Magellan Life Sciences has completed its seed funding round led by Roquette Ventures, the investment arm of the French plant-based ingredient giant. The capital will be used to scale the British startup’s plant protein sweeteners produced using fermentation, and will accelerate its go-to-market plans.
British biotech Magellan has bagged seed investment led by the French ingredients major’s Roquette Ventures, joined by U.S. tech startup venture capital SOSV and three European business angel investors. The amount raised was undisclosed, but Magellan says the funds will help accelerate the market entry of its new protein sweeteners.
Magellan’s new protein sweeteners are produced using its proprietary expression and fermentation platform XSeed, and is nearly indistinguishable in terms of taste to sucrose but with a far higher sweetening power and no undesirable metallic aftertaste.
Stable under thermal and chemical condition changes, the sweeteners are ideal for F&B applications to replace the sugar content in products and for producers to develop healthier formulations without having to add another masking agent to hide potential aftertastes associated with existing sweeteners on the market.
The London-headquartered startup says its flagship “plant-inspired” protein sweetener, called Brazzein, will also help alleviate rising health epidemics such as diabetes and obesity.
Magellan is addressing the important issue of sugar reduction by providing alternatives to carbohydrates with new protein sweeteners.Abhiram Dukkipati, Co-Founder, Magellan Life Sciences
“We are thrilled to have Roquette Ventures, SOSV and the angel investors invest in Magellan,” commented Magellan co-founder and CEO Abhiram Dukkipati. “With their varied backgrounds, each investor brings significant value to help guide us in our mission. There is a global emphasis on using plant-inspired proteins to meet food and beverage markets’ expectations.”
“Within this theme, Magellan is addressing the important issue of sugar reduction by providing alternatives to carbohydrates with new protein sweeteners. This round of funding will allow us to expand our R&D team and scale our proprietary manufacturing process,” Dukkipati continued.
Using fermentation technology to produce novel ingredients that are better from a health or environmental standpoint has been gaining momentum recently.
Other food companies have used fermentation to “brew” a range of other ingredients, such as Dutch startup The Protein Brewery, whose Fermotein protein-rich and versatile ingredient can be incorporated into animal-free meat and dairy alternatives.
In a context of global health challenges such as the rise of sugar-related diseases like diabetes or obesity, Magellan’s protein sweeteners have a tremendous potential to meet the increasing demand of consumers for healthier alternatives to sugar.Edouard Nuttin, General Manager, Roquette Ventures
Biospringer, a biotech unit under French fermentation and yeast giant Lesaffre, has created a new yeast protein using the company’s patented fermentation technology. Biospringer says the product was specifically designed for plant-based cheese and meat applications, as it combats the off-notes that some consumers report in existing plant-based alternatives on the market.
Roquette Ventures says that Magellan’s solution that provides a solution to health and nutrition challenges was the standout reason for its investment, especially as more F&B businesses begin to come under pressure to produce healthier products amid the clean label movement.
“In a context of global health challenges such as the rise of sugar-related diseases like diabetes or obesity, Magellan’s protein sweeteners have a tremendous potential to meet the increasing demand of consumers for healthier alternatives to sugar,” said Edouard Nuttin, general manager of Roquette Ventures.
“When we heard about Magellan Life Sciences and its work on protein sweeteners, we found a total match with that mission and quickly decided to help accelerate the development of these products to an industrial scale.”
Lead image courtesy of Unsplash.