5 Inspiring Startups Looking To Change The World From Cell-Based Cotton To Micro-Algae ‘Chicken’
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Hong Kong-based Food Tech accelerator Brinc just announced their latest cohort and there are some inspiring startups working to solve some of the world’s more pressing issues including malnutrition, the rise of diabetes and the environmental footprint of livestock farming. From food safety to cleaner protein to increased nutrient density, we round up the five most impressive and sustainably-minded companies in the Fall 2019 batch.
1. Avant Meats
Founding date: 2018
Founding Team: Carrie Chan & Mario Chin
Headquarters: Hong Kong
Sustainable Food Mission: Avant Meats is a food tech startup cultivating fish and seafood products using cellular technology and tissue engineering of a small sample of swim bladder and fish cells under lab conditions. Demand for seafood delicacies in traditional Chinese cuisine has seriously threatened some fish species and marine ecosystems, and the industry is mired with traceability issues. Set to debut their first fish maw product in 2023, the company hopes to tackle both issues – to help Asian seafood eaters consume sustainably with knowledge of how their seafood has been produced.
2. Seagrass Tech
Founding date: 2016
Founding Team: Prakash Ramadass, Monisha Reddy, Swaminathan Detchanamurthy, Suganya Baskaran
Sustainable Food Mission: Seagrass Tech has developed a cultivation and harvesting technology platform that uses seawater and non-arable tsunami affected land to grow marine microalgae, which can be used as a natural colourant in F&B, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products while capturing carbon dioxide.
3. Cell Farm
Founding date: 2019
Founding Team: Sofia Giampaoli
Sustainable Food Mission: Cell Farm is the first cultured meat startup in Latin America, and are developing a cow stem cell bank to provide high-quality, efficient and certified starter materials for the cultured beef industry. They are currently standardising their biotech process to produce meat from animal stem cells by performing a non-invasive microbiopsy from different cow species, and then differentiating those cells into muscle and fat tissue that mimics the taste and texture of different types of beef products.
4. Galy (United States)
Founding Date: 2019
Founding Team: Luciano Bueno
Headquarters: United States
Sustainable Mission: The only non food startup in our roundup, Galy is producing cotton in the lab from cells, rather than from plants. With their biomaterial technology, Galy’s cotton is not only grown 10 times faster and of a higher quality than conventionally produced cotton, but also requires 78% less water, 81% less land and generates 80% fewer gas emissions. Currently, Galy is selling their cellular cotton yarns to brands and the textile industry.
5. Naka Foods
Founding date: 2016
Founding Team: Kushal Aradhya
Sustainable Food Mission: Naka Foods has developed a vegetarian microalgae-based convenient cereal bar, the 4PM Bar, which is made with oats, cashews and spirulina and enriched with probiotics. They are looking to create more nutrient-dense food items with microalgae technology, including a plant-based chicken product that is currently under the R&D process.
Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock.