable Adventures. Also, according to data from The Good Food Institute, fermentation companies have raised $1.7 billion, which accounts for one-third of all investments in alternative proteins. 

Research, innovation, and technology make it possible to develop new production and food transformation models that allow us to improve existing products and create new ones. By remaking the same proteins and fats from dairy, but without animals, formulators are trying to create dairy alternatives that closely resemble traditional dairy products, thanks to disruptive technologies like cell agriculture and fermentation. 

The following extract from the FoodTech Market Intelligence Report – Alternative Dairy by Eatable Adventures highlighting the technologies and startups debuting in the Dairy Industry demonstrated that precision fermentation continues to gain momentum among new startups in the sector.

Alternative Dairy Startups Momentum

Source: Dealroom data analyzed by Eatable Adventures

From Eatable Adventures data, we find that in 2021 the alternative dairy fermentation startup, Perfect Day, debuted the fermentation investment profile after receiving $350M in funding, followed by Remilk at the beginning of 2022, receiving $120M.

Additionally, according to more Eatable Adventures data, we can state that precision fermentation technology is highly mature at the moment in terms of investments, meaning that the fascinating technology that cell culture is, is still ripe for innovation and is estimated to grow exponentially in the upcoming years.

Cell agriculture and fermentation in the dairy industry

Source: Dealroom data analyzed by Eatable Adventures

 

Precision fermentation is not only very mature in terms of investment, but also in terms of technology development. Foods containing ingredients made with this technology have been around for decades, and we are eating them on a daily basis. A recent article by Sonalie Figueiras from Green Queen features different precision fermentation foods and products we have been consuming, including enzymes used in food production (e.j pectinases which help make fruit juices clear), vitamins we take in supplement form or powder, natural flavors added to certain foods (e.j vanilla flavoring), and even cheese (rennet, a key ingredient in cheese production, is produced via precision fermentation). 

On the other hand, cell-cultured technology is a promising technology for animal-based proteins but still needs further development and acceptance.
By using this method, meat is produced with the same types of cells arranged in the same structure as animal tissues, delivering identical sensory and nutritional properties as conventional meat. Nevertheless, there are still many obstacles for cellular agriculture to overcome such as regulatory aspects, consumer perception, and socio-political challenges, but that doesn’t negate the fact that is a rising trend that entrepreneurs and investors, and companies should follow.

Accelerating the market through Open Innovation Programs

In this food revolution, open innovation programs and synergies between big companies and startups are of major importance to accelerate growth and assist new startups to reach their objectives.  For instance, Mylkcubator, the global incubation program led by Pascual Innoventures, and Eatable Adventures, recently launched its second edition and are currently seeking projects with innovative solutions in the cellular agriculture spectrum for the dairy industry. 

If you have THE idea or project regarding disruptive innovation in the dairy industry using cell agriculture technology, visit the official website mylkcubator.com and get to know all the details about the program.

For further details regarding Mylkcubator, click here.

Mahou San Miguel launches a new challenge addressed to the entrepreneurial community seeking to find the beverage of the future

  • The brewery along with the accelerator Eatable Adventures, are calling for startups from all over the world to participate in a new innovation challenge for the beverage sector.
  • The selected entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to develop a product test together with Mahou San Miguel’s team of experts.

Mahou San Miguel, a 100% Spanish family-owned beverage company and leader in the beer sector in Spain, launches the Rethink Your Drink Challenge, a new challenge to discover the drink of the future. As part of its Barlab Ventures project, along with Eatable Adventures, one of the three leading global food technology accelerators, the brewery wants to offer an open innovation platform for the entire food and beverage sector.

From today until September 5, startups from around the world with a differential, sustainable and innovative proposal that generates a transformative impact on the traditional beverage industry can submit their applications through the website www.barlabventures.com.

In the words of Miguel Ángel Miguel, General Manager of Transformation at Mahou San Miguel, “BarLab Ventures allows us to unite two of our main commitments: to leverage the possibilities that technology offers in order to provide innovative solutions to new challenges of the beverage sector, as well as strengthening collaboration with other organizations to drive their transformation”. Miguel Ángel, also points out that “we are convinced that through this project we will be able to share with entrepreneurs a common perspective to make bars, restaurants, distributors and the rest of our value chain strengthen their collaboration towards generating wealth, based on aspects such as excellence, innovation, and sustainability”.

José Luis Cabañero, CEO and founder of Eatable Adventures, commented “we are delighted to launch this initiative hand in hand with Mahou San Miguel, a company that is clearly committed to innovation and entrepreneurship”. He also assures that “the beverage sector offers many opportunities for entrepreneurs and startups who seek to offer alternatives and innovative solutions to consumers, responding to the current reality but, above all, to the challenges of the future”.

 

Supporting entrepreneurs

The startups will have to present their innovative solutions in one of the following categories: innovative non-alcoholic alternatives, low alcoholic beverages (4º-7º), traditional categories reinvented, and beverages of the future.

Mahou San Miguel will offer the opportunity to develop a product test with its team of experts to accelerate the success of the winning proposals. In addition, the brewery will make available to the startups its distribution network, support in managing their territorial licenses, as well as in the field of financing, among other services.

ICEX Webinar – How is the Alternative Protein sector being disrupted in Spain?

Webinar by ICEX Spain Trade & Investment, with the global network of Economic & Commercial Offices of Spain

The innovative and accelerated era we are living in has challenged the food industry to evolve the way it has been operating up until now. Consumers’ interest in alternative protein is increasing globally. In order to take advantage of this opportunity, food industry players must understand the evolving market dynamics and place their bets on innovation.

Spain’s alternative protein industry has grown exponentially in the last few years, demonstrating both the potential of this new market and the challenges that need to be faced by this industry in the upcoming years. As of today, Spain has one of the most prolific ecosystems for foodtech entrepreneurship. The Spanish alternative protein companies saw investment figures rocket by 5,527% in 2021, raising 26 million euros, up from just 0,49 million euros in 2020.

New players in the ecosystem, including big companies, technology centers, and disruptive startups, have contributed to the growth of the plant-based market. Aside from plant-based solutions, fermentation, bioprinting, and cell cultivation technologies are capturing investors’ attention more and more, having a huge potential for innovation, and claiming a much larger share of investment than ever before.

Webinar ICEX

ICEX Spain Trade & Investment, together with the global network of Economic & Commercial Offices of Spain, will host a webinar on June 30, 2022 featuring five Spanish startups and one of the leading technological centers that are disrupting the food industry by using the most innovative technologies to create the foods of the future, in the most sustainable way.

This initiative seeks to strengthen the network of the Spanish foodtech industry, to showcase its successes and interesting projects, and to enhance collaboration.

To make sure you don’t miss out on this opportunity, ICEX is offering you two time slots options that may suit your schedule. 

Register for free in the 9AM CET slot here, and in the 6PM CET slot here.

Guest Speakers at the International Roundtable:

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Mylkcubator, the global incubation program for cellular agriculture technologies in the dairy industry, kicks off its second cohort

The incubator will help the selected startups in their business and R&D advancement strategies, preparing them for growth and investment rounds.

Pascual, a leading Spanish manufacturer of dairy products and beverages, has launched Mylkcubator 2.0, the second edition of the global incubation program for cellular agriculture technologies in the dairy industry. The initiative has been launched from the group’s Corporate Venture unit, Pascual Innoventures, in collaboration with Eatable Adventures, one of the top three global foodtech accelerators. The first edition of the program had recently been completed by four disruptive startups worldwide.

Mylkcubator 2.0 will last 6 months, from selection to the demo day. The goal is to enroll a new cohort of up to 5 startups or scientific projects, with innovative solutions in the cellular agriculture spectrum for the dairy industry within the following technologies: molecular farming, fermentation based, cell based, and applied technologies in this field. All the details about the program are available on the official website mylkcubator.com.

Pascual Innoventures has flexible venturing models that build, collaborate and support Foodtech startups in its early stages. The incubator will help the selected startups in their business and R&D advancement strategies, preparing them for growth and investment rounds.

In the words of Gabriel Pascual, director of Pascual Innoventures “The quality of the startups selected in the first edition has been amazing and shows us that this is, clearly, the way to go. The visibility of these projects as well as the investment rounds that they are receiving is a sign that the industry is prepared for this technological transition. Pascual has been a pioneer in shaping the path of innovation and non-conformism. An attitude that has been hatched generation after generation from my grandfather until our generation”.

On the other hand, José Luis Cabañero, CEO and founder of Eatable Adventures, has remarked “Mylkcubator has attracted the attention of companies, technology centers and professional investors from all over the world demonstrating that there is a great opportunity in the market to implement scalable technological solutions to future proof the dairy industry”. Proof of this is that investment in the dairy segment has tripled in 2021, compared with 2020, according to Dealroom data analyzed by Eatable Adventures.

The production of dairy products using cell cultures and fermentation techniques, that are complementary within the dairy industry, demonstrate industrial and commercial viability and presents a huge opportunity for the sector from both an economic and environmental point of view.

 

Mylkcubator website: mylkcubator.com

Cocuus

Spanish startup Cocuus raises €2,5M in Funding to scale its 3D bioprinting technology for the production of alternative proteins

This round was led by Big Idea Ventures, Cargill Ventures, Eatable Adventures and Tech Transfer Agrifood.

The Spanish startup Cocuus has raised 2,5 million euros in its Pre Series A funding round for its innovative process for producing plant or cell- based animal protein food analogs. The company achieved this round after completing Eatable Adventures acceleration program, one of the top three globalaccelerators for foodtech startups.

The round was led by Big Idea Ventures, the global alternative protein fund, the U.S. multinational Cargill Ventures, the Spanish accelerator Eatable Adventures and Tech Transfer Agrifood. With a capital injection of this size, the startup can scale its business model and expand into other international markets, enabling them to utilize their disruptive 3D bioprinting and robotics technologies to create more sustainable and nutritious food products.

Patxi Larumbe, CEO and founder of Cocuus states “We are very proud to have attracted the interest of international investors with this round of financing. Thanks to this capital injection we will be able to bring our technology within reach of corporations that want to print proteins on an industrial scale”. In addition, the Founder and Managing General Partner of Big Idea Ventures, Andrew D Ive, also highlights “At Big Idea Ventures, we invest in technology which impacts the alternative protein industry’s entire value chain. Cocuus’ technology addresses a major pain point of structured plant- and cell-based meat production methods scalability. We are thrilled to support this innovative team and we look forward to
seeing their scalable food technology making an impact across the world.”

On the other hand, José Luis Cabañero, CEO and founder of Eatable Adventures notes, “The Spanish foodtech startups’ ecosystem is consolidating very quickly, attracting major investors and international corporations. Through Eatable Adventures, we offer our services to startups and corporations around the globe to accelerate the process of transformation and innovation in the food value chain”.

As Cabañero points out, this current environmental and world population scenario calls for a rethinking of production methods to achieve a much more sustainable and efficient food system. According to FAO data, in 2050, in order to feed a population of 9.1 billion, food production will have to increase by 70% and meat production by more than 200 million tons.

Cocuus, along with MOA Foodtech, Proppos, H2hydroponics, and Innomy have been selected as finalists for the first edition of Spain Foodtech, the acceleration program of Eatable Adventures supported by the National Center for Technology and Food Safety (CNTA) and ICEX Spain Export and Investment.

Cocuus has been awarded by the international Quality Innovation Award (QIA) in the category of Innovation in Microenterprises and Startups, after winning the 2021 national award.

Food 4 Future – Foodtech World Summit in Bilbao

Food 4 Future

Food 4 Future– Expo FoodTech (#F4F2022) the international reference forum where food and beverage industry professionals learn about the latest trends, solutions, and technologies to optimize and innovate throughout the value chain, will take place from May 17 to 19 in Bilbao. 

This year, Food 4 Future celebrates its second edition which is expected to attract more than 7,000 congress participants and 253 exhibiting brands. A meeting point for innovation managers, IT managers, marketing managers, and CEOS of the food industry, emphasizes the major challenges of the industry: sustainability, food safety, and the digitization and automation of industrial production processes. 

Food 4 Future encourages the transfer of knowledge and experience among international professionals and experts, including renowned scientists and researchers, startups that are redesigning the food industry, top chefs, and representatives of the public administration. Food 4 Future, organized by NEBEXT and AZTI, has the support of the Basque Government, the City Council of Bilbao, the Provincial Council of Bizkaia, the BASQUE TRADE, ICEX, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of the Government of Spain; and the associations and collaborators that are leaders in this industry as HAZI, NEIKER, ELIKA, EIT Food, ILSI Europe, Food for Life, SPRI, Eatable Adventures, SanTelmo Business School or IASP (international association of science parks and innovation areas). 

Agenda

The congress will feature more than 70 sessions and vertical forums for each sector of the agri-food industry, which will focus the debate on the major challenges facing the industry, with special emphasis on the application of automation and robotics, the transition to the new Industry 4.0, and content related to sustainable and healthy food.

As strategic partners in this event, we would like to highlight that Eatable Adventures’ Ecosystem Manager & Innovation Consultant Paula Álvarez Ameijeiras will moderate a round table where leaders in the industry such as Anthony Finbow, CEO of Eagle Genomics, Charis Galanakis, R&I Director of Galanakis Laboratories & Mathew Gorton from New Castle Unversity will be discussing “R&I for sustainable and healthy food systems” on May 17th at 12.00h. 

Furthermore, Eatable Adventures’ ​​Managing Partner & Co-Founder Mila Valcárcel will be speaking in a session about “Building a strong global foodtech ecosystem from Spain” on May 18th at 12.45h. 

For more details about the Agenda of Food 4 Future Summit visit their webpage.

 

Mylkcubator’s First Demo Day Features Four Startups Developing The Dairy Of The Future Through Cellular Agriculture Technologies

demoday mylkcubator

The first edition of Mylkcubator, the incubation program launched by Pascual Innoventures in collaboration with Eatable Adventures, has held its eagerly anticipated Demo Day event showcasing the advances of the first cohort of startups, at its headquarters in Manoteras, Madrid.

The program not only showcased pioneering dairy projects around the world but also laid the foundation for a new path of development and innovation for the industry to face some of its greatest challenges.

As a culmination of the six-month incubation program, the participating startups presented their final pitches, paving the way for future funding rounds that will allow them to pursue their innovative development and research:  

  • De Novo Dairy, a startup based in South Africa with a mission to create the future of nutrition, the company uses precise fermentation technology to produce animal-free dairy proteins that provide the same sensory experience and nutrition as traditional dairy counterparts. De Novo Dairy is currently developing high-value proteins for the dairy industry.
  • Spanish startup Real Deal Milk develops casein and whey proteins through precision fermentation technologies with the same functional properties as traditional dairy components, with the aim to produce dairy substitutes equivalent to traditional dairy. 
  • Using bioengineering & microbial fermentation, Zero Cow Factory is reinventing dairy ingredients with India’s first milk and milk products (certainly the world’s first A2 milk protein) using bioengineering the microbes & microbial fermentation. The Zero Cow team is developing a proprietary technique to recreate milk proteins to develop real dairy products that are ethical, safe, delicious, and identical to cow milk.
  • Pure™ Mammary Factors based in the USA are accelerating the state of the art in cell-cultured dairy by crashing the cost of production by the development of growth factors used in culture media. The startup aims to make cell-cultured human milk affordable and accessible by selling food-grade off-the-shelf growth factors around the world.

Pascual Innoventures is committed to driving innovation to create a more sustainable future for all, anticipating the current trends that will shape the foods of the future. Due to the success of the first edition of Mylkcubator, Pascual Innoventures has already announced the call for the second edition of the program.

According to Sejal Ravji, director of Pascual Innoventures, “the success of the Mylkcubator Demo Day not only reaffirms the great response this program has had in the sector worldwide but also confirms what we at Innoventures already knew, in order to develop the dairy products of the future we have to continue to invest in transformational innovation and ambitious technological projects, as is the case with the four startups that have been working with us since the start of Mylkcubator six months ago”.

Furthermore, according to Jose Luis Cabañero, founder and CEO of Eatable Adventures, “In the coming years, we expect to see increased innovation in the alternative protein space, with breakthroughs in cellular agriculture and precision fermentation technologies. Mylkcubator is a pioneering global program that is and will continue to be at the forefront of developing the dairy of the future.”

Spain as a global benchmark in FoodTech during the I InnoDays Madrid

Singapore, Israel, and Madrid? FoodTech is gaining momentum in the city trying to become a global reference. Public administrations and private agents have aligned their interests to position the region in one of the sectors of the future. These intentions were evident during the first thematic session of the Innodays, a series of sectoral meetings to promote entrepreneurship in the field of innovation organized by the Madrid City Council, the Community of Madrid, and the Madrid Innovation Driven Ecosystem (MIDE).

Spain as a FoodTech Nation

Among all the guests at the first InnoDays, Eatable Adventures’ Managing Partner, Mila Valcárcel, brought up a relevant topic: the geopolitical changes (and the consequent scarcity of food or raw materials) that will act as accelerators of changes in the agri-food value chain with the incorporation of new technologies.

These changeovers are led by technologies such as robotics, fermentation, bioprinting, artificial intelligence, IoT, new ingredients, cellular technology, or innovations in packaging. “We like to talk about Spain as a FoodTech Nation, a country that is much more than gastronomy and a world power in the agri-food field,” Valcárcel detailed. In fact, 10% of the national GDP depends on these sectors.

 

Startups, the main drivers of the industry

More than 30,000 companies are engaged in agri-food in Spain. “The great challenge for the industry is digitization, technology must reach the whole system. We also need more innovative and sustainable value chains, as is the case in other sectors”. Despite everything, the Spanish FoodTech and AgroTech environments have gained dynamism at full speed, as evidenced by the 700 million in investment attracted by agri-food last year, almost triple compared to 2020.

In this ecosystem, startups are clearly in focus, they are companies that are developing and generating interesting movements at different levels. As for Madrid, there are 407 startups operating in the region, representing 25.29 % of the national total. “They are companies that touch the entire value chain, from production to logistics. Madrid can be the Silicon Valley of food, the key is to work together to achieve it,” assured Mila Valcárcel.

 

Madrid, the Silicon Valley of food

Madrid should have a global ambition regarding its positioning on the FoodTech board. “We should take advantage to change what doesn’t work. For example, technology transfer is fundamental but very complex in Spain. We must mix technology and science to generate ambitious startups capable of solving global challenges.”

At a time when supply chains are breaking down and food autarky is on the rise, Spain has scientific teams, first-rate facilities, and a testing ground, such as Madrid Food Innovation Hub, where everything can be tested. “Let’s develop technology, intellectual property, and a solid business model around food,” said Valcárcel.

 

Educating the consumer

Meanwhile, we need to educate consumers so that they are aware of and able to exploit the disruption.  “For starters, FoodTech will allow us to make food accessible to everyone. This doesn’t mean we’re going to stop having traditional livestock or crops. It means there will be many other ways of doing things in the face of a world population that is growing and demanding functional foods, proteins…”

“It is important to work with the citizen on issues of perception and valuation. Countries like Singapore do a great job of dissemination. In this way, the consumer understands that there is nothing wrong with consuming laboratory meat or lettuce harvested in a vertical garden”.

During its first day, InnoDays aimed to highlight the needs of the entrepreneurial ecosystem and generate synergies between it. Watch the recorded session here.

Baking the Future closes successfully its first edition and opens its doors to new startups with revolutionary ideas

The first edition of our acceleration program Baking the Future, came to an end yesterday with the celebration of the “Demo Day”, a virtual event that aimed to present the projects of the three accelerated startups and communicate the opening of a second edition.

Innovation is part of our DNA. The company itself was born from an idea that revolutionized the bakery sector and since then, Europastry has always sought to be at the forefront of the sector, anticipating new trends and offering its
customers the most disruptive products. “If you stop innovating you end up losing competitiveness and capacity for growth. That is why it is very important to keep reinventing yourself and never think that what you have is for life“, said Jordi Gallés.

The Baking the Future acceleration program plays a very important role in this constant renewal. Startups help us to innovate and open up new opportunities that allow us to take our products to the next dimension, while at the same time we provide them with all of Europastry’s muscle so that they can grow and develop their projects with the greatest possible resources.

Baking the Future

“CEREAL DEMO DAY”

The celebration of the “Demo Day” took place at Cereal, Europastry’s Innovation Center, where the first idea was born and where today we continue to work with great passion to bring to market the best products in the sector. To conclude the first edition of the Baking the Future program, the three accelerated startups presented their projects whose drivers are sustainability and health:

Agrain

  • The Chilean startup Done Properly with its cutting-edge technology which, through a bioprocess of fermentations, manages to reduce the amount of salt enhancing the natural flavors of food.
  • The Danish startup Agrain with its new way of producing food by recycling grains used in the brewing industry.
  • Spanish startup Bread Free, is the world’s first company capable of creating gluten-free wheat flour to make bread, pasta, and other bakery products.

 

BAKING THE FUTURE OPENS A NEW SELECTION PROCESS

Building an open innovation model for Europastry is the goal of the Baking the Future program. For this reason, we are opening a new selection process for Those startups that want to revolutionize the bakery sector with projects related to sustainability, improving the consumer experience, health, and food solutions and technologies aimed at improving production without losing sight of the quality of the products.

Starting today, those interested in being part of the project can apply on the Baking the Future website. Selected startups will have access to all the company’s resources – from mentoring sessions, workspace, and access to Cereal’s state-of-the-art technology labs to business plan design – to develop their products and test their viability in the market.

Meet the EAA Alumni: MOA Foodtech

MOA Foodtech is a Spanish startup that combines biotechnology and artificial intelligence to transform waste and by-products from the agri-food industry into a 100% sustainable ‘‘new generation protein” of high nutritional value.  Their goal is to implement new technologies that promote a fairer, more compassionate, and more sustainable food system while still being appealing to consumers.

We had the opportunity to interview Bosco Emparanza García, CEO and founder of MOA Foodtech, one year after going through our Accelerator Program. Discover what this meant to them, the advice he still retains, and how he sees MOA Foodtech in the future.

 

How did the idea of founding a company as MOA Foodtech arise? What is the main goal of the company?

The world is currently in a critical environmental situation. By 2050, agriculture will need to feed 40% more people, produce 70% more food, using only 10% more land.
The whole MOA team was concerned about the situation and the huge impact the agri-food industry has. For this reason, the three founding partners, Susana, José María, and I, made this decision to leave our jobs as scientific directors in a biopharmaceutical, M&A, and commercial company, respectively. As a step towards developing a sustainable agriculture-food model, we set out to investigate the following: Can we use waste and by-products from the agri-food industry to produce high-value food using biotechnology?

 

What were the benefits of working with Eatable Adventures in your first steps until the business was consolidated?

The beginning of our journey was a time of uncertainty. That same year was the confinement, and we found ourselves leaving our jobs. At that point, the Eatable Adventures team came on board; they believed in the project and shared our ambition. The solution we wanted had to be global, and thanks to Eatable’s way of working and networking, we were able to start a global project. As time passed, the most rewarding and intense hours of the week were our meetings with Mila and José Luis, when we wrote down our plans to overcome the next hurdle, and we did.

 

What is the most valuable piece of advice José Luis has given you in our Acceleration Program?

Having spent so many hours working together, it is impossible to choose just one. But without a doubt, there have been two in particular that made us change our approach and begin to see things more clearly.

The first, and undoubtedly essential, was that we had to seek international investment. This was the best way to position ourselves as a credible project and thus begin to grow.
And the second was to consider what we really were. Instead of thinking, we were just a protein manufacturer, we had to think of ourselves as a platform.

 

What is in the near future for MOA Foodtech and where do you aspire to go in the long term?

Our goal is to be a global project, so we are scaling the technology to an industrial level and developing solutions focusing on the Asian (where protein consumption will grow the most), European and American markets. In addition, we are working on applications not only in meat analogs but also in snacks and dairy analogs. We are also developing new processes utilizing by-products and residues, and perhaps most importantly, we’ve developed an artificial intelligence tool that helps us develop all of the above more efficiently and quickly.

Check out our other Alumni Interviews here.