This startup is making protein from volcanic springs

Alt proteins seem to be the biggest thing in food tech these days – just looking at Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat – now a long line of startups and entrepreneurs are eager to follow in their successful footsteps. In the case of Natures Fynd is drawing in the fermentation process linkedin to unique microbes that live in geothermal hot springs in Yellowstone National Park. The key to such cutting-edge technology is its fermentation. The microbes flourish in the heat of the volcanic springs in Yellowstone and have been researched and studied by NASA.

It’s because of this microbes that the Yellowstone springs have their pretty colouration of yellows and oranges.

“What is interesting is that they are closer to animals than they are to plants — they look like plants, but can be rich in protein, complete protein,” – Nature’s Fynd co-founder and CEO Thomas Jonas.

Natures Fynd started production this month and today announced it has received $80m in funding led by Generation Investment Management – the very VC chaired by former vice president Al Gore – and Breakthrough Energy Ventures.

“Nature’s Fynd has a highly efficient solution to help address the climate crisis…We have tracked the team and technology for several years and believe this is one of the most scalable platforms to drive true food system sustainability.” – Lila Preston, co-head of the growth equity strategy at Generation Investment Management.

Combining these microbes and fermentation process the water turns simple sugars into protein. A benefit of its production is that it only requires a small piece of land, which is good for the environment and for the company as it can set up shop just about anywhere. It also less water and requires less equipment and energy of usual alt protein operations.

Nature’s Fynd has created a fermentation process that uses the microbes and water to turn simple sugars into protein, Jonas said. One benefit that it touts is the small footprint of land it needs compared with a traditional agricultural operation, which could enable the company to set up production in either rural or urban locations. It takes one ton of simple sugar to make 2 tons of a meat-like product, and the substance is about 75 percent water, Jonas said.

“We require a limited amount of resources: 99 percent less land, and we emit 99 percent less greenhouse gases than a classic animal protein,” he said. To be more specific, the current Nature’s Fynd lab can produce as much “hamburger equivalent” in one year as what is traditionally produced on 15,000 acres of land.

Check out the full article here.

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