Corporate Profiles - 2021 - 54

INDUSTRY REVIEW: TREND OF THE YEAR
The future of food
Ten technology trailblazers transforming the industry
T
he pandemic accelerated efforts by food technology companies to develop disruptive solutions to address pressing health and environmental challenges. A
number of well-funded startups are tackling some of the factors resulting in the warming planet while delivering nutritious solutions to the marketplace.
Concepts generating increasing attention include cell-based meat production, precision fermentation, natural coatings that extend produce shelf life,
upcycled ingredients and more. These technologies will all be part of future food innovation in a world challenged with feeding nearly 10 billion people by 2050
without putting additional strains on global land and water supplies or further fueling climate change.
AIR PROTEIN
APEEL SCIENCES
Air Protein, Pleasanton, Calif., uses a proprietary probiotic process that transforms
the basic elements found in air, including carbon dioxide, oxygen and
nitrogen, plus renewable energy, mineral nutrients and water, into protein that
may be used to make meatless burgers, protein-enriched pasta, cereal, beverages
and more.
Air-based meat has nine essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals. It is
free of pesticides, herbicides, hormones and antibiotics.
In January, the company closed a $32 million Series A funding round led
by ADM Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Chicago-based ADM.
Air Protein planned to use the proceeds to launch a research and development
lab, accelerate product development and commercialization and build its team.
Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Apeel Sciences has raised more than $635 million,
including $250 million in Series E funding in August, to develop and scale
a plant-based coating that when applied to fresh produce extends shelf life.
Apeel's product works by adding a layer to the surface of fresh produce that
slows water loss and oxidation. The company has said, on average, US retailers
that use Apeel have experienced a 50% reduction in shrink, a 5% to 10%
growth in dollar sales, and an incremental 10% growth in dollar sales when
sold in conjunction with in-store marketing campaigns.
" The pandemic has completely shaken up food retail: People are increasingly
buying their fresh produce online, while simultaneously expecting the best in
terms of quality and sustainability, " said James Rogers, chief executive officer
of Apeel. " We'll use our latest funding to help our supplier and retailer partners
offer a differentiated experience to their shoppers: high-quality produce that's
less likely to go to waste at home. "
ALEPH FARMS
Israeli startup Aleph Farms, Ltd. grows steaks directly from animal cells. In
July, the company raised $105 million in a Series B funding round, bringing its
total funding to more than $118 million.
The company planned to use the funds to execute its plans for large-scale
global commercialization of cultivated beef steaks. Near-term milestones include
scaling up manufacturing, growing operations internationally and expanding
product lines and technology ahead of an initial market launch in 2022. Aleph
Farms said it was working with regulatory agencies on its plans for market entry.
54 \ October 2021
CLARA FOODS
Clara Foods, San Francisco, has created an animal-free egg white
and a range of other functional protein products for sports nutrition,
baking and industrial uses. Pepsin, for example, is a digestive enzyme
used in many products from chewing gum to popular stomach remedies.
It is found in humans and some animals, with most commercial
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Corporate Profiles - 2021

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