The Uniqueness of Israel
Israeli Food Start-Ups Battling Climate Change
Currently much of the world is very much focused on what can be done to help the environment, and combat the effects and advancement of climate change. As the start-up nation, it is no surprise that there are a number of Israeli companies developing technologies designed to do just this.
One area where Israeli companies are excelling is the search to find sustainable and affordable alternatives to meat. It is thought that the global market for meat alternatives will reach $140 billion by 2030 and one company leading the way is Redefine Meat. They use 3D printing technology, digital modelling and natural, sustainable ingredients to produce a meat alternative that has the appearance, texture and flavour of muscle meat. They recently raised $6 million in seed funding to develop their system further, and the aim eventually is to have it use individual ingredient cartridges such as plant proteins and fats to print forms of fake meat for the food manufacturing supply chain.
According to the company’s founder, Eshchar Ben-Shitrit, their produce will have a 95% lower environmental impact than animal meat, and it will contain no cholesterol. Importantly, it is also expected to cost the same or even be cheaper than regular meat.
Another company, RilBite, is striving to create “the burger that saves the world”. It was founded by Barak Melamed and is incubated in The Kitchen FoodTech Hub in Ashdod. They are developing a minced plant product made from just six ingredients including onions, tomatoes, and vegetable protein from soy, lentils, rice and spices.
Another Israeli company, FFW, is striving to become the world’s first to produce a yeast-based meat alternative. According to founder Leonardo Marcovitz, yeast is 50% protein, it has all the essential amino acids, and it is cheap. The challenge is to create a textured product and control yeast’s strong umami flavour.
It is not just meat that Israeli start-ups are seeking to replace. Israel is known as one of the most vegan-friendly nations and there are companies looking to create cheese, egg and milk alternatives. Yofix is one such company; it sells soy-free yoghurt alternatives that are made from oats, legumes and seeds. Another is Zero Egg, which is developing a plant-based liquid that tastes, looks and functions like a real egg in dishes such as omelettes, cakes and so on.
Cheese lovers will be interested in GoodFoods. They are developing vegan alternatives to parmesan, mozzarella and Gouda cheeses using cashew nuts. It was founded in 2019 and has already run a test pilot in six shops in Israel. Now the company is looking for investment to start a production plant.
While there has been much discussion about giving young babies a vegan diet, the company Else Nutrition is preparing to launch its soy-free, gluten-free, non-GMO vegan baby formula after a five-year development process. The founder of the company was inspired to develop the product by his granddaughter, who cannot tolerate food or soy.
These are just a few of the many Israeli companies currently developing sustainable and environmentally friendly food alternatives. During your gap year in Israel you are sure to have the chance to try some of these products so be sure to take the time to seek them out.