Smallfood: Price competitive, highly soluble complete protein with superior functionality and nutrition?
By Elaine Watson
- Last updated on
Nova Scotia based Smallfood - a new player in the burgeoning alternative protein space – is developing a novel Non GMO complete protein sourced from a single-celled marine microorganism, which it claims can give animal and plant proteins a run for their money. (Pic credits: Smallfood.)
“We spent years bioprospecting, exploring what’s the perfect protein and asking what microorganism – the planet’s most energy efficient biological production system - can produce it?" says CEO Marc St-Onge. "So that required sequencing more than 20,000 unique microorganisms, which produced one candidate that produces a protein that more closely mirrors the amino acid profile of beef than plants.
“It’s a wild type strain so there’s no genetic modification [unlike some microbial proteins that are currently being produced with the aid of synthetic biology], but there’s a process of domestication; we had to learn how to grow it in an optimized way to ensure it remains happy and productive in a controlled environment.”
At industrial scale, the protein concentrates will be price competitive to plant-based protein concentrates and isolates, while offering superior functionality and nutrition, claims St-Onge, who has raised more than CAD$20m to date, and is now raising a Series B round to fund commercial scale production.