Israel-based start-up Mediterranean Food Lab (MFL) has raised $17 million in a Series A funding round to scale-up its novel solid-state fermentation technology.
MFL uses solid-state fermentation to produce natural flavour bases that it claims can enhance the sensory experience of eating plant-based meat, helping to make the taste more appealing and realistic.
Led by Swedish investment firm Gullspång Re:food and joined by PeakBridge, Arancia International and FoodBridge, among others, the round is set to help MFL scale up its industrial production, as well build a sales team to lead the commercialisation of its ingredients to foodservice and CPG companies in Europe.
MFL combines solid state fermentation technology with an AI-driven computational platform, that works to create clean-label savoury ingredients that provide depth, body and meaty flavours to foods from bean-based dishes to plant-based meat analogues.
MFL utilises microbes to eat away at a substrate, such as grains or legumes or food industry waste streams, then using the enzymes produced to serve as biocatalysts in a second fermentation stage, creating ingredients that would be listed as ‘fermented chickpea’ for example, rather than ‘natural flavours.’
While solid-state fermentation has been used for centuries – think kimchi – MFL uses its machine learning platform to understand what to put in, in order to gain specific results from the end of the fermentation process.