ICL Food Specialties has partnered with Protera Biosciences, an AI-driven food tech start-up, to develop functional, clean label proteins for food manufacturers.
The partnership follows ICL’s 2021 investment in Protera via its ICL Planet Startup Hub, which is the vehicle used by ICL to invest in and collaborate with innovative companies in food tech and agri-tech globally.
ICL and Protera plan to develop and commercialise sustainable protein-based ingredients using precision fermentation. The ingredients will address current market demands and offer a replacement for chemical additives. The partnership also hopes to improve the sensory properties of plant-based food applications.
Protera is creating impact through Madi, a deep-learning platform that can predict and match the structure and functionality of vegetable proteins. It designs proteins from a database of more than 1.5 billion edible protein sequences and applies precise fermentation parameters for producing them. The results address consumer demand for a shorter list of simple ingredients on food labels.
Its new platform encourages the discovery of untapped plant-based proteins with high performance. Both companies say the development and production of plant protein make the replacement of animal proteins easier and reduce pollutants such as methane and carbon dioxide.
Hadar Sutovsky, ICL vice president of External Innovation and general manager of ICL Planet said: “Thanks to this collaboration, we can offer novel ingredients via breakthrough technology currently not available in the market. Once these functional ingredients are launched, food manufacturers will be able to speed up development of clean label and sustainable plant-based products.”
Leonardo Alvarez, founder and CEO of Protera added: “We are excited about this collaboration with ICL Food Specialties to bring new proteins to market. Combining the forces of our two companies will dramatically accelerate our vision of using biology to create protein-based ingredients. We already are validating functional targets in the lab, with unprecedented speed and accuracy.”
ICL and Protera’s research teams have begun working on the development of protein-based ingredients, with hopes to scale up production once the ingredients are ready for commercialisation.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
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