Changing climate demands and population growth will require a 70% increase in food production by 2050, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). But dwindling resources are making for a food industry that is scrambling to keep up, and cutting some corners to do so.
This can likely explain why a new category of ultra-processed food has been recently recognized, including products that are vegan or fall into the “health foods” category yet contain some of the very same health perils as eating red meat and fried food.
Stepping in to patch these disparities is food technology (foodtech), a market that is forecast to exceed $342 billion by 2027. Foodtech is helping to catalyze evolutions in food manufacturing to meet the demand for healthier, cheaper, and safer food products—even with the growing number of mouths to feed.
In wake of this paradigm shift, plant-only foodtech startup The Live Green Group, Inc. today announced a commercial agreement with multinational food giant Sigma Alimentos via their internal startup, FoodForms. Their collaboration will help the multinational food manufacturer to facilitate the replacement of common food additives and chemicals seen in products with 100% plant-only alternatives.
Let’s take a look at how this partnership will help the food industry not only move away from the use of unhealthy ingredients such as chemical additives but build a new standard of health and sustainability for food products as a whole.
The Future of All-Plant Eating
Harnessing the power of plants will make it possible for the food industry to step away from an antiquated system. To date, nearly half of all of the money invested in AI for foodtech went into companies creating alternatives to traditionally produced meat, seafood, and dairy products—including startups working on lab-created protein and plant-based meat and dairy substitutes.
The Live Green Group, a Boston-based startup, has created a proprietary AI/ML platform, Charaka™, to accelerate these efforts and the food industry’s transition to all-plant, clean-label foods. This recommendation engine can be utilized to replace animal, synthetic, and ultra-processed ingredients in food with 100% plant-only ingredients thanks to its database that comprises 15,000 plants and over 500,000 data points.
The Live Green’s partnership with Sigma is a huge step forward, marking the first time a large food manufacturing company is taking steps toward entering the plant-only space.
In a mutually beneficial relationship, The Live Green Group will provide cutting-edge ingredient formulations developed using Charaka™, and the subsidy of Sigma, FoodForms, will contribute savvy on consumer knowledge, food R&D expertise, and scaling capabilities.
This represents a significant benchmark in scaling plant-only alternative food products in breadth and depth within food manufacturing—battling the industry’s reliance on animal products and synthetic chemicals and additives.
Cutting Chemicals For Good
There has been an escalating use of synthetic ingredients within the food industry in an effort to keep up with demand, with a recent study estimating that highly processed foods make up nearly 60% of today’s urban diet.
Partnerships as seen through The Live Green Group and Sigma Alimentos show that companies big and small are joining forces to leverage the capacities of nature and science to deliver disruptive functionalities to food—helping to avoid the use of chemical additives.
The ever-expanding CharakaTM has the ability to significantly improve the ingredients used on food manufacturers’ recipe lists, cutting out chemicals not meant for human bodies and replacing them with wholesome and nourishing alternatives.
A New Food Frontier
The plant-based food market is predicted to exceed $162 billion within the next decade, helping to untether the food industry’s reliance on animal and synthetic products.
Implementing AI along with data science has been shown to improve the quality and efficiency of every department of food production, boosting capacities in the space to meet modern-day needs.
Partnerships such as between The Live Green Group and Sigma are just the beginning in turning the tide towards a new food frontier.
Disclosure: This article mentions a client of an Espacio portfolio company.