ISRAEL – Brevel, an alternative protein startup, has raised US$8.4 million in seed funding to build a commercial pilot facility set to open later this year, as it prepares for the next stage of mass production.

The seed round was backed by FoodHack, Good Startup VC, Tet Ventures, and Nevateam Ventures, along with other prominent food technology investors.

The round also included funding from the Horizon2020 and Israel’s Innovation Authority in the form of non-dilutive grants.

The company uses proprietary technology that combines sugar-based fermentation of microalgae with a high concentration of light to produce a microalgae-based protein that is affordable, neutral in color and flavor, functional, sustainable, and scalable.

The company said the process reduces the cost of producing microalgae by more than 90% and therefore serves as an ideal to existing technologies which are not only costly but also have flavor barriers.

Arman Anaturk, CEO and co-founder of FoodHack said: “Brevel’s scalable solution has the potential to help millions of people around the world eat dairy-free products that have excellent nutritional values at the right price.”

Mermade explores new line of seafood alternatives 

Meanwhile, Mermaid, a pioneering cellular aquaculture company, has announced the development of ‘more sustainable’ cultivated seafood offerings, beginning with scallops.

The company said it’s working on a line of seafood alternatives to be produced in a bioreactor in an effort to put additional sustainable seafood products on shelves.

The start-up is also developing a circular method of growth media that is poised to strengthen aquaponics technology and limit the amount of waste in cell-cultured protein production.

Mermade Seafood co-founder and CEO Daniel Einhorn pointed out that by 2050, overall protein consumption is expected to double and marine-based proteins are predicted to take a growing market share.

For this reason, there is a need for a more affordable, sustainable, tasty, and healthy protein, he added, just the same way, Mermade was founded to respond to the agri-food industry’s negative environmental impact.

Like a growing number of start-ups, Mermade believes the solution lies in cellular agriculture and also believes cell-based meat can be produced even more efficiently and sustainably and is turning to aquaponics to make this happen.

Aquaponics combines aquaculture, the growing of fish and other aquatic animals with hydroponics, whereby plants are grown without soil. Essentially, aquaculture water provides the nutrients for the plants to grow.

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