San Francisco based Lypid, describing itself as a team of uncompromising scientists and foodies, says that “fat is the key to make vegan meat taste like real meat”. As such, the team has created PhytoFat™, a proprietary line of vegan fats which offer the texture, mouthfeel, transfer of flavor, and cooking behavior of animal fats.
Lypid has seen huge success over recent months; not least, a partnership with Thai pork and poultry giant CP Foods last December and a $4 million raise last month, as well as skyrocketing industry fascination in vegan fats – it is clear that these young scientists have a promising future ahead. We caught up with Lypid’s founders, Dr. Jen-Yu Huang and Dr. Michelle Lee, to chew the proverbial.
“Our vision is to become catalyst that enables a healthier, more sustainable and equitable food system”
Who is Lypid and what does the company stand for?
Lypid is a US-based food tech company pioneered in alternative protein solutions. Our vision is to become catalyst that enables a healthier, more sustainable and equitable food system. We believe that people can enjoy sustainable food without compromising their palates.
Why does fat make such a difference to vegan products?
While scientists and culinary experts have been creating alternative meat products, there is still a huge gap between animal meat and vegan meat when it comes to taste. We believe that fat is the key to bridge the sensory gaps.
“there is still a huge gap between animal meat and vegan meat when it comes to taste”
Fat has long been a major player in taste, aroma, and mouthfeel. It concentrates flavor and odor chemicals which are then slowly released when melted with heat. Compared to plant-based fats, animal fats melt at higher temperatures. Thus, it’s challenging for vegan burgers to taste as juicy as beef burgers under similar cooking conditions.
Processed through company’s novel formulation and microencapsulation method, we produce animal-like vegan fats with juicy textures and melting behaviors. Our signature product, PhytoFatTM , maintains its animal fat-like qualities when cooked above 329 degrees Fahrenheit (165 Celsius). With PhytoFatTM, companies are able to elevate their plant-based products to provide greater food experience.
How sustainable are your products?
While the public has been quite aware of animal agriculture’s impact on the environment, it takes a stronger push for them to change their diets and eat less meat. With “taste” being the top driver in all food purchases, we must elevate the sensory experiences of alternative proteins and satiate consumers’ palates. Lypid’s PhytoFatTM will speed up the transition.
“Not only can PhytoFatTM replace animal fat, it can also replace palm and coconut oil”
PhytoFatTM is an animal fat without the animals. All of the ingredients we use are plant-based and natural. There are no chemical modifications and hydrogenation involved. Not only can PhytoFatTM replace animal fat, it can also replace palm and coconut oil, which are often used in plant-based protein products as a substitute for animal fat yet notorious for deforestation.
What is your expansion strategy?
We are introducing our product to the market in 2022. Now our goal is to scale up production of PhytoFatTM to the industrial level. We are aiming to produce more than 10 tons per year for each production line.
Why should consumers choose your products?
PhytoFatTM improves the food greatly from visual appeal to taste experience.
With no artificial additives, no hydrogenation, and containing zero trans fats, PhytoFatTM is a healthier alternative to the current plant-based protein market, which relies heavily on palm oil and coconut oil for ingredients. PhytoFatTM reduces more than 97% of saturated fat. It’s highly versatile and customizable, PhytoFatTM can be tuned to precise textures and melting points for diverse needs.