Over the course of the last 20 years, Israel has steadily built both a culture that is driven toward technology and ingenuity. So much has technological advancements characterized the culture and economy of Israel, that it has become commonly known as Silicon Wadi where recently Israel earned the number 10 spot in Bloomberg’s Innovation Index.
Although technological advancements have modernized industries ranging from security to transportation, there is one specific field that Israel has continuously grown in: food and agricultural technology. According to Bank Leumi’s research in the industry, “Approximately $90m has been invested annually on average over the past few years in R&D, making Israel a world leader in allocation of funds for R&D in the agritech sector.” It is with this spirit and mindset, that Israel has forged a way to creating innovative and sustainable solutions to some of our greatest food dilemmas.
Here are 5 modern Israeli foodtech startups that are contributing to the foodtech industry and changing our food systems:
In the last few years, a number of foodtech startups have developed a system to isolate protein from vegetables, in an effort to create products taste and behave like meat and dairy, but don’t have the same environmental impact. Innovopro, Israel’s leading plant based protein company, has managed to create a protein concentrate from chickpeas, that is not only environmentally sound, organic, and highly nutrient, but is also a perfect substitute for dairy and gluten.
Unlike many other plant based proteins, chickpea protein functions as an emulsifier and foaming agent that remains stable during shelf life, which means that it can behave very similar to eggs, dairy and gluten, without the normal allergy and diet related issues. With Innovopro, products such as mayonnaise can be made completely vegan, without losing the original taste and texture. What’s more, chickpeas are considered to be a superfood with the presence of fiber, iron, vitamin K, calcium, potassium, and phosphate. Chickpea protein are shown to aid in the prevention of major human diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, digestive diseases and some cancers. With the emergence of Innovopro, consumers will not have to depend on soy as the only plant based alternative to meat. This innovative product will change the way we eat, positively impacting our health and our environment.
If you have ever wanted to start your own hydroponic garden, but have no idea how, Flux is an innovative new device that can get you up and running in no time and help you grow your at home garden even from a proxy. The sensor device called Eddy, can simply be put in the center of your garden, where sensors will track water, pH, and light, and nutrient levels. The app that’s connected to the Eddy device will give you the power to automate the growing process. What’s more is that the app connects you to other home farmers and experts, so that you can gain the right tools and knowledge to grow the fruits, vegetables and herbs you love.
It wasn’t long ago when restaurants performed all of their back of house responsibilities with a pen and paper. Everything from placing orders, to counting inventory, to pricing menus was done inefficiently by hand, excel spreadsheets and through telephones and fax machines. Without any automation or digitization, restaurant accounting, ordering and menu pricing were time consuming tasks, that often led most restaurant owners in the dark about what their costs were, the value of their inventory and accurate prices for their menu items. This lack of information and automation, has cost the industry significantly and resulted in many restaurant closures. By automating inventory, digitizing back of house and providing an easy menu costing tool, SimpleOrder gives restaurants a real chance for success. Using the data procured by using the system, restaurants can be informed and empowered to make the smartest purchasing, menu engineering and costing decisions, finally giving them the upper hand. SimpleOrder’s technology will not only help restaurants succeed financially, however, their automated inventory tool, the only one of its kind in the industry, will help restaurants track their goods more closely, significantly reducing restaurant waste and helping the planet, one dish at a time.
Led by a team of highly experienced chemists, DouxMatok has developed a way to enhance the flavor of salt and sugar in food and beverages which lead the way to significantly reduce the amount of sugar and salts in foods, without compromising the flavor. This breakthrough technology, will enable a significant reduction of sugar and salt consumption in traditional high sugar foods, considerably reducing health risks such as diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. Using non-covalent “green” chemistry, DouxMatok has already received a thumbs up from both the EU and the FDA and by 2018 it’s product will be fully commercialized. DouxMatok’s technology is so promising, they have won grants from Israel’s Chief Scientist Office and the EU Horizon 2020.
After watching a TED talk about insect proteins, startup veteran, Eran Gronich, became galvanized to find the perfect insect protein for the mass market. It’s with this goal that Flying Spark became the first company in the world to develop protein from fly larvae, a self cleaning and self harvesting insect that has a short lifespan, a high body mass growth and only depends on organic materials for feed. Working with Yoram Yerushalmi, an entomologist that specializes in insect physiology, Flying Spark is developing a fruit larvae protein powder that can used to make a high protein cheese as a milk substitute, enrich breads, be formed into nuggets and hamburgers. Although still taboo in the Western world, it won’t be long before consumers realize the benefits of consuming insects – a high quality protein rich in essential amino acids and high quality fatty acids, but low in fat and cholesterol. As Flying Spark continues to test and develop their product, they are paving the way to creating a formidable alternative to traditional meat products, reducing our dependence on water, the environmental impact caused by greenhouse gas pollution, and decreasing waste.