ICL Planet Firm Hub invested €2.75 million in Arkeon, a startup that uses carbon capture to produce sustainable proteins.

The Austrian startup, which we previously identified as one to watch, is pursuing a ground-breaking approach to producing sustainable food and has plans to scale.

The truth about food insecurity has been revealed. Simply put, we cannot sustainably maintain our current methods of feeding our expanding population. We need to reconsider our eating habits and the methods used to produce food because our world is in trouble.

FoodTech, AgriTech, and BioTech entrepreneurs all around Europe are coming up with answers to this problem so that we can continue to eat wholesome, delicious food without harming the environment.

Although an intriguing wave of plant-based products has been produced recently and is growing in popularity, we also need to take the environmental cost of production into account.

A technology to produce wholesome proteins that are carbon negative and incorporate clean-label functional additives has been developed by Vienna-based business Arkeon. The firm secured a €2.75 million investment, headed by ICL from ICL Planet Startup Hub after we included it on our list of Austrian startups to watch this year.

Utilizing Arkeon’s carbon conversion technique, the two businesses are working together to produce CO2-derived protein components for culinary applications.

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In addition to receiving financial support, Arkeon will have complete access to the R&D and manufacturing facilities at ICL Food Specialties.

“Although a young firm, Arkeon brings to the table innovative and sustainable technology for use in generating the next generation of alternative protein products,” says Rado Sporka, vice president of the Food Specialties Commercial Business for ICL. Additionally, they are completely in line with ICL Food Specialties’ growth goal of exploring fresh opportunities in distinctive and useful alternative proteins.

Arkeon, a company founded in 2021, uses the ability of archaea, ancient bacteria, to transform CO2 into protein components. Dr. Simon Rittmann, Dr. Guenther Bochmann, and Dr. Gregor Tegl, the procedure’s co-founders, developed it after more than ten years of research.

Co-founder and CEO of Arkeon, Gregor Tegl, Ph.D.: “I spent a significant portion of the last ten years investigating novel and environmentally friendly biotechnological ways of alternative protein manufacturing. Our team has developed a new technique for producing regenerative food by utilizing its expertise in microbiology and gas fermentation. We can scale up our ability to produce proteins derived from archaea thanks to ICL’s support and partnership.

The startup’s one-step fermentation bioprocess captures carbon dioxide and transforms it into the 20 proteinogenic amino acids required for human nutrition, producing entirely customized protein components. Without using genetic engineering or clean-label functional components, the resulting alternative proteins are carbon negative.

The bacteria responsible for the protein solution, Archaea, is a component of the microbiota of all living things. It consumes carbon dioxide naturally and converts these greenhouse gas emissions into nourishing protein, making the process not only regenerative but also sustainable. With the aid of this revolutionary discovery, Arkeon has produced a food business alternative that will change the game.

Hadar Sutovsky, vice president of external innovation at ICL and general manager of ICL Planet, said: “Arkeon has made a significant advancement by figuring out how to feed people while also reviving our ecosystems. It is entirely consistent with our organization’s mission to generate significant answers for humanity’s sustainability concerns in the global food markets that Arkeon is committed to developing a renewable and simple-to-use protein.

With this money and ICL’s assistance, the Vienna-based team may now scale production and advance its goal of using archaea to feed a burgeoning world population.

Rado Sporka: “As a reputable company, we can provide our cutting-edge infrastructure, considerable expertise, and accumulated insights, as well as support for the market and regulatory-related issues.”

Rado Sporka added, “We are looking forward to collaborating with this exciting start-up to create a brand-new food category based on Arkeon’s special protein discovery, which is not reliant on water or land and has a small ecological footprint.”

Image Credit: Arkeon


Data professional, Writer and Thinker at TECHnicalBeep, aspiring to provide quality content with respect to "All things Startups" to our readers. It is important for the people that they are aware of how the world is changing and evolving daily, and how those ideas and innovations can potentially help grow the Ideasphere of the region.

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