Spain-based food tech companies Foody’s and Cocuus have announced they are joining forces to industrialize and commercialize 3D-bioprinted plant-based products.
The new alliance between Foody’s and Cocuus marks a pivotal moment for the companies in bringing 3D-bioprinted food to market. Cocuus has begun operation at the Foody’s plant in Tudela, Navarra, bioprinting vegan seafood and meat products.
The announcement follows Cocuus’ 2022 €2.5 million in a Pre-Series A funding round led by Cargill last summer. It also comes after Cocuus bioprinters were installed at Foody’s’ Tudela facility last March. The partnership marks the first industrial-scale plant-based food bioprinting plant in the world.
The first product rolling out from this innovative partnership is vegan bacon, set to hit the domestic market just ahead of the summer season. According to the companies, the gluten-free, soy-free, low-fat alternative replicates the flavor and texture of conventional bacon. The company is also working on plant-based prawns, salmon, octopus, foie gras, and tuna.
“This is the first of a series of products that are clearly superior to those known in the category to date,” Gonzalo Agorreta, CEO of Foody’s, said in a statement. “This industrial printer is unique in the world and will allow us to produce 1,000 tons of 100 percent vegetable bacon per year. We will be able to produce more sustainable and nutritious food with vegetable-based animal protein analogues.”
Cocuus founder and CEO, Patxi Larumbe, echoed the enthusiasm for the transformative technology. “Without a doubt, we are facing a technology that will forever change the way in which we produce healthy, tasty, and sustainable food for the world on a scale. This technology aspires to revolutionize food science through disruptive solutions for the industry.”
Larumbe further emphasized the significance of the technology’s environmental impact. “By managing to make production plants with bioreactors and bioprinters, from which meat or fish comes out without the need for cows or fish to enter it, we will solve a great problem in the world. In addition, the fabrics that come out of this technology will not have traces of chemicals or heavy metals.”
The collaboration between Foody’s and Cocuus underscores the Foral Community’s pioneering role in global innovation, production, and marketing of plant-based foods. “Navarra has always been a power in agri-food R&D and, now, it will be here where plant foods from 3D bioprinting are produced for the first time in the world on an industrial scale,” said Lucas Irisarri, Foodys Marketing Manager.
Cocuus was named as one of the top 10 Innovations of 2021 by StartUs Insights. Last September, it opened a state-of-the-art 4,000-square-meter production facility. The company announced a “bone-in” T-bone steak last year.
“In the case of the T-bone steak, we begin by subjecting it to an axial tomography, a CT scan, which allows us to discriminate where there is fat, meat, bone and vascular pathways”, Larumbe said.