Startups

Israeli food-tech startup Phytolon closes $4.1 million in funding for its fermentation-based technology for the production of plant-based food colors | Tech News


The need for new natural food colors is increasing due to growing consumer awareness and demands for healthier food colors to replace the synthetics that may have adverse effects on our health. The lack of reliable natural alternatives with respect to quality and cost-efficiency has made the use of natural food colors a huge challenge for the food industry.

Phytolon is a Misgav, Israel-based food technology startup on a mission to address this need. Phytolon offers a technology designed for the production of natural food colorants using bakers yeast cells as bio-factory. The company specializes in fermentation to create a natural food colorant.

Today, Phytolon announced it has raised $4.1 million in funding for its fermentation-based technology for the production of plant-based food colors.  Backers for this funding include Millennium Food-Tech (a new R&D partnership dedicated to investing in food-tech companies who have now made their second investment), EIT Food, (Europe’s leading food innovation initiative), Consensus Business Group (CBG), The Trendlines Group (a leading Israel and Singapore-based investment group focused on high-growth medical and agrifood technologies), Yossi Ackerman (former President and CEO of Elbit Systems), and the Israel Innovation Authority, and others.

Phytolon utilizes current scientific advancements to bring biotechnology-based, natural, high-quality food colors to the market in a cost-effective manner for the benefit of better human health and environmental sustainability. According to the research forecast, the food color market reached $2.85B in 2019, with a CAGR of 5.8%, where natural colors comprise 69% of the market.

Phytolon was founded in 2018 based on licensed technology through the Weizmann Institute of Science. The company leverages a proprietary, fermentation-based technology to produce plant-based food colors. Since its inception two years ago, Phytolon has been awarded many accolades: a finalist at MassChallenge Israel 2020, AgriVest 2019, Slingshot 2019, and a runner-up in the Calcalist-Tnuva Foodtech 2019 competition.

Phytolon is recently conducting proof of concept experiments of their product’s performance at production lines of leading players in the food industry. Commenting on the funding, Phytolon CEO Dr. Halim Jubran said, “This round will enable us to reach the market with our healthy and sustainable food colors that offer high quality and cost-efficient solutions to the food industry. The new round will also promote our collaborations with our potential clients, with whom we have been in communications during the past year and a half.”

Trendlines Incubators Israel CEO Barak Singer added: “Phytolon was established following a collaboration between The Trendlines Group and the Weizmann Institute of Science. We are extremely pleased that the company, managed by Dr. Halim Jubran, secured this over-subscribed round in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to the commercialization of its technology to provide healthier, more ecological, and cost-effective coloring to the food technology market.”

Chanan Schneider, CEO of Millennium Food-Tech added, “For us, technologies that make food more natural and healthier are innovations that change the world of food and beverages. It is clear to us that consumers are looking for products with more natural and healthier ingredients and are even willing to pay a premium for them. Phytolon brings a patented solution, perfect for the food color sector, and has garnered a lot of interest in its technology and products.”




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