The world keeps turning, the sourdough starters continue to demand our attention, and food tech news is always popping up. So it goes.
This week’s roundup is heavy on the plant-based protein. We have stories about Cargill’s moves to expand alt-meat in China, a Spanish plant-based meat startup’s new funds, as well as innovations in sugar-free sweeteners and sunscreen for plants. Enjoy!
New Crop Capital invests in plant-based meat startup Heura
Unovis Asset Management announced this week that it had made an investment in plant-based meat startup Heura via its New Crop Capital fund, according to a press release sent to The Spoon. The investor led the convertible note round, and the exact amount of funding was not disclosed. Heura makes plant-based meat analogs, specifically chicken and meatballs, which sell in Europe and Canada. With its new funding, the startup will focus on international expansion.
Cargill expands plant-based meat offerings in China
Starting next month, Cargill will offer its plant-based meat alternatives to consumers in China (h/t Reuters). Called PlantEver, the new line will be available both in brick-and-mortar retail as well as online. This announcement comes just a week after Cargill partnered with several KFC locations in China to sell their plant-based fried chicken for a three-day trial. According to Cargill, the trial was a success and the chicken quickly sold out.
Cultiva gets $2.94 million in funding for plant preservation coating
Las Vegas-based biotech startup Cultiva announced this week it had raised $2.94 million from Advantage Capital (via AgFunder). The company makes a biofilm product, called SureSeal, which coats plants to help regulate their moisture and keep them from drying out or getting burned (sort of like sunscreen). SureSeal is meant to increase produce lifespan and reduce spoilage. It’s already used commercially on several crops. With its new funding, Cultiva will grow its team and develop a new line of produce coatings.
Ingredion unveils new fermented sugar substitute
This week ingredient company Ingredion’s EMEA branch launched Erysta, a new zero-calorie sweetener made from erythritol (h/t FoodIngredientsFirst). Erythritol is made through fermentation and can be found naturally in some fruits and vegetables. The new sweetener is 70 percent as sweet as sugar and apparently has a similar mouthfeel, so companies can use it to help reduce the sugar content of their products.