Sydney-based company v2food has won the InnovationAus 2023 Award for Excellence in the Food and Agritech category for its cutting-edge protein-based meat 2.0.
The InnovationAus 2023 Awards for Excellence were presented on Wednesday night at a black-tie gala dinner at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney.
The Food and Agritech Award was presented on the night by Deputy Leader of the Federal Opposition Sussan Ley.
The category shone a spotlight on Australian companies excelling in the food and agritech sectors, one of growing importance locally and around the world.
Receiving the award, V2 Food general manager for Australia and New Zealand Nathaniel Tupou said that “it was an amazing recognition just to be nominated in the category but to win it and take it out, it’s an absolute pleasure”.
Australia’s strong base in farming and agriculture makes it a perfect breeding ground for innovation and tech in these areas, and there are already a number of startups and tech firms leading the way.
Innovation is needed to address the impact of climate change on these sectors to continue making the food and produce we need. By 2050 it’s estimated that a global population of 10 billion people would need a whole second planet of livestock to meet the hunger demands.
This has led to a growing need for affordable and sustainable products that don’t sacrifice the flavour. Mr Tupou said this is at the heart of the firm’s business.
“We’re hurtling towards 9.6 billion people on this planet by 2050 and if we keep eating protein at the rate we are we’ll need two planets to continue to thrive as a population and that’s why we exist and that’s why we produce delicious, plant-based protein,” Mr Tupou said.
“The four platforms that we look at are: taste, nutrition, texture, and health. We look at all of those in conjunction, and we try and improve. There are various businesses that we work with, both in Australia and around the world to improve our products.”
That’s why v2food enters the picture. The company, spun out of CSIRO, has created meat-free, protein-based products that replicate the taste and appearance of meat.
The company already provides meat-free Whoppers in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, Thailand and the Philippines, and plant-based versions of mince, sausages and chicken in supermarkets.
v2food has a long-term goal to be the leading global provider of plant-based meat products.
“The four platforms that we look at are: taste, nutrition, texture, and health. We look at all of those in conjunction, and we try and improve. There are various businesses that we work with, both in Australia and around the world to improve our products,” Mr Tupou said.
The company was founded in 2019 as a collaboration between Jack Cowin’s Competitive Foods Australia, the owner of Hungry Jack’s, and CSIRO’s Main Sequence Ventures. It has decided to partner with existing meat industry facilities rather than buying and operating its own in order to improve efficiency.
This has allowed the company to replicate the taste, texture and cooking features of meat in a more sustainable and cost-effective way.
v2food is also using cutting-edge technology, such as machine learning to interpret flavour research data to allow it to better formulate flavour systems to mimic the chemistry of meat. It’s all about improving the sustainability of food without sacrificing any of the flavour.
It is also now looking to use biotechnology to create a novel non-GM algal-derived pigment that can change colour when it is cooked in the same way that meat does.
The InnovationAus 2023 Awards for Excellence are proudly supported by Investment NSW, AusIndustry, Australian Computer Society, Technology Council of Australia, Agile Digital, CSIRO, TechnologyOne, IP Australia, METS Ignited and Q-CTRL.
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