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Alternative Proteins International

Food Pioneers Sophie’s Bionutrients And NewFish Join Forces To Develop Dairy Alternatives From Microalgae

Sophie’s Bionutrients and NewFish®, two pioneers in the field of microalgae protein fermentation, with the support of New Zealand-based marine research powerhouse, Cawthron Institute, and Netherlands-based leading food university, Wageningen University & Research, have decided to collaborate internationally to unlock microalgae’s future in food nutrition.

Global food challenges require alternative solutions.

Fueling the growing world population requires ensuring the supply of climate-friendly and ethically-produced proteins, new protein sources, and novel food production technologies. While many are starting to enter the plant-based food category globally, few companies are driving R&D efforts to offer GMO-free dairy alternatives and specialized ingredients.

Since 2022, a new wave of modern food companies are joining forces to accelerate innovation in microalgae and share upstream and downstream resources. Collectively, they have a shared global mission to develop microalgae as the base for sustainable nutrition and novel food products that eliminate animal suffering and promise an ecological footprint far superior to that of intensive industrial farming.

One leading company is Sophie’s Bionutrients, a B2B food technology company on a mission to create plant-based, protein-rich alternatives to meat and seafood using microalgae. The Temasek Foundation-backed startup, operating between Singapore and the Netherlands, in 2021 announced to be the world’s first foodtech company to use microalgae to develop 100% plant-based and sustainable alternative proteins for use in dairy and other novel foods.

Another high growth startup, NewFish®, is a leading New Zealand biotech and novel ingredients company specializing in fermentation, production, R&D, commercialisation and manufacturing of novel seafoods and proteins derived from microalgae. The company is headquartered in Auckland and works closely with the Cawthron Institute, a leading world-leading marine science park headquartered in Nelson, New Zealand along with other New Zealand institutes and engineering partners.

Both companies are at the forefront of advancing microalgae protein research and product development in their respective regions. Their collaboration spans their global value chains, including shared research and development, co-development of microalgae strains, ingredients supply for manufacturing, and commercializing new food and alternative dairy solutions.

The starting point for deeper collaboration

“We are pleased to form this strategic partnership with Sophie’s Bionutrients, already an industry leader in microalgae fermentation and proteins. NewFish, Cawthron Institute, and New Zealand have a complementary focus regarding novel ingredients, whereas we also have our endemic microalgae strains and species. This partnership will serve as a starting point for deeper global collaboration between the parties and will accelerate the microalgae foods and nutrition industry. We are solving a global issue, which requires a collective solution,” said Hamish Howard, General Manager of NewFish.

“Together with NewFish and Cawthron Institute, we are working to overcome the challenges of obtaining sufficient microalgae strains, scaling production capacity, and bringing online sufficient global supply to make available affordable, taste and consistent foods made from microalgae. We are delighted about this Singapore-New Zealand-Netherlands-Taiwan partnership in which we are working together on the future of food,” emphasized Kirin Tsuei, co-founder and CCO of Sophie’s Bionutrients.


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