Protera appoints Novozymes’ Thomas Videbaek to board of directors16 Apr 2021
AI-driven protein startup Protera appointed Novozymes senior executive Thomas Videbaek as Chair of the Board of Directors and non-executive board member.
Videbaek comes from a decades-long career at Novozymes where he spent the last 13 years on the executive team, ending his tenure as Executive Vice President (EVP) of Corporate Strategy & Business Transformation. In that role, Videbaek led initiatives that created a number of new business areas for the firm, including the microbial area of bio-agriculture, as well as supply chain operations, where he helped build a global supply chain organization. This transition marks his intention to focus on his career as a professional board member, according to a press release.
“His proven track record in the commercial, operational and research sides of business, and deep understanding of the challenges that encompass new functional proteins, will help us consolidate Protera's position in the industry," said Protera CEO Leonardo Álvarez in a release.
Currently, Protera is a startup with its principal product, Protera Guard in pilot phase. The clean-label protein is intended for bakery products and has been shown to extend shelf life by 30 days, and in some cases, more than 45 days.
In addition to offering an alternative to chemical preservatives for consumers, Protera is focused on developing new proteins to create sustainable solutions across food, agriculture and human health, and targets long-standing challenges in the food sector such as food waste, deforestation, and nutrition-related ailments. Food waste is a particularly large focus as in the US, wasted food is estimated to account for one-third of the food produced —1.3 billion tons annually — according to data from the United Nations. This waste often occurs due to microbial contamination, and by working on enzymes that extend shelf life, Protera is hoping to help combat this trend.
Enzymes are getting a significant amount of attention recently. International Food & Fragrances hosted a webinar where the company noted that enzymes are well-positioned as a natural preservative alternative with particular functionality in the bakery sector. With demand from consumers for natural ingredients reaching new heights, the flavor company posited that enzymes will become the answer that allows bakery to evolve and accommodate the market for natural products with tasty ingredients.
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