Thai Union Group invests in alternative protein startup Flying Spark

ISRAEL – Thai Union Group PCL, one of the world’s largest seafood producers headquartered in Thailand has agreed to invest in Israeli FoodTech start-up company Flying Spark to expand the firms’ alternative meat processing capabilities.

The two companies are leveraging their expertise and capabilities to develop an important entry in the alternative protein market while enabling Flysing Spark to accelerate its expansion and dedicate efforts towards cost reduction and process improvements.

The Flying Spark and Thai Union agreement includes both a strategic partnership and investment to promote larval insect as a highly sustainable, highly nutritious contender in the alternative protein market.

This collaboration joins Thai Union’s production capabilities and global reach with Flying Spark’s innovative technology in creating an affordable protein offering to fulfill the worldwide growing need for cheap, sustainable, high-quality protein.

We are excited to collaborate with this leading multinational seafood company,” expressed Eran Gronich, CEO and founder of Flying Spark.

“Thai Union and Flying Spark see eye-to-eye on the need for future alternative protein products to offer high-value protein while minimizing the ecological footprint. 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 to produce 70% protein powder, that is rich in iron, calcium, magnesium, dietary fibres, and is a good source of amino acids.

This gives Flying Spark an edge over conventional protein sources — not only those from meat and plants but also over other insects, such as crickets and grasshoppers.

Thai Union recently announced the foundation of a venture fund with an initial commitment of US$ 30 million for investments in innovative companies that are developing breakthrough technologies in food-tech.

The fund will focus on three strategic areas: alternative protein, functional nutrition and value chain technology. Thai Union’s investment in Flying Spark is the group’s first investment under the venture fund.

The group is targeting innovative companies that are developing breakthrough technologies in food-tech. The fund will focus on three strategic areas: alternative protein, functional nutrition and value chain technology.

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