Scot Bio raises £2m to advance natural blue food colourant

Scot Bio raises £2m to advance natural blue food colourant
Scot Bio CEO David ‘D.C.’ Van Alstyne

Scottish biotech Scot Bio has closed a second, oversubscribed funding round raising over £2 million to scale up production of its blue food colourant.

Based in Glasgow, Scot Bio has developed a patented, reactor-based process to respond to worldwide demand for ‘clean labels’ and products free of artificial colours by providing FMCG’s with traceable, natural blue and green colourants.

The new funding will be used to scale up production and expand the company’s existing team to respond to the rapidly expanding international market for natural colourants, which is expected to experience rapid growth in the next few years.

Natural blues and greens are produced using phycocyanin, an algae derived pigment which received international regulatory approval in 2013.

Phycocyanin rich algae is traditionally grown in pond systems, which are seasonal and subject to environmental contamination but Scot Bio through academic collaborations with Newcastle University and The University of Edinburgh has developed systems that are modular and scalable and capable of meeting the demand from global food manufacturers.

Following Kelvin Capital’s and Investing Women’s first round investment in 2017, the company successfully scaled up to 16,000 litres of production and developed multiple product samples and formulation solutions to major FMCG companies worldwide.

They also brought their first commercial product to market in collaboration with Leith based Firkin Gin to create Firkin Blue.

David ‘D.C.’ Van Alstyne, CEO at Scot Bio, said: “Our ambition is to be the world leader in the production of phycocyanin and other functional food ingredients and with our experienced board, technical and management staff and the support from our friends in academia I am confident we will do it.”