ANDRESSA LACERDA, ADAM NOBLE, co-founders, Noblegen
We’re still just scratching the surface when it comes to unlocking the potential of microbial fermentation to manufacture food ingredients, says Canadian bioengineering firm Noblegen, which is developing a new breed of designer oils, proteins, and nutraceuticals from an ancient single celled micro-organism called Euglena.
Using a proprietary technique called ‘facilitated expression’ that does not involve genetic engineering, Noblegen has been able to coax the micro-organism – “a protist that could also be classified as an algae” – into producing everything from cost-effective palm oil replacements, high-oleic cooking oils and the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, to complete proteins with all nine essential amino acids, says co-founder Dr Andressa Lacerda.
“We can do this at volumes and prices that will make sense to large CPG companies; this isn’t about making $9.5m in its Series A round in early 2016, is currently seeking to raise around CAD$40m in its Series B round to expand its facilities and hire more staff, she said. “We’re growing very fast.”
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