Will Your Next Vegan Burger Be Made with AI?

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    NotCo, a plant-based food company founded in Chile, uses cutting-edge technology to improve its recipes and avoid supply chain issues.

    For its meat and dairy substitutes, Giuseppe, an artificial intelligence platform, has helped Not Company SpA develop some novel recipes. Pineapple juice, cabbage juice, and pea protein are constituents of NotMilk, NotCo’s plant-based milk. Beet juice powder, pea and rice proteins, bamboo fibre, and chia protein concentrate are in the company’s NotBurger product. It’s never over for Giuseppe. The crisis in Ukraine is interrupting the supply of a vital ingredient in both products: sunflower oil.

    Food experts have requested Giuseppe at the company in Santiago to develop a substitute for sunflower oil, which is used in more than one-third of all plant-based burgers, nuggets, sausages, and other meat substitutes. Matas Muchnick, the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of the firm, believes the stand-in might be a blend of several types of fats, but not palm oil. He says, “NotCo’s goal is to provide a solution for the whole industry.”

    Using an AI platform, NotCo could overcome a scarcity of pea protein by modifying its recipes, giving the firm a leg up in the booming sector. More than 800 facilities throughout the world will be needed by 2030 to supply the worldwide demand for plant-based protein, according to GFI estimates. “We need to be doing these things yesterday, being able to look through the supply chain and figure out what bottlenecks might be happening,” says Priera Panescu, a plant-based specialist at GFI. “This type of technology can help out with that a lot.”

    After a fundraising round in July 2021, NotCo was valued at $1.5 billion, with investors including billionaire Jeff Bezos, chef Danny Meyer, and Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton. Co-branded plant-based goods with Kraft Heinz Co. will shortly be introduced as part of a cooperative venture between the company and Burger King and Shake Shack. NotCo has increased since its inception in 2015, establishing operations across Latin America, Australia, Canada, and the United States. It plans to launch items in Asia and Europe this year. According to the corporation, NotCo has a 5% share of the burger market in Chile.

    The purpose of NotCo is to produce both environmentally friendly and cost-effective food. When animals are removed from the equation, “everything gets far more efficient, exponentially,” Muchnick explains. According to Chief Technology Officer and co-founder Karim Pichara, Giuseppe has an extensive database that allows it to create a formula to develop a plant-based replica of an animal product, taking into account aspects like texture, flavour, colour, and nutritional profile. Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help solve these issues because it would take years without it.

    New fundraising rounds bring Bezos-backed plant food company NotCo into the exclusive club of unicorns:

    The plant-based food startup NotCo, backed by Jeff Bezos and featuring sportsmen Lewis Hamilton and Roger Federer, announced on Monday that it had secured $235 million in its most recent fundraising round, valuing the business at $1.5 billion.

    As a result of the fresh capital, the company wants to expand its operations in Asia and Europe and manufacture newer items for the North American market.

    “NotCo has received several inquiries asking if it is possible to create a vegan version of their goods. We may do so to be the “Intel Inside” of other goods. “According to Matias Muchnick, CEO of NotCo,

    As part of its expansion goals, NotCo, which operates in six countries in the Americas, aims to increase its investment in artificial intelligence technology known as Giuseppe.

    DFJ Growth Fund and ZOMA Lab also contributed to the round of fundraising, which Tiger Global headed.

    Consumers who care about their health and the environment are increasingly choosing plant-based diets, driving numerous companies to emulate the success of industry giants Beyond Meat (BYND.O) and Impossible Foods by launching their versions.

    Consumption of plant-based meat substitutes is on the rise because people are looking for safe and nutritious alternatives during the epidemic.

    “COVID raised the awareness of the plant-based food category, and the growth of the category was massive,” Muchnick said.

    According to market research company PitchBook, investments in plant-based meals will exceed $1.7 billion in 2020, roughly three times the amount invested in 2019. This year, the market for alternative proteins is expected to reach about $8 billion.

    Seven months ago, NotCo released its plant-based milk, NotMilk, in the United States, and it expects to reach 8,000 retail locations by year’s end.

    As originally reported in https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-07-22/plant-based-food-startup-uses-ai-to-solve-supply-chain-woes