UK-based biotech business Clean Food Group has been awarded £1 million in funding by the UK Government to advance novel low-emission food production systems in the UK.
The funding will enable the rapid scale up of Clean Food Group's manufacturing capability and the development of next generation, high-value microbial oils.
The funding from the UK Government's Novel Low-Emission Food Production Systems: Industrial Research Grant has been awarded by Innovate UK, the UK's national innovation agency, and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). It will accelerate the company's growth plan to deliver a market-ready technology leading to a more local, sustainable and healthy food production system.
During the 18-month project, Clean Food Group will collaborate with The University of Bath leveraging its bio-tech research capabilities to develop high-value, functional microbial oils. Clean Food Group's proprietary technology platform uses proven, scalable yeast strains and fermentation technology to convert food waste into sustainable alternatives to traditional oil and fat ingredients.
Clean Food Group’s co-founder and CFO, Tom Ellen, said: "We are delighted to have been granted this funding by Innovate UK and the BBSRC. The award is great validation of our technology platform and commercialisation strategy and will help us rapidly scale our manufacturing capabilities and regulatory pathways to achieve the necessary Food and Cosmetic regulatory approval for our products. We have a long history with the University of Bath and are thrilled to strengthen this further as we continue working with their world-leading research team."
This week, it was also announced that Clean Food Group had partnered with UK-based bakery brand Roberts Bakery. The partnership will enable Clean Food Group to use Roberts Bakery's surplus bread as a feedstock for its proprietary non-GMO yeast strain in the production of its precision fermentation palm oil.
The partnership will begin with an initial trial phase and, going forward, the ambition is to create a circular ecosystem, with Roberts Bakery providing Clean Food Group with its bread waste, to produce oils that can be used as an ingredient in bread and biscuits, when combined with glucose syrup.
Jim Mellon, executive director of Agronomics and director of Clean Food Group, commented: "This partnership marks a significant milestone in the ongoing transition towards developing sustainable food production systems. A partnership between a household UK brand like Roberts Bakery and Clean Food Group shows the steps being taken to help address both the harmful problem of food waste and the unsustainable production of fats and oils."
Chuck added: “We're seeing some great results from our early trials, irrespective of what the bread is, our yeast can use not just the whole carbohydrate fraction, but the protein and microelements present as well. This all-in-one feed, gives us a real advantage over using more complex media, in both performance and sustainability."