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Funding leaves sweet taste


Ingredients developer zuChem this week announced that it has raised a considerable chunk of capital in order to develop new methods to manufacture alternative sweeteners.

Gaining funds from private and public sources, the US company succeeded in raising a total of $850,000 (€743.031) in the close of its Series A financing.

"zuChem is a perfect example of how organised early stage capital can be leveraged and where the strong partnership between public and private sectors will catalyse the growth of a promising new technology company," said Tom Churchwell, managing partner of ARCH Development Partners, a seed investment fund.

Working closely with the food industry, zuChem develops manufacturing processes for glycochemicals - varieties of specialised sugars. It has previously partnered with the National Center for Agriculture Utilisation Research in Peoria, Illinois, to co-develop its initial product, a reduced calorie sweetener for the food industry, that is currently being transferred to full-scale manufacturing.

zuChem said that it still has a close association with the centre and the new funding will contribute to the expansion of its research operations in Peoria.

"zuChem is developing new methods to manufacture superior alternative sweeteners," said David Demirjian, president of zuChem. "This funding will allow us to supply food manufacturers with better, less-expensive sugar substitutes."

Additionally, while zuChem's initial products serve the food ingredients industry, the company hopes that the new funding will help to accelerate its product development for the pharmaceutical industry. "The funding will also allow us to begin development of new sugar-based pharmaceutical intermediates," added Demirjian. "The technologies zuChem is developing will help create new antibiotics, anticancer and antiviral drugs in the future."

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