Speciality minerals company ICL has invested €2.75 million in Arkeon, a sustainable protein ingredients company, through its innovation and investment platform, ICL Planet Startup Hub.
Arkeon has developed a one-step fermentation bioprocess, which creates customisable protein ingredients by capturing CO2 and converting it into the 20 proteinogenic amino acids necessary for human nutrition.
The process uses archaea, a single-cell microorganism, which naturally feeds on CO2 and transforms it into nutritious protein ingredients that are carbon-negative and clean-label.
Arkeon says that ICL’s support will be key in helping the company to scale up its protein production capabilities.
Gregor Tegl, co-founder and CEO of Arkeon, said: “I dedicated much of the past decade to exploring new and sustainable biotechnological methods of alternative protein production. Our team has harnessed proficiencies in microbiology and gas fermentation to create an entirely new regenerative food production system. ICL’s support and partnership will be instrumental in helping us scale our archaea-derived protein production capabilities.”
Hadar Sutovsky, vice president of external innovation at ICL and general manager of ICL Planet, added: “Arkeon has achieved a major breakthrough by finding a way to nourish people and revitalise our ecosystems at the same time. Arkeon’s dedication to developing a renewable and easy-to-use protein is completely in line with our organisation’s commitment to creating impactful solutions for humanity’s sustainability challenges in the global food markets.”
Rado Sporka, vice president of the Food Specialties commercial business for ICL, stated: “Although a young company, Arkeon brings to the table innovative and sustainable technology for use in creating the next generation of alternative protein products. They also fully align with ICL Food Specialties’ growth strategy of pursuing new frontiers in unique and functional alternative proteins.”
He continued: “As an established corporation, we are able to offer our advanced infrastructure, extensive experience and accrued insights, plus market and regulatory-related support. We look forward to working with this promising start-up to unlock a whole new food category based on Arkeon’s unique protein discovery, which is not dependent on land and requires minimal use of water, providing it with a limited ecological footprint.”
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