Happy Friday, fellow nerds! Coming at you with a Weekly Find feature that’s sure to get your geek going: Protera Biosciences. 🧪🔬
Based in Chile but soon to be relocating to France, Protera aims to do something that has the potential to revolutionize the food industry: create clean-label protein-based ingredients to replace the ubiquitous chemicals in packaged goods.
Protera uses a unique combination of deep learning and fermentation to identify and produce proteins as the basis for their novel ingredients. The first, protera guard, can keep bread and similar baked goods mold-free for 30 to 45 days.
You read that right. Up to 1 1/2 months, no mold, no chemicals. Say goodbye to that unidentifiable green fuzzy thing in your bread box! 🍞
Thanks to their proprietary algorithm — dubbed MADI — Protera is able to discover and build proteins with characteristics matching the properties the company wants for its ingredients. MADI is able to analyze and pull information from literally billions of natural proteins — a stunning feat no human could manage at scale.
Fermentation completes the process to give Protera viable proteins it can test and apply to new ingredient formulations. The company is currently working to develop protera sense, a “health-friendly plant-based oil” to replace palm oil and trans fats, while founders Leonardo Álvarez and Francia Navarrete are eyeing emulsifiers and antioxidants as future projects.
Despite a lot of companies taking a stab at making “healthier” options, packaged food choices for those of us trying to avoid added fats, processed sugars, excess sodium and dubious chemicals are still sorely lacking.
Protera’s ingredients could change that if the company is able to continue to scale up its processes and educate food manufacturers as to the benefits of making the switch.
How do you see these innovations changing the packaged food landscape?