Novameat has a platform for 3D printing steaks and has new money to take it to market – gpgmail


Novameat, a Spanish startup looking to accelerate the development of alternative proteins across the meat aisle, has gotten a boost in the form of new investment capital from the leading foodtech investment firm, New Crop Capital.

Founded by biomedical engineering expert Giuseppe Scionti, Novameat builds on Scionti’s decade of research as an assistant professor in bioengineering at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, the University College of London, Chalmers University and Polytechnic University of Milan.

The company first came to fame with the production of the world’s first 3D printed plant-based beefsteak in 2018 and will use the new funds from New Crop Capital to further develop its platform for accelerating the development of meats like steak, chicken breasts and other fibrous textured meat replacements.

The company has developed a new scaffolding technology that mimics the texture, appearance, nutritional and sensorial properties of fibrous meats like beefsteaks, chicken breasts, and fish filets.

Scionti sees the technology as the next step in the development of plant-based and lab-cultured alternatives to traditional proteins. While many clean meat and plant-based food companies have managed to take ground meat replacements to market with similar taste and textural qualities to the real thing, steaks and cuts of muscle meat have proven harder to replicate.

Novameat potentially solves that problem.

“While I was researching on regenerating animal tissues through bioprinting technologies for biomedical and veterinary applications, I discovered a way to bio-hack the structure of the native 3D matrix of a variety of plant-based proteins to achieve a meaty texture,” said Scionti, in a statement.

The core of Novameat’s technology is a customized printer that enables companies to create the kinds of fibrous tissues needed to make a steak. “We are providing the equipment, the machinery, under a licensing agreement to these companies,” says Scionti. “Plant-based meat manufacturers have access to something that creates the texture and taste of a steak.”

Traditional extrusion technologies are not capable of using the ingredients from Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods and print a steak, but Novameat’s founder argues that his technology can.

The technology was promising enough to attract the attention of New Crop Capital, arguably one of the most seasoned investors in the expanding market of meat replacement. The venture firm’s portfolio includes Memphis Meat, Beyond Meat, Kite Hill, Geltor, Good Dot, Aleph Farms, Supermeat, Mosa Meat, New Wave and Zero Egg.

“We think the global food supply chain is broken and we are focused on fixing one of those challenges which is animal protein,” says New Crop Capital’s Dan Altschuler Malek. “We see that there is an opportunity to shift consumer behavior to reduce their consumption of animal protein products to products that are at the price point that people will pay.”

Novameat can help reduce costs, Malek thinks, because it speeds up the time to create meat substitutes.

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Scionti says that the company’s micro-extrusion technology enables companies to get a three dimensional structure without having to go through an incubation period that can take a significant amount of time and increase costs.

“Novameat’s bioprinting-based technology provides a flexible and tunable method of producing plant-based meat, with the utility to create different textures from a wide variety of ingredients, all within a single piece of meat,” he said. “Low and high-moisture extruders are the primary method currently used to restructure plant proteins to create the texture of meat. While extrusion works well for some applications, this method may not be ideal for mimicking all types of animal meat. Alternative technologies like Novameat’s give plant-based meat manufacturers a wider array of tools to mimic all types of meat and seafood,” said Good Food Institute Director of Science and Technology David Welch, in a statement.


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Competition among alternative protein players gets hot as companies beef up with new deals – gpgmail


The competition for control of the burgeoning market for burger replacements (and other alternatives to animal proteins) continues to heat up.

Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods the two leading contenders for top purveyor of plant-based patties (and other formulations) have spent most of the typically sleepy summer months jockeying for the position as top supplier to a food industry suddenly ravenous for alternatives to traditional meat product.s

As soon as the first Impossible Whoppers came off the flame broilers at Burger King, Beyond Meat was announcing a new fast food chain supply deal of its own with Subway.

Through that agreement the publicly traded provider of plant-based products will be grinding up meatless meatballs for Subway’s new vegetarian option to the classic meatball sub.

Subway will roll out meatless meatballs in 685 of its franchise locations in the U.S. and Canada starting in September.

Not to be outdone, Impossible Foods came swinging back with some a new partnership with the institutional food prep giant Sodexo. At roughly 1,500 Sodexo locations food slingers at healthcare facilities and corporate and university cafeterias will unveil new options like Impossible Foods-based sausage muffin sandwiches, sausage gravy and biscuits, steakhouse burgers and creole burgers.

Image courtesy of Sodexo

“Sodexo is committed to providing customers with more plant-forward and sustainable options as part of their diet,” said Rob Morasco, senior director culinary development, Sodexo, in a statement. “We are excited to expand our menu to include the Impossible Burger’s flavorful blend, which will be featured in several new products this fall.”

Set against this meatless horserace for national food service dominance, other plant-based providers have launched to take the startup direct-to-consumer approach to satisfy vegetarian cravings for other types of food substitutes.

It was partially in response to this furor over the vegetarian market that the world was introduced to Nuggs. Ben Pasternak, the company’s young founder, first came to fame as the teenage entrepreneur behind the social media app Monkey.

When Monkey was sold to a Chinese company in 2017, Pasternak turned his attention to food. He’s been cooking up the idea for Nuggs since that time. In 2018 the core team assembled with Pasternak bringing on Liam Mullen, a former pastry chef and self-trained molecular gastronomist who was working for the high-end New York restaurant Daniel at the age of 16.

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Image courtesy of Nuggs

Unlike Impossible Foods, which has faced supply chain woes thanks to its initial strategy of building its own manufacturing facilities, Nuggs is manufactured by McCain Foods, a food prep giant that also led the company’s $7 million round. Other investors include Rainfall Ventures; Greylock Discovery Fund; Maven Ventures; NOMO Ventures; M Ventures; ACME Capital; Founder of MTV and CEO of iHeartMedia, Bob Pittman; Casper Founder & COO, Neil Parikh; and Former President of Tumblr, John Maloney.

While Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have grabbed most of the headlines as the first generation of protein substitutes to really make a dent with consumers, Just (the company formerly known as Hampton Creek) has also nabbed some major deals with big fast food chains for its big product — egg replacements.

Launched in 2018, the egg replacement from Just inked a major deal in late July with Tim Hortons, the Canadian coffee, donut, and sandwich chain. Much as Beyond Meat has found a home for its meatless sausages at Dunkin Donuts in the U.S., Just has seen Tim Hortons take its eggless egg replacement to a Canadian consumers (Hortons also has a sandwich using Beyond Meat).

Some companies are going beyond plant-based protein replacements to lab-grown versions of the real thing. That’s been the story behind Perfect Day, which sold out of their $20-per-pint ice cream in a matter of hours. Like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, the company intends to sell through ice cream manufacturers rather than going direct to consumers with its own product, according to a CNBC report.

The three protein replacement companies have grabbed investor attention and heralded a surge of venture capital investment into plant based protein products. In all, Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, and Just have snagged over $1 billion in funding.

For investors in Beyond Meat, the $122 million in capital will yield billions in returns. The company’s market capitalization is up to a meaty $13.4 billion from $1.5 billion when its stock first began public trading. Analysts at Barclays predict the market for alternative proteins could hit $140 billion by 2029.


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