ICL and Protera Biosciences form plant-based partnership for AI-powered solutions
24 Nov 2022 --- The specialty minerals company, ICL Food Specialties, is teaming up with artificial intelligence (AI) driven novel protein designer and food technology startup – Protera Biosciences – to produce sustainable and precision fermented protein ingredients on a commercial scale.
The announcement follows an investment ICL made in Protera through its ICL Planet Startup Hub in 2021.
“Thanks to this collaboration, we can offer novel ingredients via breakthrough technology currently not available in the market,” Hadar Sutovsky, VP of external innovation and general manager of ICL Planet, explains.
“Once these functional ingredients are launched, food manufacturers will be able to speed up the development of clean-label and sustainable plant-based products.”
Clean-label and customized proteins
Potera utilizes Madi – a “deep-learning platform, which can predict and match the structure and functionality of vegetable proteins” – to create clean-label ingredients to replace chemical additives and improve the sensory properties in plant-based applications.
The AI platform applies precision fermentation parameters to a database of over 1.5 billion edible protein sequences and uses that information to produce novel and customized proteins. According to the companies, the proteins “address consumer demand for a short list of simple ingredients on food labels.”
“We are excited about this collaboration with ICL Food Specialties to bring new proteins to market,” says Leonardo Alvarez, founder and CEO of Protera. “Combining the forces of our two companies will dramatically accelerate our vision of using biology to create protein-based ingredients.”
“We already are validating functional targets in the lab with unprecedented speed and accuracy.”
Secure and sustainable
The companies say the new platform will help them streamline processes and help to discover “untapped plant-based proteins” that they believe could positively impact global food security problems.
The AI platform may also increase sustainability by reducing the need to produce stabilizers, texturizers and preservatives while facilitating the replacement of animal-based proteins. This could further reduce pollution by decreasing chemicals like methane and carbon monoxide.
“We’ll soon be able to provide global market access to these ingredients for key food producers in a sustainable manner,” Rado Sporka, VP of the food specialties commercial business for ICL, underscores.
“This will further diversify and strengthen ICL’s engagement and offerings in the alternative proteins space and accelerate impactful solutions for global environmental challenges.”
In similar news, Radicle Science announced that it would introduce an AI platform that could allow nutrient and supplement creators to run clinical tests at a quicker rate and provide actionable results within 180 days.
Additionally, researchers in Switzerland are developing an AI-powered phone app that will use images and smartphone cameras to help people score their adherence to the Mediterranean diet. Furthermore, the AI-based nutrition company Spoon Guru announced a platform to bring personalized nutrition to the Google Cloud Marketplace.
Edited by William Bradford Nichols
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