Collaboration promotes fermentation and machine learning to create new, clean-label proteins
Tel aviv, Israel; November 23, 2022 –ICL (NYSE:ICL) (TASE:ICL)a leading global specialty minerals company, announced today ICL Food Specialties has joined forces with Protera Biosciences, an AI-powered foodTech start-up and designer of novel proteins, used to develop sustainable, highly functional protein-based ingredients for food manufacturers. The partnership follows ICL’s investment in Protera in 2021 through ICL Planet Startup Hub, the vehicle ICL uses to invest in and collaborate with innovative companies in foodTech and agriTech globally.
Through this collaboration, ICL and Protera will develop and commercialize sustainable protein-based ingredients using precision fermentation. These clean-label ingredients meet current market demand and offer a replacement for chemical additives or less attractive ingredients. They will also improve sensory properties in plant-based food applications while positively impacting global food security challenges.
Protera creates impact through madiTM, a deep-learning platform that can predict and match the structure and functionality of plant proteins. It designs proteins from a database of over 1.5 billion edible protein sequences and applies precise fermentation parameters to produce them. The results meet consumer demand for a short list of simple ingredients on food labels.
The new platform also makes it possible to discover untapped high-performance plant-based proteins. These new ingredients can replace texturizers, stabilizers, preservatives and more, all based on plant proteins. Streamlining the development and production of plant proteins makes substitution of animal proteins much easier, further reducing pollutants such as methane and carbon dioxide.
“This partnership allows us to offer new ingredients through breakthrough technology that is not currently available on the market,” said Hadar Sutovsky, ICL Vice President External Innovation and General Manager of ICL Planet. “Once these functional ingredients are launched, food manufacturers will be able to accelerate the development of clean-label and sustainable plant-based products.”
“We will soon be able to sustainably provide major food manufacturers with global market access to these ingredients,” said Rado Sporka, vice president of the Food Specialties Commercial Business for ICL. “This will further diversify and strengthen ICL’s involvement and offerings in alternative proteins and accelerate impactful solutions to global environmental challenges.”
“We are excited about this partnership with ICL Food Specialties to bring new proteins to market,” added Leonardo Alvarez, founder and CEO of Protera. “Combining the strengths of our two companies will dramatically accelerate our vision of using biology to create protein-based ingredients. We are already validating functional targets in the lab, with unprecedented speed and accuracy.”
The two companies’ research teams are actively developing these innovative protein-based ingredients and will be able to scale up production once the ingredients are ready for commercialization.
ICL Group Ltd. is a leading global specialty minerals company, creating impactful solutions for humanity’s sustainability challenges in the food, agricultural and industrial markets. ICL leverages its unique bromine, potash and phosphate resources, global professional workforce, and sustainability-focused R&D and technology innovation capabilities to drive the company’s growth in its end markets. ICL shares are dual listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (NYSE and TASE:ICL). The company employs more than 12,500 people worldwide and its revenue in 2021 will total approximately $7 billion.
About Protera Life Sciences
Protera Biosciences advances the science of protein engineering to address some of the most critical problems and opportunities in food, agriculture, environment and human well-being. The company streamlines protein design and development with madi, its proprietary deep-learning algorithm, to predict effective high-value protein products and enzymes with unprecedented speed and accuracy. Visit http://proterabio.com For more information.