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  • Writer's picturePhoebe Fraser

Abu Dhabi’s Novel Foods to build $500m biotech production hub

Abu Dhabi-based company Novel Foods Group has announced plans to build a new $500 million biotech production hub in the United Arab Emirates.

The hub, which will focus on producing sweet proteins via precision fermentation, is part of a deal signed between Novel Foods, Glatt Group, BioEngineering and CB Consultancy during the inaugural Healthy Innovation Conference held recently in Dubai.

The new biotech production site will focus on the development of brazzein, a natural sweet protein with a sugary taste that is said to be several thousand times sweeter than sucrose.

The commercial applications of brazzein extend across various sectors, including beverages, confectionery, bakery, dairy and ice cream.

Brazzein is currently derived from berries of the equatorial belt of West Africa and has been consumed locally for centuries. Challenges in harvesting due to remote locations and limited availability are now being addressed through precision fermentation.

Alaa Al Ali, shareholder and member of the board of Novel Foods Group, said: "We believe people should enjoy the sweetness they love without sacrificing health or taste."

Novel Foods’ existing concept and R&D centre in Dubai is committed to crafting tailor-made recipes that replace sugar with brazzein, supporting co-creation with regional decision-makers and product development teams.

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