Collaboration advances fermentation and machine learning to create new, clean proteins
Tel Aviv, Israel; November 23, 2022 – LCI (NYSE: ICL) (TASE: ICL), one of the world’s leading specialty minerals companies, today announced that ICL Food Specialties has partnered with Protera Biosciences, an AI-driven foodTech start-up developer of novel proteins, which are used to develop sustainable and highly functional protein ingredients for food manufacturers. The partnership follows ICL’s 2021 investment in Protera through ICL Planet Startup Hub, which is the vehicle ICL uses to invest and collaborate with innovative companies in food and agriculture technology globally.
Through this partnership, ICL and Protera will develop and commercialize sustainable protein-based ingredients using precision fermentation. These clean label ingredients will meet current market demands and provide a replacement for chemical additives or less appealing ingredients. They will also improve the sensory properties of plant-based food applications, while having a positive impact on global food safety challenges.
Protera creates impact through madiMT, a deep learning platform, capable of predicting and matching the structure and functionality of plant proteins. It designs proteins from a database of over 1.5 billion edible protein sequences and applies precise fermentation parameters to produce them. The results respond to consumer demand for a short list of simple ingredients on food labels.
The new platform also enables the discovery of untapped high-performance plant proteins. These new ingredients can replace texturizers, stabilizers, preservatives, etc., all based on vegetable proteins. Streamlining plant-based protein development and production makes it much easier to replace animal protein, helping to further reduce pollutants such as methane and carbon dioxide.
“Through this collaboration, we can deliver new ingredients through cutting-edge technology not currently available on the market,” said Hadar Sutovsky, ICL Vice President of External Innovation and General Manager of ICL Planet. “Once these functional ingredients are launched, food manufacturers will be able to accelerate the development of plant-based products that are environmentally friendly and sustainable.”
“We will soon be able to provide global market access to these ingredients for major food producers, in a sustainable way,” says Rado Sporka, Vice President of ICL’s Specialty Foods Business Activity. “This will further diversify and strengthen ICL’s commitment and offerings in the area of alternative proteins and accelerate impactful solutions for global environmental challenges.
“We are excited about this collaboration with ICL Food Specialties to bring new proteins to market,” adds Leonardo Alvarez, Founder and CEO of Protera. “Combining the strengths of our two companies will dramatically accelerate our vision of using biology to create protein-based ingredients. We are already validating functional targets in the lab, with unprecedented speed and accuracy. »
The research teams of both companies are actively working on the development of these innovative protein-based ingredients and, through this partnership, will be able to scale up production once the ingredients are ready for commercialization.
ICL Group Ltd. is a leading global minerals company, creating impactful solutions for humanity’s sustainability challenges in food, agriculture and industrial markets. ICL leverages its unique bromine, potash and phosphate resources, global professional workforce, and sustainability-focused R&D and technology innovation capabilities to drive business growth in its markets final. ICL shares are dual-listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (NYSE and TASE: ICL). The company employs more than 12,500 people worldwide and its revenue in 2021 totaled approximately $7 billion.
About Protera Biosciences
Protera Biosciences advances the science of protein engineering to solve some of the most critical problems and opportunities in food, agriculture, environment and human well-being. The company is streamlining protein design and development with madi™, its proprietary deep learning algorithm, to predict effective, high-value protein products and enzymes with unprecedented speed and accuracy. Visit http://proterabio.com for more information.
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