As McDonald’s debut’s ‘McPlant’, here’s a look at the Israeli competition
As the U.S. fast food giant announces its plant-based patties, we take a look at some of the Israeli companies revolutionizing the Foodtech space
Beyond Meat was the frontrunner to produce the ‘P.L.T’ McDonald’s burgers and will see the fast-food giant follow their competitors who have already introduced plant-based products. Famously, Burger King’s Impossible Whopper hit the menu with the help of Impossible Foods Inc. in 2019.
However, there are many Israel-based companies that are also in the plant-based race to fill our hunger needs. McDonald’s and Burger King might be using the help of some American companies today, but let’s see who might be helping them tomorrow.
Name: Future Meat Technologies
Product: Biotechnology company developing tech for the GMO-free production of meat from animal cells
Founders: Professor Yaakov Nahmias
Funding: $16.5 million
Unlike Beyond Meat, which works on an entirely plant-based solution, Future Meat Technologies works to create a platform that can manufacture and distribute non-GMO productions of meat directly from animal cells. This removes the need to farm and harvest livestock animals while still ‘growing’ real meat from cells. In 2020, the company won Calcalist’s Foodtech Innovation Startup contest.
Name: Amai Proteins
Product: Manufacturer of ‘designer’ proteins to replace sugars with cheap and healthy alternatives
Founders: Ilan Samish
Sugar supplements have been far from a new invention, but Amai Proteins has developed what it calls to be a ‘healthier and cheaper’ alternative to regular sugar replacements. It uses its technology to produce ‘designer’ proteins tha are optimized to balance taste, health, and affordability for manufacturers.
Name: Blue Tree Technologies
Product: Sugar reduction platform to assist the drinks industry
Founders: Yuval Klein
Blue Tree Technologies Ltd. is ‘on a mission’ to develop a sugar reduction platform to help with industrial applications in the drinks industry. While it isn’t working on meat replacements like other Foodtech companies, Blue Tree’s first product is a pure sucrose-reduced orange juice - something that could reignite the falling juice industry.
Name: SavorEat Ltd.
Product: 3D-printed plant-based products
Founders: Racheli Vizman, Oded Shosayev, and Ido Braslevsky
Funding: $4.9 million
SavorEat combines 3D-printing, automated cooking devices, and plant-based materials to develop meat replacements with a variety of textures and designs. It can mirror any ‘conventional’ meat, such as burgers or steaks, and is also gluten and allergen-free. Notably, its products do not need to be refrigerated.
Product: Provides cultivation solutions for food crops and cannabis
Founders: Roy Shay and Dan Meimeron
Funding: Seed (unknown)
Not all Foodtech companies relate to food! Verticanna’s products help collect and analyze environmental data that can help with a variety of crops and medical cannabis. Its hydroponic platforms can help customers improve their yield while keeping costs low while growing plants and crops.
Product: Personalized designs on foamed beverages
Founders: Danny Lavie, Eyal Eliav and Yossi Meshulam (also CEO)
Funding: Seed (unknown)
This one’s not technically a biotech company, but we think it falls in line with Foodtech all the same. Ripples is a platform for printing customized image and text-based content on any foam-topped beverages - anything from draft beer, cocktails, milkshakes, nitro drinks, and coffee lattes can be used as a printing canvas using 100% natural extracts. It also has a web app for user-generated content and an analyics tool .
Name: Aleph Farms
Product: Producer of real steaks from isolated cow cells
Founders: Didier Toubla and Shulamit Levenberg
Funding: $13.25 million
Similar to another company on this list, Aleph Farms takes the cells from real cows and creates actual steaks without having to farm and harvest cows. Its 3D platform uses a variety of cells to make sure you can taste all the fat, tissue, and blood associated with your regular delicious steaks.
Reuters contributed to the start of this story.