With just one year of operations, Pascual Innoventures, founded in 2021 to promote the food of the future, has already made its first significant capital investment demonstrating its clear commitment to innovation and fulfilling its goal to help to develop the milk of the future. Specifically, it has invested in De Novo Dairy and Zero Cow Factory, two of the four startups that were part of the first cohort of Mylkcubator, the first incubator in the world specialized in the development of innovation projects for the dairy sector, launched by Pascual Innoventures in partnership with Eatable Adventures.
De Novo Dairy and Zero Cow Factory, highly innovative, are specialized in the development of cellular agriculture and precision fermentation technologies, a segment currently gaining traction in the dairy sector. These technologies, capable of directly producing nutrients and ingredients for the dairy industry through microorganisms, sum up and complement the traditional industry, helping industry players move towards increasingly sustainable, efficient, and healthy mixed production models that ensure food security for everyone.
Investment to address disruptive projects worldwide
De Novo Dairy, based in South Africa, is focused on developing precision fermentation technologies to create alternative proteins (Lactoferrin) that can reproduce the same nutritional profiles and sensory experiences as their dairy analogs. Zero Cow Factory, of Indian origin, seeks to complement the traditional dairy industry by producing the first milk and dairy products using bioengineering and microbial fermentation.
Through these investments, says Gabriel Torres, director of Pascual Innoventures, “We intend to strengthen collaboration agreements to launch new products with novel and expanded functionality, which improve the quality of life of our consumers and allow us to enter new markets. Together with De Novo Dairy, we will explore the production of Lactoferrin, a high-value protein, essential in the development of babies and a strengthener of the immune system. Together with Zero Cow, we will work on the synthesis of Casein, a milk protein vital to achieve a good flavor and texture of non-animal origin cheeses or yogurt “.
Cell cultures and precision fermentation techniques are starting to demonstrate industrial viability, as evidenced by the growth of investment in this sector (currently more than 200 investors are identified) and the emergence of new startups using these technologies as a base, whose total business value now exceeds $5.316 million, according to Dealroom data.
In short, this is a sector whose ecosystem is evolving rapidly and generating significant investment traction, both globally and locally. This is supported by the numbers, with investment in dairy alternatives that tripled in 2021 compared to the previous year, from US$194 million to US$605 million.
2nd edition of Mylkcubator: meeting the global challenges of today and tomorrow
Today more than ever, the current global socioeconomic context highlights the present and future challenges that the agri-food industry will have to face. Among them, is being able to develop and apply sustainable and efficient food production models that allow feeding a world population that just in November already reached 8 billion people. To this end, the promotion, development, and application of new technologies complementary to the traditional sector will play a fundamental role.
In this context, Pascual Innoventures and Eatable Adventures, aware of the need for action, have launched Mylkcubator 2.0, the second edition of this pioneering program worldwide.
“At Pascual Innoventures we are convinced that only through innovation and commitment to disruptive food technologies we will be able to meet the current challenges facing not only the agri-food sector but also the global socioeconomic sector as a whole. Thanks to initiatives like Mylkcubator, we will be able to evolve towards an efficient and sustainable mixed production system that improves the lives of people, animals, and the planet“, said Gabriel Torres.
Itziar Ortega, VP of Global Operations at Eatable Adventures, adds that “the collaboration of such relevant and committed players as Eatable Adventures and Pascual Innoventures has allowed us to be pioneers and one step ahead. We are sure that in the next few years, these technologies will be consolidated and that Spain will undoubtedly continue to set historic milestones, among other things, thanks to the innovation of unique programs in the world such as Mylkcubator, which drives the innovation ecosystem on a global scale”.
THE MYLKCUBATOR 2.0 PICKS
Maolac is an Israeli startup specializing in the research of biofunctional ingredients to create precision proteins with high nutritional capacity, inspired by milking milk. Its main goal is to apply this technology to improve the health and well-being of both humans and domestic animals.
Portuguese startup PFx Biotech focuses on commercializing bioactive and functional human milk proteins as alternative protein ingredients for use in pediatric and advanced nutrition. They use a high-tech precision fermentation process to ensure the well-being of people and care for the planet
New Zealand-based Miruku is a leader in the emerging molecular farming sector. Its mission is to provide sustainable, nutritious, and cost-effective dairy products by applying molecular farming technologies to program plant cells and produce proteins and fats suitable for the creation of plant-based dairy products.
ERGO Bioscience, an Argentine startup focused on the development of complex animal proteins, has succeeded in developing an innovative process to create alternative foods of plant origin. Its goal is to achieve products organoleptically identical to those of animal origin. Among its portfolio of proteins are Alfa-S1 and Kappa caseins, for dairy applications of plant origin, and myoglobin for meat applications of plant origin.
Nutropy, a French startup dedicated to the production of dairy ingredients by feeding the yeast with sugars, minerals, and vitamins. These ingredients are identical to those produced by cows and make it possible to develop alternatives to dairy products without quitting the original taste.