Protein is one of the most important elements in our diet. It’s responsible for many important bodily functions such as cell renewal, muscle building, reproduction, child development, and so much more.
About 12% of the world’s population is estimated to be suffering from inadequate protein intake. You might be part of that statistic because you’re vegan or maybe you just haven’t been paying attention to your protein intake. Whatever the reason, you’re not alone. An increasing number of FoodTech companies are making way for a new era of alternative protein sources that are better for you and for the planet.
We spoke to five FoodTech founders that are doing incredible work in this field, offering innovative protein sources in a variety of delicious flavors and textures. So, if you’ve been looking for a way to diversify your protein sources, here are some great options you can try.
Crickets contain more B12 than beef, as well as most other insects for human consumption. In fact, the figures speak for themselves: 2.88 µg/100 g for crickets and 0.84 µg/100 g for grasshoppers.
Crickets help improve the natural bacteria in the gut microbiome and reduce inflammation in the body. They provide a complete protein with all 18 amino acids, including all nine essential amino acids.
As crickets are farmed for human consumption, we must comply with standards and regulations for food safety. That's why we’ve set our demands according to the EFSA novel food regulations that’ll be implemented in the EU in 2022.
We’re also a part of the consortium – Belgium Insect Industry Federation (BIIF) – where we’re just about to send in our dossier to the EFSA for approval of the house cricket for human consumption in the EU.
This means that we’re farming in a closed environment and processing the crickets in a regulated way, just as if we were producing any kind of meat, dairy, or poultry product for human consumption. We follow GHP, GAP, and HACCP regulations where we’re fully certified as well.
Our B2B flagship product is EntoPowder, which we also use to produce our customer products such as protein bars, snacks, bakery, and pastry products.
As we control the whole food supply chain from feed to packing through farming and processing, we guarantee that the quality is always high and stable.
Read our full interview with Kanitsanan Thanthitiwat, Co-Founder and CEO of Global Bugs
Fybraworks aims to disrupt the $1.4 trillion traditional agriculture-based meat market by growing real animal meat proteins in microbes through a fermentation process. This results in growing real animal meat proteins that are cheaper to produce, free of hormones and antibiotics, and can be produced rapidly in a laboratory.
We are the world’s first company to develop precision-fermentation-based meat protein ingredients to deliver products that are lower cost, have better taste, and have better nutrition than existing technologies.
As a B2B company, we’ll sell our precision fermentation-based real animal proteins to food manufacturers and food companies to formulate high-quality meat alternatives.
Our products have identical amino acid sequences to that of real meat proteins and they have excellent performance in meat applications. The process is animal-free and we save a ton of water resources, land usage, and CO₂ emissions.
By 2050, I envision the alternative protein industry will become mainstream, and the majority of the customers will switch to an animal-free diet that’s healthier for the planet and their own well-being.
Read our full interview with Dr. Chenfeng Lu, President and CEO of Fybraworks Foods
I spent the better part of two decades studying the process of sous-vide – a method of cooking food in an air-tight container in temperature-controlled water – from a food development, packaging development, and distribution standpoint within the US.
Along with my business partner, we built the largest sous-vide operation in North America outside of Cincinnati and ran that operation for about six years. We then determined that we needed to develop regional food operations, and service up-and-coming store chains that were focused on making major changes in the ways they serve their customers.
We wanted to stay true to the real fundamentals of sous-vide, which are to keep the cell structure of the protein or vegetable intact to maintain its nutritional value. A lot of businesses today claim to cook sous-vide but are simply cooking foods under pressure using vacuum packaging. In doing so, they overcook their products and release the food’s nutritional value.
Most proteins, after being cooked sous-vide, maintain about four times the nutritional impact versus those prepared using a traditional cooking method. We wanted to keep that intact as health was a significant part of our foundational block.
Our proteins come from all over the world. We get most of our poultry and pork domestically, but our beef comes from Australia and New Zealand. We bring in some products from South America, too. When sourcing our proteins, we highly scrutinize animal welfare – it’s a top priority for us. Between 35-40% of our proteins are organic.
Read our full interview with Ben Pasternak, CEO and president of Defiant Food Group
Soylent was born out of the desire to make sure there were sustainable products being made to feed everyone! Soylent is shelf-stable, and has complete nutrition including 39 essential nutrients, omega-3, and omega-6, alongside 20 g of plant protein – all in one bottle that retails for less than the cost of an average fast-food meal!
We started with powders that are easily mixed with water to make a delicious shake. However, now our top seller is our ready-to-drink format, which comes in 10 flavors that only have to be opened to be enjoyed. Four of these flavors (including our Soylent Complete Energy™ drink – Stacked) are caffeinated, providing energy and nutrition at once.
We also have 100-calorie bars called Soylent Squared, that include complete nutrition alongside probiotics, the perfect on-the-go, plant-based snack.
Demir Vangelov, CEO of Soylent
Plant-Based Meat By Green&Great
Green&Great develops and distributes plant-based products for food service and retail. These items mimic animal products such as burgers that look, cook, and smell like ground beef, chicken, and pork.
Our strategy follows two paths. Firstly, bringing the world’s first 100% plant-based brands to Spain, such as Beyond Meat, Vegetarian Butcher, and Violife. Secondly, to develop our own products under the brand Green&Great. These products don’t compete with other main brands’ items: black beans and no-chicken burritos, croquettes, and delicious Italian mortadella.
We’re present in more than 500 points of sale – 80% of them are restaurants – and over 1,400 companies are registered in our system.
Read our full interview with Gonzalo Mijangos, Founder, and CEO of Green&Great
Achieving adequate nutrition has become an effortless endeavor. The plethora of available nutritional information, paired with an astounding assortment of food choices, guarantees that everyone can find something they enjoy, regardless of their cultural background or dietary restrictions. Explore our assortment of top-tier vegan meal kits to uncover more gastronomic possibilities in your vicinity.