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Lesaffre invests in alternative protein start-up

By Bethan Grylls

- Last updated on GMT

Lesaffre becomes minority stakeholder in Yeap. Credit:Getty/tadamichi
Lesaffre becomes minority stakeholder in Yeap. Credit:Getty/tadamichi

Related tags Investment R&D alternative protein

Lesaffre has made a 10% investment in Yeap, a start-up specialist in functional alternative proteins.

This minority shareholding will see Lesaffre helping Yeap to finalise the development of a new protein ingredient made from upcycled yeast.

Yeap is one of the world’s first companies that produces protein from yeast, incorporating a circular economy model. It was founded in 2020 by Jonathan Goshen, Didier Toubia and Dominik Grabinski, and has several product prototypes in its pipeline. 

“The collaboration and investment from an industry leader such as Lesaffre is a strong vote of confidence in Yeap,”​ stated Goshen CEO and co-founder of Yeap. “As our world is facing the great challenges of climate change and scarcity of resources – we believe Yeap can be part of the solution. This investment will help us increase our capacity to innovate.”

This recent investment is part of a longer term mission for Lesaffre, as it explores ways to help create a sustainable food system that can feed nine billion people. It believes fermentation, microorganisms, and derivatives such as yeast extracts and highly functional proteins will play a vital role in meeting this challenge.

Yeast proteins are natural, sustainable and nutritious, making them a good alternative to animal proteins, and they can also be applied to a wide range of foods. As this new protein is derived from upcycled yeast, it should have a very low environmental impact.

“For 170 years, Lesaffre has been innovating to bring its customers solutions that help create a healthier, more sustainable future. Our expertise in fermentation and micro-organisms enables us to innovate every day, with the support of our passionate R&D teams, and by investing in start-ups in which we believe. With Yeap, we aim to take a step further in finding solutions to the food challenges of tomorrow,”​ Brice-Audren Riché, CEO of Lesaffre said.

This investment will be overseen by Biospringer by Lesaffre, which is the world’s largest producer of natural food ingredients derived from yeast and other microorganisms.

“The product under development by Yeap is a natural ingredient for our customers and has the potential to address many of the challenges facing the food industry. With this investment, Biospringer strengthens its innovative position within this industry,”​ added Carmen Arruda, general manager of Biospringer by Lesaffre.

Elsewhere, cultivated meat company Hoxton Farms has moved into a new facility in Old Street, London, to advance research and scale-up production.

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