Top 5 foodtech startups cooking up a storm
The unification of food and technology has given rise to an array of innovative startups. These businesses are reshaping the way we produce, distribute, experience, and even think about the food that we eat.
Startups delve into the world of food technology and explore some of the most innovative foodtech startups to see what they’re all about and how they aim to change the way food impacts our lives. From using AI in agriculture, to new ways of producing more sustainable ingredients, to making personal chefs more accessible, there’s plenty to chew on.
Aviwell is a deeptech startup using a disruptive AI/ML Discovery Platform, at the intersection of life and data sciences, to identify unique insights into animal health, growth, and performance. The company’s solutions are based on 30 years of pioneering university research into the molecular basis of the microbiota gut-brain axis, and innovative Artificial Intelligence techniques. Aviwell is developing innovative feed solutions for livestock producers worldwide that significantly improve animal growth and health.
Their Mission? To develop natural and sustainable solutions to improve animal health to better nourish and provide food security to the nearly 8 billion people on our planet, at a fraction of the cost.
After its recent funding round, Mouli Ramani, PDG and CEO of Aviwell said: “The funds will help us accelerate the development of our revolutionary hybrid AI-based Discovery Platform to identify and commercialise unique insights into animal health, growth, and performance. Ultimately, we intend to develop innovative feed solutions and platform services that significantly improve animal growth and health for the agri-food industry worldwide in a natural and sustainable manner.”
Based in London, Hoxton Farms is growing a revolution. The startup’s big claim is “we make real animal fat, without the animals.” So how do they do it?
Hoxton Farms has combined cell biology and mathematical modelling to make a better kind of fat. Starting from just a few cells, it grows purified animal fat in bioreactors to produce a delicious, cruelty-free, and sustainable ingredient.
Like other companies in the alternative “meat” space, the startup was founded on the ground that the meat industry is largely unsustainable. The demand for meat alternatives is growing, with more and more people deciding to eliminate meat from their diets, but many, including the founders, agree that these products aren’t good enough.
Fat is the magic in all food, it’s what makes it so delicious. Plant oils aren’t always a good replacement, they lack the flavour and elements that can make food well-rounded. Many plant oils also aren’t sustainable and are bad for the environment, so the world needs a clean source of animal fat to create meat alternatives that look, cook and taste like the real thing. By using technology, Hoxton Farms is doing just that.
Mimica is on a mission to create accessible, affordable freshness indicators for all types of perishable products, from food to pharmaceuticals. The startup aims to become the globally recognised mark of freshness for industry, consumers and communities.
Currently it is estimated that 60% of wasted food is still perfectly edible due to the confusing and inaccurate date system that is currently in use. Food waste is a massive issue globally. Around 40% of all food produced globally goes to waste, equivalent to around 2.5 billion tonnes per year. The world produces enough food to, in theory, be able to wipe out global hunger, though so much is thrown away and hunger across the world continues. The system needs to change, and food companies are realising that.
Mimica is creating the next generation of food expiry labelling that reduces food waste and improves food safety. Its first product, Bump, is a bio-responsive food expiry cap or tag that reacts to the environment and gives physical information. When it is smooth - the food is fresh, when the bumps can be felt – it’s no longer safe to eat. This eliminates the confusion of expiry dates, which have time and time again been proven to be an inaccurate measure of food freshness.
Created in 2017, the Founder Solveiga Pakštaite developed the concept behind Bump while studying at Brunel University. This was quickly followed by a patent granting and the building of a team of experts, Bump by Mimica went on to win the James Dyson Award and the project was awarded grant funding by the EU, the UK government and the Mayor of London.
Source.ag claims it is the “AI partner for your greenhouse.” The startup assists commercial greenhouse crop growers adjust their growing conditions, optimise their resources, and maximise their yields by using AI models. These AI models are able to predict how different plants will grow under different conditions. The solutions the company has on offer intend to give growers the power to improve their business, reduce risk in their operations and increase their yields.
Source.ag are seeking to make greenhouse agriculture a sustainable, local and climate-resilient food production method. They do this by providing a custom environment for each specific crop. The technology aims to enable growers to make better-informed decisions about their crops and greenhouses to aid more sustainable harvests.
Food production is majorly energy and water intensive. 70% of all fresh water is already used by the agriculture sector today. And that isn’t the only hard hitting fact about food that is trying to be tackled by the startup. It is estimated that 50% more food is needed to feed 9.5 billion people, which is a population figure that isn’t all too far into the future. Alongside this, climate change is expected to lower all crop yields by 20%, so the food that is currently being produced is expected to drop, and with a lot more mouths to feed in the not-so-distant future, the sector needs the help it can get to ensure the population will be fed.
Yhangry is a chef marketplace which helps customers book private chefs to come to their home, or any place that is requested, and cook for any occasion, such as birthdays, hen parties or even weekly meal prep. They currently work with 600+ chefs across the entirety of the UK.
The company provides a platform for talented chefs to break free from the low-paying, high-stress environments of traditional restaurant kitchens and forge their own paths as food entrepreneurs. Each chef on the platform is able to set their own prices, create unique menus, and showcase their talents in a way that works best for them. Not only
Yhangry’s mission is to empower both the customers and the chefs. By offering affordable access to the luxury of private dining, the startup makes it possible for anyone to create unforgettable memories with their loved ones. Traditionally, the concept of hiring a private chef for an event feels extravagant and an experience most wouldn’t be able to afford. But yhangry ensures an affordable price for such an experience, whilst making sure the chefs are well compensated for their work.
The last bite
As we conclude our five-course meal of foodtech startups, it's evident that the union of food and technology has unleashed a wave of innovation that shows no signs of cooling down.
From farm to fork, from kitchen to table, there’s plenty of foodtech startups creating a whole new culinary world to take a bite out of.