See the latest developments in the future of food from Big Idea Ventures and our global portfolio.

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Protein Directory proudly presents the Alternative Dairy Conference 2020 with a focus on the new wave of future food companies transforming the dairy business of tomorrow.

Join us for this 1-day virtual global conference to learn about the latest business trends and best practices to transform the future of food with alternatives for dairy applications like cheese, milk and yogurt.

With keynotes and interactive panel discussions by global leaders and industry experts in the future of alternative dairy, this virtual conference brings together key players working on the new wave of food. From innovative ingredients to promising end producers and supporting organizations in the area of innovation, consumer insights, business strategy and intellectual property.

Learn about the key business opportunities in alternative proteins and network with business and scientific leaders.
Connect with the Protein.Directory community by visiting their virtual exhibitor booths during the networking breaks.

We look forward welcoming you at the Alt Dairy Conference!

What to expect:

  • 5 hours of inspiring experts talks, panels and interactive QA
  • 1  hour of networking with other participants, experts and speakers
  • Interact with 100+ participants to build relationships with potential suppliers, customers, collaboration partners and investors
  • Visit game-changing company booths in the Alt. Dairy space

For who?

  • Companies and individuals new to the field wanting to move into the Alt. dairy business. They are looking for inspiration and wanting to build a solid network of industry professionals
  • Early stage companies in Alt protein that are wanting to learn more, looking for collaboration partners, and wanting to spread their message
  • Late stage startups and mature corporations that are looking for collaboration partners and wanting to strengthen their relationships

Browse to the schedule, sessions, speakers, sponsors and exhibitors via the different tabs (scroll down).
Dec 2nd: 15.30-21.30 CET/ 9.30-15.30 EST/ 6.30-12.30 PT


  • New wave of consumer end products disrupting dairy industry: Cheese / Milk/ Quark alternatives
  • Food tech, future wave of functional ingredients to increase texture, creaminess and sensory attributes
  • EU Regulatory landscape: labeling, advertising, naming
  • How to protect Intellectual Property (IP)
  • Consumer trends in nutrition, health and sustainability
  • Inspiring keynote on how to be disruptive in alt dairy business
  • Lightning talks from service providers to support food industry
    • accelerating innovation and business
    • how to scale up and commercialize innovation
  • Business opportunities
    • investing in Alt dairy
    • market analysis of alt dairy product categories
    • Startup pitch session

#altdairyconference #alternativeprotein #plantbased #fermentation #foodindustry #innovation
#regulatory #business #strategy #foodtech #investment

Recordings of our previous Alt. Protein Conference can be viewed here.
The Alt Dairy Conference will be recorded as well. Videos will be shared with registered participants.

02 Dec 2020 — Cultured chicken meat from Eat Just has been green-lighted for sale in Singapore as an ingredient in chicken bites. The island nation is the first to give the go-ahead to meat being grown in a lab. It follows a rigorous consultation and review process by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA).

This approval is anticipated to be the “first of many” for similar lab-grown meat businesses in Singapore and in countries around the globe. However, US and European approval of cultured meat could be some way off.

SFA’s approval further paves the way for a forthcoming small-scale commercial launch in Singapore of Eat Just’s new GOOD Meat brand. Details on this rollout will be disclosed at a later date.

At present, the company has developed other lab-grown chicken formats that will be an extension to this product line.

FoodIngredientsFirst reached out to Eat Just for further insights into the company’s road to commercialization.

Eating clean from a petri dish
Over the course of many months, Eat Just’s team of scientists, product developers and regulatory experts prepared extensive documentation on the characterization of its cultured chicken and the production process, the company notes.

The company included details on the purity, identity and stability of chicken cells during manufacturing, as well as a detailed description of its production process. This demonstrated that harvested cultured chicken met quality controls and Singapore’s rigorous food safety monitoring system.

The analysis demonstrated that cultured chicken contains a high protein content, diversified amino acid composition, healthy monounsaturated fats and a rich source of minerals.

Eat Just has demonstrated a consistent manufacturing process of its cultured chicken by running over 20 production runs in 1,200 L bioreactors. No antibiotics are used in this proprietary process.

Safety and quality validations demonstrated that harvested cultured chicken met the standards of poultry meat, with “extremely low and significantly cleaner” microbiological content than conventional chicken.

The analysis also demonstrated that cultured chicken contains a high protein content, diversified amino acid composition, high relative content in healthy monounsaturated fats and a rich source of minerals.

In addition, Eat Just’s cultured chicken was confirmed to be safe and nutritious for human consumption by an outside panel of international scientific authorities in Singapore and the US, with expertise in medicine, toxicology, allergenicity, cell biology and food safety.

Concurrent to the consultation and review period, Eat Just formed strategic partnerships with local manufacturers in Singapore to produce cultured chicken cells and formulate the finished product ahead of its first sale to a restaurant and initial availability to consumers.

A hub for cellular agriculture
Today’s announcement is Eat Just’s second in Singapore this year. In October, the company announced a partnership with a consortium led by Proterra Investment Partners Asia, an investment management firm focused on the food and agribusiness sectors.

Through this partnership, the company will build and operate a plant protein production facility in Singapore to meet demand for Eat Just’s plant-based JUST Egg products across Asia.

“Singapore has long been a leader in innovation of all kinds, from information technology to biologics to now leading the world in building a healthier, safer food system,” says Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of Eat Just.

The “garden city” has been leading the charge in Asia’s alternative protein development. This year, Singaporean cellular agriculture player Shiok Meats announced its US$12.6 million Series A funding round for the scaling up of cell-based shrimp meat.

In other developments, Singapore-based venture capital firm and business accelerator Big Idea Ventures attracted more investors to its alternative protein fund, including Bühler, Tyson and Temasek.

Just yesterday, we reported how a new project aims to remove the need for animal-derived products completely and instead upcycle existing agro-industrial by-products to be used as a growth media for culturing meat cells in a lab environment.

UK-based CPI technology innovation center is partnering with 3D Bio-Tissues (3DBT) – a spin-out of Newcastle University – to develop a new kind of improved growth media, one that is “truly animal-free.”

Growing meat to save the planet
Meat production has risen dramatically, and by 2050, consumption is projected to increase over 70 percent, flags Eat Just. The company stresses that major public health crises in the past have been linked to patterns of conventional meat consumption.

Within this context, cultured meat’s role in creating a safer, more secure global food supply has been increasingly highlighted. The last year has seen a steady rise in the application of animal cell culture technology toward the development of food products.

Yet many current methods of producing cultured meat are still expensive – producing low yields and involving the use of animal-derived fetal bovine serum.

Among developments in this dynamic space, Israeli start-up is heading toward transferring its thin-cut, lab-grown beef steaks into a proprietary platform suitable for mass cultivation. In a recent interview with FoodIngredientsFirst, Didier Toubia, Aleph Farm’s co-founder and CEO, detailed the company’s latest ambitions to supply cultivated meat for deep-space explorations.

Meanwhile, recent analysis has indicated substantial potential markets for cultured meat and the general movement toward reduced-meat diets across the globe, particularly in Germany and France. The wider European market is expected to demonstrate similar trends into the coming years.

According to the Good Food Institute, the plant-based egg industry is worth $10 million. This is a small number compared to the plant-based milk industry, which is worth a whopping $2 billion; however, the plant-based egg industry has grown by an impressive 228% in the past two years. With the entire plant-based food industry estimated to reach $74.2 billion by 2027, there is plenty of room for the plant-based egg category to continue to grow.

Plant-based eggs are poised to become the next big thing in the plant-based space, and it can be hard to keep up with all of the companies involved in this industry. We’ve pulled together some of the emerging and bigger players in this space.

Eat Just
Funding: $220M
About: After hitting the milestone of selling over 50 million plant-based eggs earlier this year, it is clear that Eat Just is one of the leaders in this industry. The company makes its liquid egg and folded egg patties with mung beans as the main ingredient. Eat Just products are available in retailers and restaurants nationwide (U.S.), and the company announced in October that it is expanding its products into Asia.

Zero Egg
Funding: $8M
About: Zero Egg launched its plant-based egg powder alternative earlier this year in October on World Egg Day. The egg alternative is crafted from soy protein isolate and pea flour and comes in two different varieties: EGG Basics as a direct replacement for scrambles or omelets and BAKE Basics for specialty baking. Zero Egg’s products are available globally to foodservice operators and manufacturers in the US, Europe, and Israel.

Float Foods
Funding: Undisclosed
AboutAccording to Green Queen, Float Foods is the first company in Asia to create a plant-based egg white and yolk. This new product is called OnlyEg, and it is set to become available commercially in 2022. This plant-based egg was developed using a mixture of undisclosed legumes. In September of this year, Float Foods also launched an incubator for plant-based food innovators.

Evo Foods
Funding: $335K
About: This is India’s first plant-based egg start-up, and it has said it will be launching a plant-based liquid egg alternative sometime this year. Evo Foods uses biotechnology to extract protein from lentils for its formula. The product will first be made available D2C on its website and restaurants in India, and the company has plans to launch in the US by April 2021.

Funding: Unknown
About: The company recently announced at the beginning of November that it will be launching its liquid plant-based egg in the UK market. The egg formula is comprised of pea protein, nutritional yeast, and black salt. According to Crack’d, its liquid egg can be used for both baking and creating traditional egg dishes.

Five finalists have been announced for VWS Pathfinder, a global plant-based pitching competition for women founders. The competition, run by Vegan Women Summit, received over 800 applications.

Applications came from 31 countries and came from diverse backgrounds — 60 percent of founders who applied were women of colour, and more than a quarter were black.

The finalists will take part in the virtual event this Saturday December 5, pitching live to an investor jury to compete for the $50,000 prize.

The five finalists are:

  • Aki Kaltenbach, Founder and CEO of Canadian plant-based seafood company ​Save Da Sea Foods.
  • Astrid Prajogo, Founder and CEO of Chinese alt-meat company ​Haofood.
  • Courtney Blagrove, Co-founder of ​vegan ice cream parlour Whipped Urban Dessert Lab​ in New York.
  • Isabella Iglesias-Musachio, Co-founder of German mushroom-based alt-meat company ​Kinoko Labs​.
  • Renana Krebs, Co-founder and CEO of Israeli sustainable textiles company ​Algalife.
vws pathfinder
© Vegan Women Summit

Over thirty founders and CEOs will be present at the event, along with a range of investors. Speakers will include Miyoko Schinner of Miyoko’s Creamery and Shama Sukul Lee, CEO of Sunfed. Stray Dog Capital, Big Idea Ventures, and Purple Orange Ventures will be among the investors.

Women founders have long been pioneers in the plant-based sector, but for many, it isn’t easy. A survey conducted by Vegan Women Summit found that 75 percent of women had experienced gender bias in the plant-based industry, with many having suffered harassment or discrimination.

But many have prevailed despite the challenges, with research showing that investments in women-led companies perform 63 percent better than those in all-male teams.

Vegan Woman Summit
©Vegan Women Summit

“The thing I’m looking forward to the most at VWSPathfinder is meeting and sharing stories with other female founders as passionate about the plant-based movement and the collective impact we can have as I am,” said VWS Pathfinder finalist Aki Kaltenbach.

Five founders have been selected from over 800 pitch applications from around the world for VWS Pathfinder, a global women founder summit and pitch competition dedicated to plant-based innovation.

VWS Pathfinder, powered by Vegan Women Summit, will take place virtually on Saturday, December 5th and will feature more than thirty founders, CEOs, and investors from around the world, followed by a live pitch competition. The five finalists will compete for a prize package valued at over $50,000 USD and pitch live in front of an investor jury.

The five finalists include:
Aki Kaltenbach, Founder and CEO of Save Da Sea Foods of Whistler, Canada
Astrid Prajogo, Founder and CEO of Haofood of Shanghai, China Courtney Blagrove, Co-founder of Whipped Urban Dessert Lab of New York City, USA Isabella Iglesias-Musachio, Co-founder of Kinoko Labs of Berlin, Germany Renana Krebs, Co-founder and CEO of Algalife of Tel Aviv, Israel

VWS Pathfinder finalist, Courtney Blagrove, remarked, “The frozen dessert market has historically been devoid of diverse representation in the field and our team has experienced that while grit and work ethic is a critical part of the equation for success, having strategic connections to the right people at the right time is crucial as well. Establishing these strategic partnerships is a difficult endeavor, made even more arduous by being a member of a disadvantaged group that historically lacks access to the resources and networks available to others.

VWS Pathfinder by Vegan Women Summit is taking action to change this dynamic and we are extremely proud and excited to take part in a summit that allows us to increase our brand awareness, promotes diversity and representation in the plant-based food innovation field, and also promotes increased access to plant-based foods for all people.”

“Our vision is to build a global plant-based seafood brand and the thing I’m looking forward to the most at VWS Pathfinder by Vegan Women Summit is meeting and sharing stories with other female founders as passionate about the plant-based movement and the collective impact we can have as I am,” commented Aki Kaltenbach, finalist for VWS Pathfinder.

Remarking on the pitch application turnout, Vegan Women Summit founder, Jennifer Stojkovic, shared, “Women founders have been pioneers in the plant-based space since its inception, but the fact that we received over 800 applications from 31 countries proves this is a global movement. We’re thrilled to see that over 60 percent of founders who applied to VWS Pathfinder were women of color and more than one-quarter of applicants were Black founders. This summit is our first step at Vegan Women Summit to finally get these founders the much needed recognition, support, and investment they deserve.”

Other speakers at VWS Pathfinder include Miyoko Schinner, CEO of Miyoko’s Creamery, Shama Sukul Lee, CEO of Sunfed, Denise Woodard, CEO of Partake Foods, Matilda Ho, Managing Director of Bits x Bites, Tia Blanco, pro-surfer and founder of Dear Self Skincare, and Daniella Monet, actress and co-founder of Kinder Beauty. Supporting investors include Stray Dog Capital, VegInvest, Veg Capital, Vegan Capital, Purple Orange Ventures, Unovis, KBW Ventures, and Big Idea Ventures and other event sponsors include Postmates, Upfield, Evolution Bureau, Miyoko’s Creamery, Califia Farms, and WeWork.

Full event information and tickets are available here.

About Vegan Women SummitTM

Vegan Women SummitTM (VWS) is a global events and media organization created to empower female-identifying change makers to bring compassion to their careers. VWS hosts events with the goal to foster a community of strong, ambitious rising leaders working to build a kinder, more sustainable world. VWS is supported by leading CEOs, venture capitalists, artists, athletes, & nonprofit leaders from around the world. For more information, visit

Unlike other plant-based “meats,” Singapore-based Karana’s faux pork baos and dumplings are made entirely from a single ingredient: the versatile jackfruit.

The following interview is part of the new edition of Climate & Style, an exciting new newsletter exploring climate-focused lifestyle, art and culture.

Karana is Asia’s first whole-plant based meat brand. We had a chance to sit down with Karana co-founders Dan Riegler and Blair Crichton about their experiences setting up their company and their insights into where the market is headed. Both Riegler and Crichton talk here about their goal to make it easier for consumers to reduce their meat consumption — and change the way we think of Asian comfort food.

How did you pick the name “Karana?”

Karana comes from a Sanskrit word that means “doing” and a Balinese phrase that refers to achieving balance with nature as a route to prosperity.

Karana represents our goal to empower and encourage everyone to take action, however small, to bring more balance back to our food systems. It also represents our commitment to blending innovation and tradition, using technology to improve what we already have available, and celebrating food in its natural form.

Why jackfruit?

We choose crops like jackfruit that already have a large bioavailability, are not water or land intensive, and are resistant to many of the climate change issues facing smallholder farmers around the world.

What is different about what you’re doing? 

We want to prove that eating in a healthier and more sustainable way doesn’t mean sacrificing or compromising on the food we love. We hope to make it easier for consumers to reduce their meat consumption

To do this, we’re taking ordinary, underappreciated plants and transforming them into meat starting with a whole-plant based pork made from jackfruit.

The first wave of modern plant based products are great and they’ve done a lot to open the market and educate consumers. But they are by-and-large relying on commodity crops in processed forms.

There is often an implicit assumption that these products are healthy just because they’re plant based. While they’re healthier than meat products, many of them are highly processed and not necessarily “health foods.”

With health being the number one incentive for people to reduce their meat intake, we need to offer more choices that are minimally processed and offer the benefits of eating whole plants.

How will this change what others are doing?

Moving away from animal agriculture is a great starting point for a more sustainable food system, but we need to look more deeply at which plant based ingredients we are consuming. For example, soy is second only to beef as a cause of deforestation.

We hope others are inspired to innovate more around the ingredients used in this category. Currently, we only commonly consume 150 of 30,000 edible plant species, and 12 crops make up 75% of what we eat.

What do you wish the market was paying more attention to?

The importance of biodiversity and soil health are becoming more significant topics and rightfully so. We need to dramatically increase the variety of the types of crops we eat and ensure that we are choosing plants that can be grown sustainably.

What’s the most important thing for you to get right in the next year?

Launching our first product: whole-plant “pork” made from jackfruit!

Our focus is on Asian applications. We’re starting with pork products because pork is the number one meat consumed in Asia.

We’ll be starting with restaurants but given the current global situation we are looking to accelerate our retail product launch as well, beginning with a line of dumpling and dim sum products.

In the future, we plan to launch products using other regional ingredients that will enable us to expand beyond pork.

Editors note: Responses in this feature were edited for clarity, brevity and narrative flow.

According to Barclays, the market for meat alternatives could be worth $140bn (£104bn) within the next decade, or about 10% of the $1.4tn global meat industry.

Global interest is booming, with research from the FAIRR Investor Network revealing that over £850m of venture investment flowed into alternative proteins in the first half of 2020 – more than double last year’s total investment of £412m.

And the next phase of the meat alternative wave – lab-grown meat – is well on the way, with Singapore this month announcing regulatory approval for meat products grown from cells, rather than taken from slaughtered animals. It has been hailed as a landmark moment for the future of the meat industry.

One step back from lab-grown meat, however, is another emerging technological breakthrough which could have equally ground-changing ramifications: lab-grown collagen.

Collagen is a protein that is vital in the animal kingdom. Simply put it literally holds the body together. It is found in bones, ligaments, tendons and in the skin. It’s importance in NPD is that it is a vital component in confectionery and in restaurant cookery.

Collagen is the protein that becomes gelatine – the substance that makes a fruit pastille possible and a jelly set with a wobble. It also adds body to reduced meat stocks which play a valuable part in giving body and richness to a meat stew, for example.

An American company, Jellatech, have pioneered the technique of growing collagen in a laboratory. In time it will provide a replacement for the technique of creating gelatine by boiling bones and ligaments (typically the waste bi-product of the meat industry).

To find out more I spoke to Jellatech’s co-founder Stephanie Michelsen to discover how the breakthrough came about.

“We asked the question – we have cells in our bodies producing collagen, so why don’t we just culture them in a bio reactor and harvest it?” Stephanie said. “I’m a bio technologist and so, instead of going to the animals, we knew we could grow the cells that produce it. But we had to start with an animal cell.

“Our process harvests the collagen from cells as opposed to having to farm animals. In the past this was impossibly expensive but the growth in cultured meat technology has driven the price down meaning it’s not so cost prohibitive as it once was.

A cell-based approach to collagen

“To produce collagen, we are going to be developing our own lab-grown meat to get the collagen cells we need,” explained Stephanie. “We are not the only company in this field. Geltor, for example, use microbes, yeast and bacteria to engineer collagen.

“We decided that was not the route we wanted to take. We use animal cells instead. The way we see it is that those microbes and yeasts don’t produce collagen naturally and a lot of complicated science has to take place to engineer it to have the same ultimate effect.

“Our router was to say: who’s the best collagen producer out there in the natural world? As humans, 35% of our body is collagen. We discovered that the best producer of collagen is the jellyfish. It is literally half collagen. So, that’s what inspired us to take a cell-based approach. All we are doing is optimising it.

“We are building a platform where we have various types of animal cells. It really depends on the industry we are going into. In food and drink the historic chosen collagen was made from bovine cells by turning it into gelatine.

“Other sectors like pharmaceuticals and cosmetics use other collagens from either human cells or marine. We are looking to build a platform so we can offer it to all sectors. It means we can tweak it a bit genetically to produce a better result.

“There is a scientific dilemma and debate going on about this. Our collagen does, technically, come from an animal cell but it’s not an animal – it’s a cell. It’s not multi-cellular which would mean it was an animal.

“The partners and confectionery businesses we have talked to say there is simply no vegan alternative to collagen. There are similar products like agar and pectin but they are not the same and don’t behave the same way – a gummy bear (think wine gum) is stable on the shelf but melts in the mouth. We just can’t get this outside of the animal kingdom. The cell-based approach means that we can grow collagen without having to slaughter animals.

As close to nature as is possible

“Science cultures cells all the time – say for a biopsy – but you also create continuous cell cultures that can keep on growing exponentially. They will divide and grow and grow forever. All we do is to take cells, feed them what they like so they divide and produce the protein that we want. Then we can harvest that from the cells.

“Our short term goal is to have this continuous cell line growth that we harvest from. That’s a very simplistic view of it. The science is much deeper than that, of course. We’re still in the development stage and we hope to have a commercial-grade product in 18 months.

“It will be as close to nature as is possible but what is exciting is that we can actually make a better quality collagen because we can control every stage, from the design of it, the growing, the harvesting and the purifying.

“With the conventional method, you have to go into animal agriculture and take things as they are. You can’t control what you end up with and the process needs a live animal to begin with.

“Our end product will mean the better the quality, the less you need of it. We are thinking a lot about the final product and a powdered form. We will work with the customers to see what they want.”

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