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24th August 2021  Content supplied by: newprotein staff writer

Melt&Marble Secures €750k to Develop Fermented Fat Prototype

Producers of hybrid alternative protein products have a new name to add to the list of potential fat suppliers. Swedish start-up Melt&Marble announced a €750K seed funding round for its yeast-based fat production process. Funds will be used to finalise its prototype and hire more talent. 

The seed round was led by Nordic FoodTech VC, together with PINC - the venture investment arm of Paulig, a family-owned food and beverage company - Purple Orange Ventures, and Chalmers Ventures.

Melt&Marble is not an entirely new company. It was founded in 2014 as Biopetrolia, with the goal of developing a precision fermentation technology to create biofuels.

The pivot – and the name change - came when the two co-founders, Dr. Anastasia Krivoruchko (CEO) and Dr. Florian David (CSO), realised that their precision fermentation technology was actually very efficient when applied to food. 

Right now, the fat component of plant-based formulations comes mostly from coconut or palm oil. However, as demand grows rapidly, alt protein producers may end up with two options, both undesirable: using vegetable fat from non-sustainable sources or facing serious supply shortages.

The third way is to use fat from a different source. “Fat is key to the experience of eating a delicious piece of meat”, says Krivoruchko. "Because the properties of plant-based fats are different from those of animal fats, the experience of eating many plant-based meats has so far been inferior when compared to the real thing. With our technology, we can create fats that are identical to animal fats, or even better. This could become a booster for the entire industry!” 

The goal of the founders is to complete a prototype of animal-free beef fat by the end of the year. In the long run, however, the goal is to go beyond the creation of animal fat replicas. Melt&Marble’s fermentation technology has the potential of creating new types of fats tailored to specific meat analogues, with different textures and melting points.

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Date Published: 24th August 2021

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