THAILAND October 2019
 
Thai Union to invest into Israel’s ‘Fruit-Fly Larvae’ Alternative Protein startup
 
Thai Union Group Pcl, the world’s largest producer of canned tuna, has committed an initial US$30 million into a venture fund, dedicated to startups that develop breakthrough food technologies which include alternative proteins, functional nutrition and value chain technology.
Its CEO Thiraphong Chansiri said that this new venture will complement Thai Union’s own activities as the group aims to broaden its business beyond its traditional core.
Thai Union has recently announced its first investment from the venture fund in Flying SpArk, an alternative-protein startup based in Israel that uses fruit-fly larvae, which naturally feed on fresh fruit. The larvae have a lifespan of only 7 days, yet multiply their body mass 250 times in that period. Flying SpArk’s technology also enables easy and low-cost cultivation and processing, with nearly zero waste since all parts of the larvae are used. This gives it an edge over conventional protein sources which include those sourced from meat and plants, and also over other insects, such as crickets and grasshoppers.
For every 1,000 tonnes of protein powder produced, Flying SpArk claimed that its technology will save 110 million sq.metres of freshwater, 50,000 hectares of land and 55,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.
Flying SpArk is one of a dozen startups supported by The Kitchen Hub in Ashdod, Israel which is a food-tech incubator founded by the Strauss Group.
 
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