Israel’s Equinom is a company with a clear mission: to ensure the supply of nutritious and affordable alt proteins for a sustainable future. This year, the company celebrated a $20 million Series C funding round to help achieve that goal.
Developing AI and plant breeding techniques to produce improved seeds without the use of genetic modification, Equinom has been involved in a host of partnerships recently, including for Black Sheep Foods’ plant-based lamb, as well as Meatless Farm and Europe’s largest milling company GoodMills.
We talked with Founder and CEO about the company and its work with various high profile partners in the field to assist the acceleration of plant-based.
Please introduce EQINOM and its mission
Equinom is a food-tech company combining agricultural know-how, culinary expertise, and deep technology to develop delicious, nutritious, affordable and sustainable plant-based ingredients from the ground up. Equinom partners with the food and ingredient industries to custom-design ingredients and enable local sourcing, by leveraging an innovative business model and cutting-edge seed-to-plate food-application technology.
By applying AI and computational breeding to its proprietary seed bank, Equinom harnesses the natural diversity in crops to breed a portfolio of non-GMO varieties to meet the needs of the ever-expanding plant-based food industry. These seeds feature premium and value-added characteristics, such as superior protein, organoleptic qualities, and nutrition, along with traits that minimize processing.
What exactly is the Manna Platform?
Our proprietary Manna™ platform uses artificial intelligence to develop premium quality, high-yield, non-GMO ingredients naturally – in half the time of traditional crop development cycles.
The Manna™ platform first screens our seed bank for source seed varieties that match the detailed multi-trait specification provided by food companies. When a match is found, Equinom cultivates the source seeds and processes them into protein concentrate that is used as a key ingredient in food companies applications.
If no matching variety is found, the Manna™ platform predicts the plant crossbreeding options that would produce the desired triats, using the following high-throughput steps:
- The system locates varieties with subsets of the desired traits.
- Proprietary algorithms predict the interaction between multiple genes that may interfere with the expected breeding results as well as gene interaction that may enhance results
- The algorithms also seek to minimize environmental factors that may influence gene behavior but do not change DNA
- The AI integrates these factors to define the most significant genetic blocks for the desired traits and compute the genomic code of the target product. This ideal genetic combination, a multi-trait specification of sorts, is the target product genomic code (TPGC).
- Equipped with the TPGC, the AI simulates millions of breeding combinations, determining the plant combinations that produce a closely matching variety to the TPGC – in the shortest possible time.
How do you work with clients?
Equinom partners with food and ingredient companies to deliver innovative non-GMO ingredients that squeeze out more efficiency from both production and the supply chain to make plant based products more competitive, tasty and nutritious.
Why should clients work with you?
Equinom is empowering food manufacturers unlock the true potential of plant-based alternatives by breeding diverse and new non-GMO seeds for source ingredients with specific protein composition, starch, fibers and sugars. Equinom’s food seeds carry a host of desirable traits – exceptional characteristics, superior nutritional profiles and enhanced organoleptic properties – and these varieties can be tailored for specific food applications. Equinom is the only legume breeder that designs ingredients exclusively for the food industry, offering endless ingredient possibilities to feed the explosive demand for plant-based products.
Which clients do you currently work with?
- Roquette – Roquette is satisfying surging consumer demand for natural plant-based nutrition using high-quality protein-rich Equinom peas.
- Pepsico/Sabra – Sabra sought out Equinom to develop high-quality sesame paste that is creamy, delicious and sourced locally for their authentic hummus.
- GoodMills Group – Equinom and GoodMills are creating protein-rich yellow pea ingredients packed with indulgent taste and pleasing texture for the next generation of meat and dairy alternatives.
- Meatless Farm – Creating healthier alt-meat products with low carbon footprints, The Meatless Farm 70%-protein concentrate leverages Equinom peas to deliver up to 50% more protein in a variety of sustainable products.
Is there anything further you would like to add for our readers?
Equinom believes that to perfect our food sources and consumer experience, we simply need to make the most of the wonders that nature has designed over millions of years.