Swedish Startup raises €750K to ferment animal-free fats

6 Sep 2021

Bio tech startup Melt & Marble, which was formerly known as Biopetrolia, has closed a €750,000 (US$879,000) seed funding round with the aim of creating fats that “close the taste gap between animal and plant-based meats.”

The funding round was led by Nordic FoodTech VC with participation from other investors, including Paulig’s venture arm PINC, Purple Orange Ventures, and Chalmers Ventures.

Swedish Startup raises €750K to ferment animal-free fats
Image via Chad Montano on Unsplash

Fat seems to be a focal point for plant-based protein purveyors that are currently primarily reliant on coconut and palm oil for the silky texture that lipids impart. However, “Because the properties of plant-based fats are different from those of animal fats, the experience of eating many plant-based meats has so far been subpar compared to the real thing,” said Melt & Marble co-founder and CEO Anastasia Krivoruchko in a statement.

Taste continues to pose a significant barrier to the adoption of plant-based alternatives, so much so that a 2019 Kerry white paper found that for meat-eaters, taste is the No. 1 consideration when choosing plant-based substitutes. As fat is an integral component of the taste of an animal protein, it is essential that the alternatives being used in protein alternatives mimic the taste that consumers crave. Already meat alternative producers have expressed their willingness to look toward cultivated fat as a means of improving taste and texture, according to a 2021 survey by cultivated fat producer Peace of Meat.

With this backdrop, Melt & Marble is appearing on the market at the right time. To remedy the continuing gap in taste experience, the startup is relying on precision fermentation to produce its fats. The team has been working on its technology since 2010 and has accumulated expertise in using precision fermentation to produce various lipids. Its technique involves engineering the metabolism of yeasts to create any fat structure as well as create completely new and better fats.

To start, Melt & Marble will develop a “beef-like” fat by the end of this year. Following that, the company plans to work with other animal fats, but it said that the next prototype will not appear for a couple of years.

Related news

Mintel: Is Plant-Based losing Credibility?

Mintel: Is Plant-Based losing Credibility?

2 Sep 2021

The term “plant-based” has proliferated into a range of categories resulting in an oversaturated use of the phrase, which the market research firm Mintel asserts positions the term to be at risk of losing some of its better-for-you significance with co...

Read more 
Bloomberg: Plant-based foods expected to grow 450% by 2030

Bloomberg: Plant-based foods expected to grow 450% by 2030

31 Aug 2021

Bloomberg Intelligence is forecasting an evolution in consumer habits that will lead to a 450% leap in plant-based sales to reach $162 billion by 2030, up from $29.4 billion in 2020. Plant-based meat is expected to see particular growth from $4.2 billi...

Read more 
Protecting public health: Europe sets new maximum levels of cadmium and lead in food

Protecting public health: Europe sets new maximum levels of cadmium and lead in food

26 Aug 2021

Despite already having a maximum threshold limiting the levels of both cadmium and lead in food products, the European Commission is further reducing that threshold. Beginning on August 31, stricter limits for cadmium will be enforced while those for l...

Read more 
Singapore snacking startup making indulgent foods healthy grabs $3M in funding

Singapore snacking startup making indulgent foods healthy grabs $3M in funding

12 Aug 2021

Singapore-based Hoow Foods, which develops better-for-you versions of indulgent snacks and ingredients using artificial intelligence (AI), announced it secured S$3 million in a Series A funding round. The round was led by Singapore-based venture firm F...

Read more 
Obama celebrated 60 with top vegan brands

Obama celebrated 60 with top vegan brands

9 Aug 2021

Plant-based foods have become so widely accepted that former President Barack Obama’s 60th birthday celebration featured a vegan, plant-based menu, according to a menu leaked by Bloomberg.

Read more 
Beyond Meat launches chicken tenders in US foodservice

Beyond Meat launches chicken tenders in US foodservice

6 Aug 2021

Beyond Meat now serves plant-based chicken nuggets at over 400 foodservice retail outlets in the United States. Its nuggets are made with a fava bean and pea protein base that the plant-based protein titan says customers consider to be on par with real...

Read more 
Quorn invests in new French extrusion technology

Quorn invests in new French extrusion technology

5 Aug 2021

Heritage plant-protein maker Quorn awarded its most recent Future Food-Tech Innovation Challenge award to French startup Umiami for the company's novel extrusion technology process that promises thicker, more realistic cuts of plant-based protein.

Read more 
Survey finds UK plant-based meals cheaper, more popular than meat

Survey finds UK plant-based meals cheaper, more popular than meat

30 Jul 2021

The number of plant-based ready meals is surging in the U.K., and in addition to their increasing availability, their price point per portion is now below that of meat-filled ready meals, according to new research from the Eating Better coalition.

Read more 
World’s first waxed vegan cheese wheels launch in Netherlands

World’s first waxed vegan cheese wheels launch in Netherlands

28 Jul 2021

A Netherlands-based cheesemaker called Max&Bien debuted the world’s first vegan cheese wheel coated in paraffin wax to emulate traditional-style Dutch cheeses. This vegan cheese comes in 1.2-kilogram wheels for cheese and delicatessen stores as well as...

Read more 
Animal-free dairy cheese appeals to over half of global consumers

Animal-free dairy cheese appeals to over half of global consumers

20 Jul 2021

Globally, 70.5% of consumers said they would be willing to buy cheese made with dairy proteins that don’t come from animals, according to a new survey from the precision fermentation company Formo and the University of Bath published in the journal Fro...

Read more