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ANDFOODS creams it with $2.7m ‘seed’ round

26th March 2024

A startup sprung out from research at Massey University and the Riddet Institute has raised $2.7m in ‘seed’ funding led by Icehouse Ventures, for its novel technology extracting plant-based milk from seeds.

ANDFOODS signature plant-based cream out performs dairy alternatives on the market.

Above: ANDFOODS signature plant-based cream out performs dairy alternatives on the market.

Palmerston North-based ANDFOODS uses the seeds or ‘pulses’ of a legume to create a range of allergen free, great tasting dairy alternatives, without compromising the environment. 


The investment round will allow the startup to take its product to market and accelerate its R&D efforts, says ANDFOODS CEO Alex Devereux.


“With the amount of R&D that’s been invested, ANDFOODS is in an incredible position as we go into the market with a product that has years of science behind it. As well as being one of the few allergen free dairy alternatives, our process uses fermentation to help give ANDFOODS greater control of flavour profile and other important properties,” said Devereux.


Since launching as a company less than a year ago, the company has seen a flurry of momentum as it adds Leon Clement (former Synlait CEO, ex-Fonterra MD) as its chair, and begins product development work with some of the largest food companies in the world. 


The instant commercial momentum made the investment decision a simple one, says Icehouse Ventures partner, Barnaby Marshall.


No one is doubting the demand for dairy-free products. Consumers want them, the environment needs them, but at the end of the day they have to stand up to the taste test. When I first heard about ANDFOODS, I put it into the bucket of 'another plant based milk', and was duly sceptical — then I tasted it. ANDFOODS has developed something that is poised to become a fundamental ingredient for all kinds of food producers, at a high enough quality that it’s immune to changing trends,” said Marshall. 


Though many dairy alternatives do a reasonable job of capturing the taste and texture of dairy milk, few to date have come close to emulating the measurable quality of high grade cow-based creams or milk powders.


However, ANDFOODS’ signature cream product has already eclipsed all other plant-based creams in their lab and kitchen testing, with a consistent 140% overrun (its ability to take on air and maintain shape) and creamy taste profile. These overrun results are more comparable to the standard bearing ultra high temperature (UHT) creams preferred by commercial kitchens and food manufacturers.

Originally used as an ‘orphan crop’ to regenerate soil between rice harvests, the legume at the heart of ANDFOODS’ research was a brain wave from the company’s CTO and Co-founder, Dr Arup Nag.


Dr Nag was born and raised in India, before beginning work as a researcher at Massey University and the Riddet Institute in 2010. During Massey’s investigation into new candidates for plant-based milks, Nag recalled the latent potential of a legume seed from his homeland India, which guided the ensuing multi-year R&D efforts. 


This has been a union of the special ingredients native to my home in India, combined with the resources and expertise from the team at the Riddet Institute. With ANDFOODS we now have the means to commercialise this scientific discovery, and provide the best plant-based cream and ingredients to the world,” said Dr Nag.


The spinout is the latest commercialisation success to emerge from Massey University's Riddet Institute following other significant deals such as the sale of FERRI PRO iron encapsulation technology to Nestlé in 2018. Massey Ventures' Commercialisation Manager, Dr Dan Carlisle says there is no sign of slowing down.

Co-founder and CTO Dr Arup Nag showcases ANDFOODS products.

Above: Co-founder and CTO Dr Arup Nag showcases ANDFOODS products.

"The Riddet Institute are at the forefront of food science and it's a real pleasure to work with them to bring innovations like this to the world. ANDFOODS intellectual property enables some seriously good plant-based dairy-alternatives that really speak to the quality of the research going on at Massey University and the Riddet Institute," says Dr Carlisle.


ANDFOODS mission is to improve the food system. We do this by producing high quality, nutritious, and functional dairy alternatives. Better yet, we make them available to other companies to use in their own products.


We’ve combined the mighty power of pulses with years of research from the Riddet Institute to provide our delicious plant-based ingredients. AND we haven’t sacrificed the great taste and creamy texture of the foods you love.


Co-founders Arup Nag, Alejandra Acevedo-fani, Yiran Wang, Debashree Roy and Harjinder Singh and Alex Devereux are dedicated to pioneering new sustainable, plant-based foods using their breakthrough technology in order to make a significant contribution to the food system.


Keep up to date with the latest from ANDFOODS below:

Below: The ANDFOODS team.

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