News - 26 April 2021

Food Innovation Centre turns spotlight on alternative proteins

Better Nature, which was supported in its infancy by the Food Innovation Centre, has raised £1.6 million via crowd funding, to develop its business with a nationwide marketing campaign and launch into major supermarkets.

The company, which specialises in products made from tempeh – fermented plant-based protein – also plans to launch a whole new meat alternatives range in June.

The news comes as the Food Innovation Centre, based at the University of Nottingham, turns the spotlight on alternative proteins by offering free support eligible SMEs under the Driving Research and Innovation project – a three-year project part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) via the D2N2 LEP.

Richard Worrall, who runs the Driving Research and Innovation project at the Food Innovation Centre, said: “Congratulations to Better Nature on raising £1.6 million via crowdfunding. It’s always wonderful to hear about successful food and drink firms that we’ve supported on their journey of growth and development.

“The Food Innovation Centre has a particular interest and expertise in alternative proteins, just like those used by Better Nature, and we have recently launched a factsheet on the topic to help food and drink businesses consider their options in this growing sector.”

The Food Innovation Centre

The Food Innovation Centre has provided free support to almost 200 small and medium-sized food and drink manufacturers in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

Currently, there are several research projects underway by scientists at the University of Nottingham into the use and acceptance of alternative proteins as a food source. One of Better Nature’s co-founders, food scientist Fabio Rinaldo became interested in one such protein while studying and working at the University.

Founded in 2018 and based in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, Better Nature was supported by the Food Innovation Centre with advice on sensory testing of products, flavouring and coating combinations, packaging options and other issues.

Now, Better Nature has secured £1.6 million from over 350 investors, less than 48 hours after its crowdfunding went publicly live.

Fabio Rinaldo said: “At Better Nature, we make all-natural meat alternatives that are just as nutritious as they are delicious, using tempeh. In order to do so, we need access to the best facilities we can find, to work on our pioneering tempeh science and product development. The Food Innovation Centre has given us just that, and we have been and continue to be so grateful for their constant support.”

Find out more about the Food Innovation Centre.

More information about Better Nature.

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