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70/30 Food Tech launches Mycelium Research Lab and successfully closes seed extension

February 20, 2024

70/30 Food Tech, a Singaporean holding company with operations in China and other parts of Asia, is actively developing low-cost, whole-cut mycelium-based protein solutions, products that are positioned as affordable and high-quality alternatives to traditional animal-based proteins, tailored for the Asian market.

The company has already introduced mushroom-/soy-based protein products for B2B clients, particularly targeting white-collar workers in China. Guaka, the Chinese restaurant chain specializing in light and healthy food, with an estimated one million end consumers in total across all its locations, is one of the buyers of 70/30 Food Tech's B2B solutions.

"Despite facing challenges in 2023 related to the post-pandemic and economic conditions, we maintain a positive outlook on the growth potential of the plant-based sector in Asia – especially if we can provide affordable and healthier alternatives to animal protein. We can achieve this with fungi biomass fermentation," said Eve Samyuktha, CEO & Founder.

In a recent financial milestone, 70/30 Food Tech successfully closed its seed-extension round fundraising for an undisclosed amount. The round garnered substantial support from investors, including Better Bite Ventures and follow-on investments from its seed investors. The primary use of funds is to launch the 70/30 Mycelium Research Lab to develop fungi-based biomass ingredients.

"We believe that mycelium-based sustainable protein products can be a gateway to broader consumer adoption in Asia, especially given the familiarity and positive perception of fungi in the region. We liked 70/30 Food Tech's product pipeline and unique go-to-market strategy," added Michal Klar, Founding Partner of Better Bite Ventures.

The company started its initial pilot-scale experiments in biomass fermentation technologies in 2021 at the Shanghai Academy of Agricultural Sciences, primarily to develop cost effective alternative proteins.

After surveying several B2B customers, the company states that the financial aspect plays a pivotal role in the decision-making process of food services when considering a switch from animal-based to plant-based suppliers.

"Achieving cost-efficiency is crucial and food businesses in China and other parts of Asia will likely be interested in products that can offer competitive pricing compared to animal-based products and this in turn, can attract a larger market share and drive adoption," stated Doris Lee, CEO of GFIC, the consultancy that focuses on accelerating the alternative protein industry development in China.

Biomass fermentation yields high-quality protein with amino acid ratios equal to or better than animal protein. The resulting product also has a texture akin to animal flesh, especially poultry and seafood. It also eliminates the need for the extrusion process commonly associated with soy-based protein production, which is a unit operation that makes the soy-based alternative labeled as 'processed' food.

Through the use of specially mutated fungi strains and bioreactor process designs, the company follows a close-to-market commercialization approach, while ensuring safety and quality.

70/30 Mycelium Research Lab is strategically situated within a renowned biotech startup incubator. The incubator also provided financial support as it identified 70/30 Food Tech as an impact project working on sustainable solutions for battling climate change.

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with us, please email info@futureofproteinproduction.com

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