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Belgian food technology start-up Paleo has announced that it has raised â¬ 2 million as part of a seed funding round. Specializing in the development of precision fermentation proteins, Paleo has allocated funds to research and develop new products and to design future facilities. A planned series A financing round of 40 million euros will finance the construction of an R&D center, a pilot plant and an experience center.
In collaboration with the Belgian university KU Leuven, the startup Paleo is studying which proteins give meat and fish their unique qualities. So far, six have been identified and reproduced by precision fermentation. 2022 will see the company accelerate its development, thanks to a funding round of 2 million euros raised by private investors. Bringing protein to the commercial level is the next goal, so that it can be added to alternatives to meat and fish. This will create a more authentic mouthfeel and flavor, while improving nutritional values.
Change the world
Paleo is a response to the continuous and unsustainable increase in animal consumption. âWe are motivated by ethical concerns. Proteins from meat and fish, as they are produced today, have a huge impact on animals and ecosystems. And that is not improving: global animal consumption continues to increase. We are developing food technology to produce meat and fish proteins sustainably and without animals. Values ââand technology can change the world, âHermes Sanctorum, co-founder and CEO, said in a statement.
The company is explicit in its goals, stating that it “creates the ultimate meat and fish experience, without harming the animals.” As a result, private investors have engaged through technological enthusiasm and shared views on the future of food production. âIt’s encouraging to see that there is so much interest in what Paleo is developing. European and American investors are contacting us in order to accelerate our R&D. It shows that there is room for positive change in the food industry, âsaid Andy de Jong, co-founder and COO of Paleo.
Precision fermentation under the microscope
While cultured meat is a big talking point, the third pillar of precision fermentation alternative proteins is causing a wave of change that is rapidly gaining momentum. Paleo claims to be the European pioneer in precision fermentation for meat and fish proteins, although the company notes that there are other innovators around the world. There are also more than a handful of meat-focused fermentation startups in Europe, such as Dutch startup The Protein Brewery and German Mushlabs.
A report from the Boston Consulting Group in March of this year found that by 2035, 1 in 10 servings of meat, eggs, and dairy will potentially have been created using alternative proteins. He went on to predict that with financial incentives in place for farmers keen to switch from traditional animal farming, consumption of alternative proteins could be increased to 22% in the same year. This represents a market share of $ 290 billion.
Precision fermentation is already creating success. Perfect Day, the San Francisco food tech, recently announced the development of an animal-free whey protein powder. It comes after Starbucks revealed it will be adding the company’s alternative milk to its menu in some places.
In the meat industry, precision fermentation and cellular agriculture are brought together for the first time. Australian food techs Vow and Nourish Ingredients are working together to make meat better than the conventional option and see their partnership as the inevitable future of the industry.
Main image courtesy of Paleo.