As climate change reshapes planet Earth literally from the ground up, sustainability has become mankind’s most important goal. Nowhere is this more critical than with our food supplies, which are dwindling and unable to feed the rapidly growing population. The need for technologically advanced food alternatives is crucial.
Tech is stepping up to create alternative sources of nourishment without further damaging the environment.
On July 25th, OurCrowd will host ‘Investing in FoodTech: Making Tomorrow’s Meals,’ an online discussion featuring FoodTech experts Laura Flanagan, CEO of Ripple, Yuval Klein, Co-founder and CEO of BlueTree Technologies, and Dr Lara Ramdin, CIO of Dole Sunshine Company, the largest producer of fruit and vegetables in the world.
A transition away from animal protein “has the potential to deliver 14 to 20 percent of the emissions mitigation the world needs until 2050 to stay below 1.5°C,” according to the Good Food Institute. The adoption of alternative proteins has the potential to “dramatically slow climate change,” McKinsey reports. Food production “contributes around 37 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions,” according to a global study by the University of Illinois, most of it related to the production of animal-based foods.
The global value of the alternative protein market is projected to reach over $342 billion in the next five years fueled by concern about the environment and personal health.
Dairy production is a major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions. Ripple offers a plant-based alternative to dairy products including milk and soft serve ice-cream that match or even beat the nutritional benefits of other milk alternatives. Compared to cows’ milk, Ripple has half the sugar, 50% more calcium, and no cholesterol.
Ripple’s environmental impact is minimal. Compared to other milk alternatives, Ripple uses six times less water and its production creates only 1/55 of the greenhouse gas emissions of dairy milk. The company’s chosen substitute, yellow peas, is a sustainable crop, producing 86% lower emissions than almond milk, and is a significant source of protein.
“Yellow peas are one of the highest non-animal protein sources on the planet, and they’re one of the most sustainable crops out there.” says Laura Flanagan, Ripple CEO.
The potential market for dairy alternatives is enormous, Flanagan says. “China is a country of 1.4 billion people and 320 million children, many of whom are lactose intolerant or sensitive to dairy.”
Ripple appears to be passing the taste test.
“In terms of the impact of the flavor and the mouthfeel and the creaminess, they really did an excellent job,” says Dr Lara Ramdin of Dole Sunshine Company, who says she is a fan of Ripple’s soft serve ice-cream.
But the search for alternative proteins is a serious business. “Our alternative FoodTech is really critical because we’re desperate for alternative sweetening technology that can help to continue to make products that delight consumers, but don’t necessarily have a negative health impact,” Ramdin says.
“You have 2 billion people who are hungry. And yet on the other side, you have 1.9 billion people who are struggling with obesity. And then on top of that, in the US alone, we are wasting a hundred billion pounds worth of food, which is worth $400 billion a year.”
BlueTree Technologies, based at OurCrowd’s Fresh Start FoodTech incubator in northern Israel, produces natural drinks, such as orange juice, with reduced sugar. BlueTree’s proprietary technology filters out the sucrose, leaving only the good parts of the juice.
“Orange juice is about 9 percent sugar, it’s close to Coke. So drinking one glass of squeezed orange juice, you can get eight or nine grams of sugar,” says BlueTree CEO Yuval Klein. “People told us that when we reduce sugar by 30 percent, it’s wonderful, it’s tasty. It feels like orange juice, it feels like the same feeling that we are used to.”
‘Investing in FoodTech: Making Tomorrow’s Meals’ hosted by OurCrowd will be streamed online on Monday, July 25th. Register HERE: