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FoodTech 2019

Zero Egg Wins Calcalist's Foodtech Innovation Competition

Zero Egg develops and manufactures a plant-based liquid egg that tastes, looks, and functions like a real egg

Naomi Zoref 16:4128.10.19

Plant-based egg substitute startup Zero Egg Ltd. is the winner of this year’s food innovation competition held by Calcalist, Israeli food processing company Tnuva, and accounting firm KPMG. Dozens of Israeli foodtech companies participated in the competition, out of which 11 finalists were selected to present their technology at Calcalit’s FoodTech 2019 conference Monday. The event was held at Tel Aviv coworking space Labs.

 

Zero Egg develops and manufactures a plant-based liquid egg that tastes, looks, and functions like a real egg, according to company statements. According to the company founders Liron Nimrody, Tammy Meiron, and Amiel David, Zero Egg’s product could be used as an egg substitute in any recipe, including omelets and mayonnaise. To date, the company has raised $1.05 million in funding from investors The Kitchen and New Crop Capital.
Zero Egg CEO and co-founder Liron Nimrodi. Photo: Orel Cohen Zero Egg CEO and co-founder Liron Nimrodi. Photo: Orel Cohen
“Demand for egg substitutes is on the rise, from individual consumers who want to eat less animal-based products as well as from the food processing industry,” Nimrody said at the event. “While plant-based diets are becoming more popular, existing products are insufficient when it comes to taste, functionality, nutritional values, and versatility,” she said. “Our substitute functions just like a real egg,” she added.

 

The judges of the competition were Eyal Melis, CEO of Tnuva; Yoel Esteron, Calcalist’s publisher; Marcelle Machluf, dean of biotechnology and food engineering at Technion Israel Institute of Technology; Einav Kliger, a lecturer at the food science department at Tel-Hai Academic College; Gil Meron, a venture partner at San Diego-based agtech fund Finistere Ventures; Oren Avrashi, head of corporate social responsibility and innovation at Israeli beverage company Tempo Beverages Ltd.; Tamar Morag-Sela, a senior partner and head of life science and chemistry practice at the law office of Reinhold Cohn & Partners; and Idit Blank (Varol), a partner at KPMG Somekh Chaikin.

 

Natural food color startup Phytolon Ltd. came in second. Founded in 2018 by Tal Zeltzer and Halim Jubran, the company develops technology for the production of natural food colorants through fermentation, using baker’s yeast cells as biofactories. The company’s food colorants are plant-based pigments in a variety of colors and applicable to a wide variety of food products.
Phyotolon CEO and co-founder Halim Jubran. Photo: Orel Cohen Phyotolon CEO and co-founder Halim Jubran. Photo: Orel Cohen
“The food industry is in a constant quest for natural, high-quality colorants,” Jubran said Monday. According to him, current natural food colorants cannot compete with synthetic colorants, which he attributes to inefficient production methods. “We produce the same colors that plants produce in a natural process, using yeast. The colorants are cheap, compatible with a variety of food products, and sustainable.”

 

These are the other nine companies who made the finals:

 

DayTwo
DayTwo's Amir Golan. Photo: Orel Cohen DayTwo's Amir Golan. Photo: Orel Cohen
Founder: Lihi Segal

Funding: $48 million

Investors: aMoon, Ofek Ventures, Johnson & Johnson, Seventure Partners, Israeli basketball player Omri Casspi

Founded in 2015 and based in Tel Aviv, DayTwo Ltd. offers personalized nutrition optimization suggestions based on feces analysis to determine gut microbiome DNA. According to DayTwo, the company's nutrition suggestions are designed to reduce the risk of diabetes and other metabolic diseases. In December, the company announced a plan to open a $5 million lab that will allow it to process over 100,000 feces samples a year.

 

Tamiz

Tamiz founder Tami Steinfeld. Photo: Orel Cohen Tamiz founder Tami Steinfeld. Photo: Orel Cohen

Founder: Tami Steinfeld

Funding: $100,000

 

Tamiz develops and manufactures dairy products from non-soy vegan dairy-alternatives. The company currently supplies three product lines to health food stores throughout Israel: vegan spreads and spreadable cheeses, vegan yogurts and drinks, and vegan hard cheese.

 

 

Yoran Imaging

Yoran Imaging co-founder Eran Sinbar. Photo: Orel Cohen Yoran Imaging co-founder Eran Sinbar. Photo: Orel Cohen

Founders: Yoav Weinstein, Eran Sinbar

Funding: $1.5 million

Investors: private investors

 

Yoran Imaging develops packaging analytical monitoring (PAM), a non-intrusive in-line inspection system for heat-sealed packages. The company’s system can be used for containers, blisters, canisters, pouches, sachets, and tubes.

 

 

Equinom

Equinom co-founder Itay Dana. Photo: Orel Cohen Equinom co-founder Itay Dana. Photo: Orel Cohen

Founders: Gil Shalev, Itay Dana

Funding: $10.25 million

Investors: Fortissimo, Hazera 1939, Dan Danzinger, Roquette

 

Equinom Ltd. is a computational breeding company developing non-GMO specialty crops for the food industry, including high-protein legumes designed to be used in innovative plant-based food products. Founded in 2012, Equinom has a number of contracts under its belt, including a multi-year contract with U.S.-based hummus maker Sabra Dipping Company LLC, and a commercialization agreement with Japan’s Mitsui & Co. Ltd.

 

 

Soos Technology

Soos Technology founder Yael Alter. Photo: Orel Cohen Soos Technology founder Yael Alter. Photo: Orel Cohen

Founder: Yael Alter

Funding: $1.8 million

Investors: Takwin, Mikal, SIBF, Alon Gozlan

 

NR Soos Technology Ltd. develops incubation technology that controls the sex-development process in poultry embryos and changes genetic male embryos into functional female chickens capable of laying eggs. The company's technology controls changing environmental conditions during the hatching process to determine gender without harming eggs or chicks, enabling the egg industry to increase business productivity business and optimize efficiency.

 

 

Verstill

Verstill co-founder Yechiel (Jonathan) Ben Zvi. Photo: Orel Cohen Verstill co-founder Yechiel (Jonathan) Ben Zvi. Photo: Orel Cohen

Founders: Yechiel (Jonathan) Ben Zvi, Ido Maor, Matan Edvy

Funding: $550,000

Investors: Alex Haruni, Termaips Technologies, F&F

 

Verstill Distillation Systems develops technology to more quickly and cost-effectively produce spirits. The company’s molecular distillery is able to control the flavor composition and complexity of whiskey, and bring high-quality spirits into the market in a matter of weeks instead of years, according to the its website.

 

 

TIPA Compostable Packaging

TIPA's Julia Schifter. Photo: Orel Cohen TIPA's Julia Schifter. Photo: Orel Cohen

Founders: Daphna Nissenbaum, Tal Neuman

Funding: $49 million

Investors: Greensoil, Chestnut holdings, Horizons Ventures, Blue Horizon Ventures, Triodos Organic Growth Fund

Founded in 2010, TIPA Corp Ltd. manufactures and designs plastic-like bags and packaging that are fully compostable as an alternative to conventional plastic packaging. The company’s products disintegrate under compost conditions—high humidity, high temperature, and the presence of microorganisms—within 180 days, according to company statements. The compostable plastic is made up of 20%-60% plant-based ingredients such as non-genetically modified corn, depending on the type and shape of the packaging.

 

 

AgrIOT

Agri IOT CEO Eyal Ginzberg. Photo: Orel Cohen Agri IOT CEO Eyal Ginzberg. Photo: Orel Cohen

Founder: Assaf Sufa

Funding: $1 million

Investors: private investors

 

AgriIOT Group Ltd. develops IoT-based technology to help manage fertilizer levels based on the nitrogen content in plant leaves by measuring the greenness of the leaves through the use of sensorless IoT technology, digital image processing, and advanced optics. The company’s technology then provides farmers with accurate fertilizer and watering recommendations.

 

 

Kinoko-Tech

Kinoko-Tech co-founder Jasmin Ravid. Photo: Orel Cohen Kinoko-Tech co-founder Jasmin Ravid. Photo: Orel Cohen

Founders: Jasmin Ravid, Daria Feldman, Hadar Shohat

 

Kinoko-Tech Ltd. produces various gluten-free, cholesterol-free, and non-GMO food products based on an alternative protein mushroom tissue called mycelium, which grows on legumes and grains.

 

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