Pascual Innoventures announces 2022 Mylkcubator’s cohort to develop the milk of the future

With just one year of operations, Pascual Innoventures, founded in 2021 to promote the food of the future, has already made its first significant capital investment demonstrating its clear commitment to innovation and fulfilling its goal to help to develop the milk of the future. Specifically, it has invested in De Novo Dairy and Zero Cow Factory, two of the four startups that were part of the first cohort of Mylkcubator, the first incubator in the world specialized in the development of innovation projects for the dairy sector, launched by Pascual Innoventures in partnership with Eatable Adventures.

De Novo Dairy and Zero Cow Factory, highly innovative, are specialized in the development of cellular agriculture and precision fermentation technologies, a segment currently gaining traction in the dairy sector. These technologies, capable of directly producing nutrients and ingredients for the dairy industry through microorganisms, sum up and complement the traditional industry, helping industry players move towards increasingly sustainable, efficient, and healthy mixed production models that ensure food security for everyone. 

Investment to address disruptive projects worldwide

De Novo Dairy, based in South Africa, is focused on developing precision fermentation technologies to create alternative proteins (Lactoferrin) that can reproduce the same nutritional profiles and sensory experiences as their dairy analogs. Zero Cow Factory, of Indian origin, seeks to complement the traditional dairy industry by producing the first milk and dairy products using bioengineering and microbial fermentation.

Through these investments, says Gabriel Torres, director of Pascual Innoventures, “We intend to strengthen collaboration agreements to launch new products with novel and expanded functionality, which improve the quality of life of our consumers and allow us to enter new markets. Together with De Novo Dairy, we will explore the production of Lactoferrin, a high-value protein, essential in the development of babies and a strengthener of the immune system. Together with Zero Cow, we will work on the synthesis of Casein, a milk protein vital to achieve a good flavor and texture of non-animal origin cheeses or yogurt “.

Cell cultures and precision fermentation techniques are starting to demonstrate industrial viability, as evidenced by the growth of investment in this sector (currently more than 200 investors are identified) and the emergence of new startups using these technologies as a base, whose total business value now exceeds $5.316 million, according to Dealroom data.

In short, this is a sector whose ecosystem is evolving rapidly and generating significant investment traction, both globally and locally. This is supported by the numbers, with investment in dairy alternatives that tripled in 2021 compared to the previous year, from US$194 million to US$605 million.

2nd edition of Mylkcubator: meeting the global challenges of today and tomorrow

Today more than ever, the current global socioeconomic context highlights the present and future challenges that the agri-food industry will have to face. Among them, is being able to develop and apply sustainable and efficient food production models that allow feeding a world population that just in November already reached 8 billion people. To this end, the promotion, development, and application of new technologies complementary to the traditional sector will play a fundamental role.

In this context, Pascual Innoventures and Eatable Adventures, aware of the need for action, have launched Mylkcubator 2.0, the second edition of this pioneering program worldwide.

At Pascual Innoventures we are convinced that only through innovation and commitment to disruptive food technologies we will be able to meet the current challenges facing not only the agri-food sector but also the global socioeconomic sector as a whole. Thanks to initiatives like Mylkcubator, we will be able to evolve towards an efficient and sustainable mixed production system that improves the lives of people, animals, and the planet“, said Gabriel Torres.

Itziar Ortega, VP of Global Operations at Eatable Adventures, adds that “the collaboration of such relevant and committed players as Eatable Adventures and Pascual Innoventures has allowed us to be pioneers and one step ahead. We are sure that in the next few years, these technologies will be consolidated and that Spain will undoubtedly continue to set historic milestones, among other things, thanks to the innovation of unique programs in the world such as Mylkcubator, which drives the innovation ecosystem on a global scale”.

THE MYLKCUBATOR 2.0 PICKS

Maolac is an Israeli startup specializing in the research of biofunctional ingredients to create precision proteins with high nutritional capacity, inspired by milking milk. Its main goal is to apply this technology to improve the health and well-being of both humans and domestic animals.

Portuguese startup PFx Biotech focuses on commercializing bioactive and functional human milk proteins as alternative protein ingredients for use in pediatric and advanced nutrition. They use a high-tech precision fermentation process to ensure the well-being of people and care for the planet

Miruku from New Zealand is a leader in the emerging molecular farming sector. Its mission is to provide sustainable, nutritious, and cost-effective dairy products by applying molecular farming technologies to program plant cells and produce proteins and fats suitable for the creation of plant-based dairy products.

ERGO Bioscience, an Argentine startup focused on the development of complex animal proteins, has succeeded in developing an innovative process to create alternative foods of plant origin. Its goal is to achieve products organoleptically identical to those of animal origin. Among its portfolio of proteins are Alfa-S1 and Kappa caseins, for dairy applications of plant origin, and myoglobin for meat applications of plant origin.

Nutropy is a French startup dedicated to the production of dairy ingredients by feeding the yeast with sugars, minerals, and vitamins. These ingredients are identical to those produced by cows and make it possible to develop alternatives to dairy products without quitting the original taste.

Webinar ICEX

Webinar: New ingredients- shaping the future of food from Spain

WEBINAR

25/10/2022. Online 

Free entry, registration required. 

9:00AM CET

18:00PM  CET

 

ICEX Spain Trade & Investment is hosting a webinar on “New ingredients: shaping the future of food from Spain” 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.

WHY PARTICIPATE

Today, technology in the food industry is an essential part of food production processes. As food is becoming more wellness-oriented, consumers are increasingly opting for foods and beverages that, in addition to providing satisfaction and pleasure in eating, also offer health functions or benefits. To meet this demand, entrepreneurs and large industries are in the need of innovating and producing certain functional foods, and in some cases introducing new ingredients to the market which have specific health attributes through new technologies such as cellular agriculture, fermentation and artificial intelligence.

This initiative aims to strengthen the network of the Spanish foodtech industry, to showcase it to the world, and highlight success stories and interesting projects from other countries to enhance collaboration.

AGENDA

Where Via online
When To ensure that you do not miss this chance to learn more about the Spanish food tech ecosystem, we are offering you two time slots at 9AM and 6PM CET.

9.00AM CET Webinar #1: Shaping the future of food from Spain

18.00PM CET Webinar #2: Shaping the future of food from Spain

Registration Registration is completely free. Please register at the following link:

9.00 AM CET: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_6LQmKDQjQiSOS-abCzoKog

18.00PM CET: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_-PexbwSjTiGcQN6paT8l_A

SPEAKERS

Bread Free

Daniel Gomez Bravo, CEO – Bread Free  

Bread Free:  Bread free is a startup formed by young entrepreneurs who, through an innovative process, have managed to process cereals with gluten to separate this component from the rest of the food so that it can be consumed by people with celiac disease. 

Bio:  Daniel Gómez-Bravo is the CEO and technology developer of BREAD FREE S.L. He is a graduate in Biotechnology, Master in Health Information Engineering, and has experience in Research Centers such as the Center for Plant Biotechnology and Genomics. Daniel is fully involved in the use of Biotechnology to solve a real problem in the market, and a primary need of the gluten-free population. He has an economic, business and legal background backed by his training at the European Business and Innovation Center of Navarra (CEIN). With international prospection, he seeks to direct the company’s technology towards foreign markets, and thus be able to help as many people as possible.

 

The Good Cubes

Manuel Diez de Oñate De Toro, CEO – The Good Cubes (Origin Algae

Origin Algae: With the help of technology, Origin Algae provide the means and resources necessary to start producing spirulina, or to optimize your crops in an intelligent way.

Bio: Manuel graduated in industrial engineering at the University of Seville, where he began his career in the algae sector working in a spin-off of the university where he studied processes to make the production of algae more efficient in a sustainable way. After working for this company and for the Air Force as an intern in the Quality Department, he decided to take the leap to Sweden to study a master’s degree in business and entrepreneurship. At the end of this process, Manuel had already begun to undertake projects in real estate and music, but it was from the end of 2021 when he decided to undertake his current project focused on food based on algae for human consumption, Origin Algae (The Good Cubes).

Ingredalia

Miguel Ángel Cubero Márquez, CEO – Ingredalia 

Ingredalia develops and produce natural functional ingredients from plant by-products of agri-food companies for use in the food, cosmetic, nutraceutical and pet industries. With sustainability and circular economy as the cornerstones of our activity, Ingredalia obtain, natural functional ingredients, extracts, and healthy additives. 

Bio: He has developed his professional career as a technician, advancing from the position of laboratory manager to R&D Director at Indulleida for more than 10 years. He has been part of the Technical Management and held other management positions in other companies, such as aroma companies and other food industries; he has also been working as an associate professor at the University of Lleida, as well as visiting professor from 2008 to the present. He has developed and led various R&D projects, directing the creation of new lines and following the industrial development of the companies in which he has worked. Therefore, he has extensive experience in moving from an R&D project to an industrial reality. He has been the full-time General Director of the company since February 2020, assuming full responsibility for the fulfillment of the business plan. 

Sanygran

Roselyne Chane, Director – Sanygran 

Sanygran produce extruded food based on legumes and cereals, highlighting their nutritional and environmental benefits. Their vegetable protein has now become the basis of all our products due to its protein content, source of fiber, low level of saturated fats, as well as being gluten and lactose-free and manufactured in Spain. All this, without forgetting the positive impact it has on our health and that of the environment, by using less water resources than animal protein and reducing greenhouse gases from livestock farming, while promoting biodiversity and animal subsistence.

Bio: With +18 years of managing experience In Sales, Marketing, Innovation and Business development in the Food industry, Roselyne is now the Managing Director of Alimentos Sanygran, a Spanish Vegtech company specialized in plant-based foods and ingredients.

She believes in spending her time, energy and money in projects that impact positively on the planet and its people and this is why she also invests in foodtech, biotech and renewable energy companies.

Tebrio

Adriana Casillas, CEO – TEBRIO 

Tebrio: Spanish biotechnology company that is building an 80.000 square meter insect farm – the largest of its kind in the world, which, in line with our pilot operations, will breed and transform mealworms into 3 main co-products: (i) amino rich, sustainable premium protein for petfood, fishmeal and animal feed, (ii) tech powered biofertilizer for plant nutrition and (iii) chitosan for biodegradable plastic manufacturing. 

Bio: Adriana Casillas is CEO and Co-Funder of Tebrio. During her professional life, she has developed successfully different technological projects both in USA and Spain, related to industries such as art or food. She is also actively involved in interactions with the European Commission, EFSA and other European stakeholders for the development of the insect industry in Europe through her position as President of IPIFF, the International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed, based in Brussels. Adriana  holds a Bachelor’s degree in classical and contemporary music, MBA and Executive Master in Agri-Food Business Management from ESMUC, Johns Hopkins University and the IME Business School of the University of Salamanca, respectively.

AZTI

Carolina Najar, Food Market Director – AZTI

Azti conducts strategic and applied research in an international context, providing comprehensive and innovative solutions to its clients. AZTI’s mission is to transform science into sustainable and healthy development for present and future societies.

Bio Entrepreneur and business woman specialized in food industry and gastronomy of the national, European, and latinoamerican markets. She has experience in the GMCP (Gross Market Consumption Products) sector, where she has held different positions within the management team in the commercial and marketing areas. Foodtech investor. Teacher at Cámarabilbao University Business School. Founder of Baiba, a consultancy specialized in food, mentor al EIT Food and other incubation and acceleration programs. Since 2021 she is the director of food market at the technological center AZTI. 

 

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FONDO EUROPEO DE DESARROLLO REGIONAL (FEDER).                                      A way of making Europe
This service/activity is eligible for co-financing from Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional (FEDER)

 

micelio

Mycelium: The super ingredient of the food industry

One of the great wonders in nature is also one of the most unnoticed. Under the ground, regardless where you are there’s a large network of filaments that branch out and unify all the organic matter that surrounds them called mycelium. Its total length in the upper 10 cm of the ground has been estimated to be more than 450 quadrillion km.

What is the importance of mycelium?

Generally, it is in charge of decomposition and symbiosis. It absorbs organic matter avoiding its accumulation on the ground. Moreover, plants carry 70% of the carbon from the CO2 that photosynthesize underground where they exchange it for nutrients with the mycelium through their root system and this carbon is stored in the cell membranes of the fungi. This way it feeds the microbial community and all parts of the food chain like mites or nematodes that recycle nutrients through this food process. 

Fungi are key to stabilizing carbon in the soil hence it remains stored. 

Mycelium, apart from all its natural qualities, can grow rapidly in the ground and in a laboratory through a process that uses little electricity, is safe and, despite being light, is very resistant. Additionally, it is a temperature insulator, has absorbent properties, and is bio-compostable. 

Once mycelium is produced, is usually treated and dehydrated to improve its density, strength, elasticity, and texture.

Mycelium in the food industry 

innomy burgers

Focusing on the food tech industry, protein-based fungi, in other words, mycelium, seems to be reaching a popular plant and cell-based solution. The world’s first large-scale mycoprotein facility was announced in May 2020 and the food tech mushroom protein market is expected to grow 12% between 2019 and 2027 

Mycelium is nowadays normally used in protein-based alternatives, (plant-based) due to its high nutritional protein content and its fibrous appearance that characterizes meat. 

Using technologies such as fermentation, more specifically biomass fermentation due to the capacity of its microorganisms to multiply rapidly and efficiently, the mycelium grows to one of the highest levels, doubling its weight in just a few hours. 

Biomass fermentation takes advantage of rapid growth and high content in the protein of many microorganisms to efficiently produce a high amount of proteins. Biomass can be the principal ingredient of a food product or service as one of the main ingredients of a mixture. 

For example, the Spanish company Innomy uses mycelium combined with precision fermentation technology to create complex structures that reproduce the tender and fibrous consistency of meat. The company modifies shape, color, and flavor in the stringy structures of mycelial arrays to elaborate meat-flavored products. 

Furthermore, we have Libre Foods, a startup based in Barcelona whose mission is to liberate the food system through nutritious and sustainable products grown from mycelium. The first product o the company is a mycelium-based beef fillet followed by a line of red meats, poultry, and seafood. Libre Foods recently presented a mushroom-based bacon product created with fermentation (precision) technology. 

If you want to know about more disruptive projects on this topic, visit our article about 6 startups using mushrooms in food tech. 

Pink Albatross

Pink Albatross, Interview with Co-Founder, Pepe Biaggio

We know that behind every startup there is a mission to accomplish and we would like to know a little more about what is behind Pink Albatross.

1. Tell us briefly what Pink Albatross is. Describe the main milestones throughout your development.

In Pink Albatross we make delicious, indulgent ice cream, with plant-based ingredients, so natural you can even draw them. With no additives, no ultra-processed, no shortcuts. Gluten-free. Creamy, tasty, and suitable for all consumers.
For those with a demanding palate and who are conscious consumers, those who can’t eat ice cream because of diet restrictions (lactose intolerance, vegans, celiacs), or consumers concerned for the environment and animal rights.

Milestones:

  • 2018:
    • Pink Albatross is born
  • 2019:
    • launching the product with 5 flavors
  • 2020:
    • product reformulation, channel goal focus
  • 2021:
    • 5 new flavors
    • we arrive at SPAR in the Canary Islands, to Ametller, and to Getir
    • rebranding
    • we arrive in Portugal and the Philippines
  • 2022:
    • we arrive at Glovo
    • we arrive Carrefour, La Sirena, El Corte Inglés and Costco,
    • Pink Albatross arrives in Germany, The Netherlands, and Greece
    • new format 90 ml
    • winners of the Carrefour Plant-Based Contest and 2 Great Taste Awards
    • we multiply our sales by 3 compared to last year

2. ¿ What were the main difficulties or barriers that you found along the way to moving forward with this business? How did you go through with it?

We had to overcome 4 difficulties:

  1. Good product. The hard part was that the product was an ice cream ‘without being it’ not using the traditional processes and ingredients. Creating a plant-based ice cream wasn’t hard, what was difficult was achieving the texture and flavor, also doing it only using natural ingredients, clean label processes, and for it to have a reasonably useful life to work in a supermarket or convenience store. It’s hard to find providers with clean-label products and find a formula that guarantees optimal flavor and texture. But in addition, the revolution is that there’s no resignation: everyone at home likes it because of several reasons, it’s good, it doesn’t make you feel bad (even if you are lactose intolerant for example) and its sustainable with the environment (comparing it to a dairy-based ice cream).
  2. A good product does not guarantee anything but it’s a good start! It must be combined with a brand that connects with consumers and is creative and attractive. Especially in a saturated market. There’s a huge amount of work to do in brand awareness and brand affinity. Network, special campaigns, contests, media, communications…
  3. All of this, mixed with a good distribution: when you are small company, the market doesn’t trust you. The shelves are small, so filling them with a product without knowing whether it will work is difficult. It takes a while and a big effort to get support from the market and merchants.
  4. To do all this you need people. People who are in love with the project, who believe in what they’re trying to achieve, who want to change things, who are involved, and that have initiative and desire. Because there is a lot of work
    and many hours to be able to do everything we said.

3. Taking into account the importance of ecosystems to be able to develop innovation, how would you describe the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Spain? What advantages and disadvantages do you see in this ecosystem?

As time passes, Spain’s entrepreneurial ecosystem grows, different organizations and funds make mentors, advisors, and consolidated players with great experience and knowledge available to startups. The key points to learn to analyze certain metrics better and learn to pay attention to those aspects that allow you to grow faster, stronger, and in a sustainable way.
There is more and more development in the food world. Cases of success like Komvida or Smileat help us understand some paths that can be followed. I think what is truly beautiful about entrepreneurship and the startup ecosystem is that everyone wants to help each other, we work together to make this change happen. Nevertheless, there is still a lot of room for improvement. A great percentage of startups born in Spain never get to consolidate. Additionally, moving to other locations is not easy and there is little knowledge about internationalization. For this is necessary to go to international accelerators and funds that help you to strengthen the business.

4. What opportunities for improvement do you think can come up?

A clear one is that there is little interaction between startups of different sizes and experiences. Learning from the more advanced ones is far more helpful than talking to an expert since they live the business as you do, inspiring you to help those who are behind you with pleasure (pay it forward).

We have created a small group and we try to meet and catch up every now and then, grab dinner, and talk. We also take the role of psychologists; being an entrepreneur is problematic on a personal, familiar, and financial level. Talking with people who are
walking your same path helps you not to feel that lonely and to support each other.

5. Do you think it has changed in the last few years?

Without a doubt! A few years ago communication was not encouraged. Accelerators like Eatable Adventures or Lanzadera help to build and promote this ecosystem of positive feedback. Spain, with its culinary culture, still can be more of a benchmark at a
European level for new trends in food. In addition, I think there’s still methodology missing, understanding the tools and using them to improve the productivity of each person working in a startup. There is still lots of work to uplift courage and desire to learn from new generations so that they want to start a business, and know what to do to raise it from the ground up and the sacrifice it takes.

6. In the past few years, we heard the word AgriFoodTech as the revolution of the food industry. Let’s talk about what this word means to you. How would you define it?

It’s exactly that, the revolution of the food industry. What is missing is, for what purpose? The basis for my decision is either the sustainability factor or inclusivity of the proposal at the consumer level (allergies, etc.) or the minimization or elimination of exploitation of living beings (animals, humans). For us to do something without any further objective simply because it’s more profitable is not AgriFoodTech.

7. Do you think its development can change the Spanish food industry? How so?

Without doubt. We want to eliminate dairy from the ice cream world. There is no need to use it and exploit animals. Without products, we can improve the digestion of many people and at the same time make less environmental impact. This is achieved first with a TOP product, then communicating the benefits, making people try it, and when they try it wanting to repeat it.

8. What do you think should be the fundamental support for this to happen?

There is a lot that can be done:

  • Access to short-term financing lines to finance working capital. In food industries there is more or less seasonality but there is a need to buy stock (raw materials and finished product), hold it for a period of time and then, when selling it, wait a few months to get paid. This can be a process of 2 to 6 months. Today it is financed with investors, so both they and the founders lose part of our stake in the company when we finance working capital with long-term investors who enter the capital.
  • Personnel: having greater support for hiring by supporting the hiring of employees in startups, for example with lower social security contributions or lower personal income tax. If we grow and incorporate more personnel, we are creating wealth. We need something that encourages hiring and that does not cost so much. In this way we encourage both that a person wants to work in a startup and also to be able to hire more and better people.
  • R&D&I projects: the current existing lines are restrictive, support large investments and are designed more for SMEs than for startups.
  • Promote, on the part of public entities, certain basic objectives as a society to which the distribution channels must subscribe (so that there is a real impact). For example, sustainability objectives that are so important for the subsistence of the planet and the species itself, in addition to the diversity of flora and fauna that we are destroying.
  • Facilitate entrepreneurship with less onerous regimes than the existing self-employed. And that, therefore, it is attractive to undertake.

 

Innomy raises €1.3 million in funding, thanks to its alternative proteins based on mushrooms

The Spanish startup Innomy has raised 1,3 million euros in its Pre Series A funding round. The round was led by international investors as Corporación Cervino, Rockstart, Zubi Capital, Eatable Adventures and the National Center for Technology and Food Safety (CNTA), who have taken equity stakes in the company to scale the startup’s disruptive technology and promote a much more sustainable and healthier protein consumption alternative in other markets.

The leading Argentinian team, composed by CEO and co-founder Juan Pablo de Giacomi, biotechnologist COO and co-founder Pablo Sánchez Rey, and mycologist CSO and Technology Partner Francisco Kuhar, has dedicated years of research to the properties of mushroom-based proteins and their benefits for the health of people and the planet.

Innomy is the third foodtech Spanish startup announcing its first funding round after successfully completing the acceleration program Spain Foodtech developed by Eatable Adventures, in collaboration with ICEX Spain Export and Investment and the National Center for Technology and Food Safety (CNTA) and the Rockstart AgriFood program. Disruptive startups Cocuus and Moa Foodtech were also selected in Spain Foodtech program.

Juan Pablo de Giacomi, CEO and founder of Innomy states “We were born as a platform to channel many years of research in the field of the properties of edible mushrooms. Our mission is to respond to consumers that demand good food products for their health but also for the planet’s wellbeing. We want to reach new markets and bring our product to thousands of people”.

Mycelium, a filamentous, protein-rich ingredient extracted from the root structure of mushrooms is considered to be one of the most promising sources of protein for the future. Its quality in terms of nutrition was recognized by scientists a long time ago, but its current production for human consumption is not yet widespread. Furthermore, the fact that fungi do not produce cholesterol or significant amounts of saturated fats has redirected the attention of the food industry towards them.

On the other hand, José Luis Cabañero, CEO and founder of Eatable Adventures notes “We are very proud to be part of this new milestone that consolidates the leadership of the Spanish foodtech ecosystem. In the last few months, we have managed to raise Funding rounds of an average of 1.8M for three of the startups that have been selected in our acceleration program. We continue to bet on disruptive technologies that impact the way food is produced and consumed, ensuring food safety for all”.

Mark Durno, Managing Partner AgriFood of Rockstart said: “At Rockstart, purpose driven and determined founders are central to our investment selection. In the case of Innomy, the founding team is composed of specialists in mycelium and have all shown amazing commercial insight and humble curiosity during the mentor sessions throughout our accelerator program. We are delighted to make our second investment in the company.”

“With the entry into the capital we formalize the collaboration we have maintained in recent years to develop Innomy’s proprietary technology. And now, with this financial injection, it will be possible to bring this technology to the market and continue contributing to transforming the future of food to make it healthier, more sustainable, safer and available to everyone,” said Héctor Barbarin, CEO of CNTA.

In the context of the current global environmental and demographic challenges, meat alternatives, such as mycelium, are an effective solution to reduce meat production effects, which are responsible for almost 60% of all greenhouse gasses generated by food production, according to FAO data.

Innomy has been awarded in the fourth edition of the ‘Ingenia Startup Awards’, promoted by the Spanish Federation of Food and Beverage Industries (FIAB), the Technology Platform Food for LifeSpain (PTF4LS) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA). In addition, it has been a finalist in the Foodtech Heroes 2022 in the F&A category and has been chosen as one of the top 15 foodtech startups according to El Referente.

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.