Revolutionizing Food: Startups Pioneering Future Foods from CO2 Proteins to Affordable Plant-Based Fish and Legume Chocolate

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Proteins made from CO2 and legume-based chocolate: The startups cooking up the foods of the future

In this episode of Startup Europe — The Sifted Podcast, we delve into the innovative world of three European startups redefining the future of food by harnessing alternative ingredients.

European foodtech startups witnessed a notable $6.3 billion raised in 2022, showcasing a decrease from 2021’s $10.9 billion but a significant surge from 2020’s $3.2 billion.

Proteins made out of CO2

Austria’s biotech leader, Arkeon, is transforming the food industry by utilizing microbes that thrive on CO2 instead of sugar, converting the gas into proteins. Found in the depths of a volcano, these unique organisms redefine sustainable food production. Dr Gregor Tegl, Arkeon’s Co-founder and CEO, shares insights into their collaboration with corporates and startups focusing on cheese, alternative milks, alternative eggs, and beverages. Having secured additional seed funding in December, totaling over €‎10 million, Arkeon is now focusing on scaling up operations and reducing unit costs.

Affordable plant-based fish

Taking inspiration from Impossible Foods in the US, Berlin-based Ordinary Seafood is pioneering affordable plant-based salmon, tuna, and shrimp. Founder Dr Anton Pluschke aims to achieve cost parity with real fish, ensuring accessibility for a broader consumer base. Overcoming cultural differences in perceptions of fresh fish, the startup started in Germany and is navigating its expansion into markets like Switzerland, Austria, and the UK.

Legume chocolate

London-based WNWN Food Labs challenges traditional chocolate production with its legume-based chocolate, eliminating the need for cacao. Closing a successful $5.5 million seed round in February, WNWN Food Labs addresses the environmental and ethical concerns associated with conventional cocoa production. CEO Ahrum Pak emphasizes the use of cereals and legumes for efficiency, employing fermentation techniques while utilizing standard chocolate-making equipment. The startup is set to introduce its innovative chocolate to the mass market later this year, offering a sustainable alternative to traditional cocoa.

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