The BioVeritas Process ™: The Impossible Burger of clean label mold inhibitors

By Elizabeth Crawford

- Last updated on GMT

Source: Getty/4kodiak
Source: Getty/4kodiak

Related tags Tortilla Bread mold inhibitor Clean label Ift

New research suggests bio-based ingredient company BioVeritas’ upcycled, clean label bread and tortilla mold inhibitor could be a “fundamental game-changer” on par with how Impossible Burger shifted the paradigm for plant-based burgers, argues the company’s chief commercial officer Pareen Shah.

“Clean label mold inhibitors have been around for a long time. But the first generation of clean label mold inhibitors all bring with them some sort of compromise. You either need a lot of material to get good efficacy or a good shelf life … or you’re trading off sensory. There is something about the taste, texture or mouthfeel that is not the same as the traditional synthetic equivalent [calcium propionate derived from petrochemicals,”​ Shah told FoodNavigator-USA.

“But what we were able to do, and we were able to show, is that [The BioVeritas Process ™] delivers on both efficacy … and in sensory”​ compared to calcium propionate and other clean label options, he explained.

At the Institute of Food Technologists’ annual Food Improved by Research Science and Technology (IFT FIRST) this week in Chicago, BioVeritas is sharing results from a third-party study conducted by Great Plains Analytical Laboratory that show The BioVeritas Process ™ delivers 30% greater efficacy than a leading clean label mold inhibitor currently available, and in tortillas it has equivalent efficacy to synthetic calcium propionate, “which is the gold standard,”​ Shah said.

He added, “in sensory we have no substantial differences versus the petrochemical equivalent,”​ while other clean label options might impart an off-putting sour note.

“No one has ever done this before. This is the first time. Everybody else out there has a trade-off – you might be trading off taste or you might be trading off efficacy. We’re not. This is a big step forward because we are delivering both,”​ he said.

He compared the research results – and potential market impact of The BioVeritas Process ™ to how Impossible changed the game for plant-based burgers.

“An analogy is how veggie burgers have been around forever. And then when Impossible came along it changed the game because you are no longer trading off. You could be a meat-eater and you have a veggie burger, but it doesn’t taste the same or feel the same. Now you get Impossible burger and it tastes the same and it feels the same, and you’re not trading anything off – we are that in this space,”​ Shah said.

He added the company’s research results show that The BioVeritas Process ™ is a “step change difference from where the market has been, and so that is really a big move forward. … This will raise the bar for everyone else to hit that to stay relevant in the market.”

A drop in solution with a potentially lower carbon footprint

The BioVeritas Process ™ also does not require manufacturers or brands to change their recipes or production processes – it is a simple drop-in solution, Shah adds.

He explained that most other clean label mold inhibitors require manufacturers to use three to five times as much of their ingredient to get the same effect as the synthetic calcium propionate. This not only impact the formulation, but it means companies need three to five times more warehouse space, may see an uptick in transportation requirements and overall carbon footprint.

“We are much closer to a synthetic calcium propionate in terms of the actual amount of material, which is unique, because we have a very high efficacy product,” ​Shah said.

This can help companies working towards environmental and ESG goals, added Shah, who noted BioVertias aims to deliver 75% less carbon emissions than the petrochemical incumbent by 2030.

The process also has a positive environmental story to tell because it upcycles biomass from excess and unused foods as its feedstocks, said Shah who added that BioVeritas as a company is Upcycle Certified.

In addition, because The BioVeritas Process ™ is a drop-in replacement, companies don’t need to alter their operational processes.

“This is great from an efficiency standpoint and employee training because all you do is swap out A for B and B is a lot better,”​ he said.

Cost on par with other clean label options

The added benefits of The BioVeritas Process ™ will not add to the production costs compared to other clean label options.

“There is an established price premium already for clean label mold inhibitors. This is well known and well established in the marketplace. It is about five to 10 times the price of synthetic. And so what is great about us is we’re delivering this no-compromise, no trade-off solution and we play within the established market price premium,”​ Shah said.

Samples available while BioVeritas scales

While BioVeritas’ new clean label mold inhibitor is not yet available at commercial scale, the company is sampling it for food and drink production and actively engaged with a number of leading ingredient companies, Shah said.

As it works with companies to showcase the benefits and uses of The BioVeritas Process and bring on commercial partners, it is engineering its first plant, which will be located somewhere in the Corn Belt in the US and is expected to be up and running in 2025.

The facility is made possible by a recent $65m capital investment from Ara Partners, Shah added.

As the company nears commercial production, it is also exploring how The BioVeritas Process ™ can serve as a platform for production of a wide range of biochemicals that can be derived from short- and medium-chain fatty acids, added Shah.

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