Meala FoodTech secures US$1.9 million in pre-seed round
Start-up Meala FoodTech, a developer of a functional protein platform, has announced the close of US$1.9 million in pre-seed investment. The round was led by The Kitchen FoodTech Hub, part of The Strauss-Group and DSM Venturing (the corporate venture arm of the Dutch multinational Royal DSM). With participation of Milk & Honey Ventures, specializing in alt-protein investments, DSM Venturing’s contribution marks its third investment in the Israeli food-tech ecosystem in 2022.
While the plant-based category continues to gain momentum, alt-protein food formulators still struggle to improve the labels and mouth-feel of their products to match traditional, animal-based counterparts. Currently, popular meat alternatives such as veggie burgers and sausages typically contain a long list of ingredients, some with complex chemical names unfamiliar to consumers.
Meala FoodTech, whose CEO & Founder Hadar Ekhoiz Razmovich appeared in the launch edition of Protein Production Technology International, is on a mission to revolutionize the plant-based protein industry by developing new ingredients and processes that allow the creation of cleaner, 'better-for-you', products.
Meala’s multi-functional proteins vastly improve the texture of meat alternatives to more compellingly mimic the organoleptic qualities of real meat and deliver a more full-bodied flavor. Meala’s proprietary platform creates functional proteins designed to be used as binding and gelling agents thanks to their superior water retention capabilities. The platform enables formulators to boost meat analogues with better nutritional value and functional properties using a short list of ingredients as in real meat.
“We are excited to complete this investment round with the support of leading investors,” noted Razmovich. “This achievement reflects the investors’ trust in our technology and R&D team of experts. There is a significant need in the plant-based industry to effectively reduce undesirable ingredients and clean up labels. This investment will help us get closer and faster to the market, better address the companies’ specific needs and provide affordable, smarter solutions.”
“It is exciting to support Meala on this important mission to improve plant-based foods, making them tastier, more nutritious, and with readily recognizable ingredients,” added Jonathan Berger, CEO of The Kitchen FoodTech Hub. “This is another milestone in our quest to nourish a better tomorrow, and we are honored to have a leading entity such as DSM Venturing co-invest with us in such a promising company.”
The new funding will initially go toward continuing the development of the company’s platform technology and accelerate from lab to pilot scale. The start-up’s core technology enables the development of functional proteins for multiple meat replacements, including burgers, sausages, nuggets with egg and fish alternatives in development.
“This investment will enable us to accelerate our growth and support plant-based producers in their mission to reach new consumer segments,” concluded Dr Tali Feldman Sivan, Co-founder of Meala. “We already initiated collaborations with leading plant-based CPG manufacturers to implement Meala’s solution in their products. We are on track to launch products in the US and European markets in 2024.”
Meala’s vision for plant-based alternatives is to have a short list of simple, recognizable “home kitchen” ingredients while delivering the same full-bodied flavor and texture of real meat. The platform works with a versatile range of plant proteins. The Meala solution can be easily integrated into CPG products through existing manufacturing lines.
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