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‘Milky tuber tale’: Molecular farming startup to produce dairy proteins in potatoes

Finally Foods – an Israeli molecular farming startup producing dairy proteins in potatoes – has emerged from stealth with pre-seed funding from The Kitchen FoodTech Hub (TKH) by Strauss Group and the Israeli Innovation Authority, according to a report by AgFunderNews.

Founded by Dr. Basia J. Vinocur (formerly VP R&D at computational biology company Evogene), and Dafna Gabbay (who previously founded a startup making copper-based antimicrobials), Finally Foods leverages AI-powered technology from Evogene it claims will speed up and optimize the process of developing plants expressing high levels of casein proteins.

While some players in the ‘animal-free dairy’ space such as Nobell Foods (molecular farming) and Change Foods (precision fermentation) are building consumer brands, Finally Foods is a b2b business, Gabbay told AgFunderNews [disclosure: AgFunderNews’ parent co AgFunder is an investor in Nobell Foods].“We’re definitely not going to be a B2C company. We are an ingredient company.”

Armed with an undisclosed amount of pre-seed funding from The Kitchen, she said, Finally Foods’ immediate focus is building out the protein expression system and extraction protocols. Longer-term, she said, the company will be looking to secure regulatory approvals in the US market.

While several companies are now engineering microbes to produce animal proteins via precision fermentation, Finally Foods and others in the emerging ‘plant molecular farming’ space argue that the unit economics of growing some of these high-value proteins in genetically engineered plants can be more favorable.

Source: AgFunderNews. Read the full story here
Photo: Finally Foods cofounders Dr Basia Vinocur (left) and Dafna Gabbay (right). Image credit: Finally Foods via AgFunderNews

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