Seed-breeding start-up Equinom has opened a new R&D centre in Givat Brenner, Israel, which will enhance the firm’s ability to produce novel seed-based ingredients for food.
Equinom is a tech start-up that uses computerised breeding technology to provide ‘optimised’ seeds to food and ingredient firms in the food industry.
The company’s new R&D centre is reportedly three times the size of Equinom’s existing facility. The new site houses all four of the company’s main departments – biochemistry, applications, sensory, and breeding – which will enable the departments to work together throughout the course of the seed breeding process, enhancing the production process.
The site will include a biochemistry lab, food application lab, and a sensory lab.
According to Equinom, the new sensory lab includes organoleptic tools which can help to design tastier food products. By applying an ‘electronic nose’ (“e-nose”), Equinom can analyse seeds for thousands of taste compounds, reducing off flavours.
Equinom claims that this technology, together with an in-house internal sensory panel, also drives the enhancement of desirable flavours as the company can trace the genetic background of “good” flavours, and merge those genetic traits into breeding algorithms in a way that the resulting taste will be an intrinsic trait in the seed’s breeding programmes.
Gil Shalev, CEO of Equinom, said: “Introducing the e-nose lets us target desirable traits more accurately and design seeds that produce palate-pleasing products.
“As a bonus, it also reduces the need for maskers to block unpleasant flavor notes.”
Itay Dana, vice-president of marketing at Equinom, added: “Consumers are now demanding clean-label plant-based products. By discovering appealing textures starting at a seed level for, as an example, meat analogues, we can dramatically reduce the need for extensive processing.
“This means food manufacturers are better able to provide consumer products with cleaner — and clearer — labels. Equinom’s seeds can potentially reduce production cost by almost 40% via fewer ingredients, lower price, reduced need for flavour enhancers, and encouraging strong consumer adoption.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2021
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