A major seafood processor is working alongside an Israeli food-tech start-up to break into the alternative protein market.
The partnership will see Thai Union Group pour funds into Flying Spark in the inaugural investment of its $30 million venture fund.
The fund is focussed on three strategic areas: alternative protein; functional nutrition, and value chain technology.
This first investment will allow the start-up to move ahead with its insect growing and processing capabilities in Thailand and focus on cost-reduction and process improvements.
The aim is to promote larval insect protein as a “highly sustainable, highly nutritious contender” in the alternative protein market.
The collaboration joins Thai Union’s production capabilities and global reach with Flying Spark’s technology in creating an affordable protein offering to fulfil the worldwide growing need for cheap, sustainable, high-quality protein.
“Thai Union and Flying Spark see eye-to-eye on the need for future alternative protein products to offer high-value protein while minimising the ecological footprint,” said Eran Gronich, CEO and founder of Flying Spark.
“This marks a significant step forward in bringing insect protein into the food industry mainstream.”
Flying Spark uses larvae from Ceratitis Capitata, that in nature feed on fresh fruits. The larvae have a lifespan of only seven days yet multiply their body mass 250 times in that period.
Flying Spark’s technology enables easy and low cost cultivation and processing, with nearly zero waste, as all parts of the larvae are used.