Danone invests in Israel cell-based dairy and infant-milk producer Wilk

Danone said Wilk aligns with its goal of “creating a healthy and sustainable future”.

Image: Petra / Pixabay

Danone Manifesto Ventures, the venture-capital arm of Danone, has invested in cell-based dairy and infant-formula manufacturer Wilk Technologies.

Israel-based Wilk, which launched in 2020, produces cultured human breast milk and animal milk.

The publicly-listed Tel Aviv company has a number of patent applications, and one approved patent, on laboratory production processes that replicate the milk-producing cells of humans and other mammals.

Danone said Wilk aligned well with its goal to partner with mission-driven food and beverage companies that are “creating a healthy and sustainable future”.

Approached by Just Food, Danone would not disclose the sum invested or the size of the stake it will own in Wilk.

“As the global leader in our categories, we are always exploring new and emerging science-led technologies. Wilk’s expertise is relevant to our dairy, plant-based and specialised nutrition offerings and while it is early days, we believe their work in this area can contribute to our research, innovation and product development,” a spokesperson for Danone said in a statement.

Steakholder Foods also purchased $450,000 worth of shares in Wilk giving it a 2.5% stake. “Steakholder Foods aims to identify synergies with Wilk, including various types of strategic cooperation with the company surrounding Steakholder Foods’ proprietary biology and printing technologies,” the company said.

Nasdaq-listed Steakholder Foods changed its name last year from MeaTech 3D. The business produces ‘real’ meat from animal cells using 3D printing technology.

The investment comes after the Italian government last week approved a bill banning the use of cell-based food and animal feed. It said it had taken the measure to protect the country’s food traditions.

The plan still needs to be ratified by the country’s parliament. The move means companies in Italy would not be allowed to produce food or feed “from cell cultures or tissues derived from vertebrate animals”. Breaching the rules could result in fines of up to €60,000 ($65,022).

Elsewhere in Europe, a Danish health and sustainability foundation has also announced support for a research project to reduce the cost of producing cell-based food.

Tyson Foods jobs to go at US poultry plants under 2021 automation programme

The affected sites in Virginia and Arkansas employ 692 and 969 workers, respectively.

Tyson Foods could shed more than 1,600 jobs as the US meat major plans to shut two poultry facilities.

Scheduled for 12 May, the closures affect the company’s Glen Allen plant in Henrico County, Virginia, and the Van Buren site in the county of the same name in Arkansas. The factories employ 692 and 969 workers, respectively.

“To strengthen our chicken business, we are focused on operational excellence and optimising our network to reach full capacity in every Tyson Foods facility. With that said, the current scale and inability to economically improve operations has led to the difficult decision to close the facilities,” the Springdale, Arkansas-headquartered business said in a statement.


In both cases, Tyson Foods said it planned to “shift demand” to other facilities and will work with employees “to help ensure they have the option to apply for open positions and relocation assistance where applicable” to alternative plants.

Separately, Tyson Foods announced plans in October to close three other plants – two in Chicago and one in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, employing around 1,000 people. An offer was made to those workers to shift to Springdale, Arkansas. However, a report emerged in December that a majority of staff at those locations were unwilling to move to other facilities.

A spokesperson for publicly-listed Tyson Foods confirmed to Just Food today (14 March) the company will have 44 other poultry plants in the US once the Glen Allen and Van Buren sites close, with another set to come on stream later this year in Danville, Virginia.

Tyson Foods had flagged back in 2021 it planned to eliminate jobs across its network. In December of that year, the business revealed it would invest US$1.3bn in automation over a three-year period through its 2024 financial year and take measures to upskill the workforce. At the time, it said the labour requirement would be reduced by 3,150 over the course of the programme.

For the fiscal 2023 first quarter to 31 December, Tyson Foods posted sales of $13.2bn, up 2.5% year on year. Chicken volumes grew 2.5% to about $4.2bn while beef volumes rose 2.9% to around $4.7bn. Pork was down 7.4% at $1.5bn.


In the numbers announced in February, group operating income plunged to $467m from $1.5bn, and adjusted EPS slid to 85 cents from $2.87.

For the 2022 financial year to 1 October, Tyson Foods’ sales amounted to $53.2bn, up 13%.

See Just Food’s interview: “The pandemic brought urgency to automation” – Tyson Foods’ Chetan Kapoor on the meat giant’s push on production technology

Ireland’s Dawn Meats set to acquire local peer Kildare Chilling

The deal will further consolidate Ireland’s meatpacking industry.

Part of the Dawn Meats herd.

Dawn Meats, the Ireland-based meat processor, has entered into an agreement to acquire local peer Kildare Chilling Company.

The deal, which will further consolidate Ireland’s meatpacking industry, was confirmed in a brief statement from Co. Waterford-based Dawn Meats. It is subject to approval from the country’s Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC).

Family-owned Kildare Chilling Company is a beef and lamb processor which markets its products under the Kildara and Heritage Town brands. It operates a meat processing plant in Kildare town in the county of the same name.


The deal, first revealed in the Irish Times newspaper last month but unconfirmed until now, will see Dawn Meats taking over a business employing roughly 350 people and with a turnover in 2021 of EUR140m (US$150.4m).

Dawn Meats, the largest Irish beef processor in volume terms, supplies supermarkets, the foodservice channel and manufacturers and exports to more than 50 countries. It has ten Irish facilities and 12 in the UK.

It took full control of a three-year old joint venture it had with Northern Ireland-based Dunbia in July 2020, taking over Dunbia’s two plants in the Republic and combining Dunbia and Dawn’s UK businesses.

Kemin Food Technologies – Asia Launches VALTEQ™ Line of Quality Improvers for Instant Noodles


SINGAPORE (March 14, 2023) – Kemin Industries, a global ingredient manufacturer that strives to sustainably transform the quality of life every day for 80 percent of the world with its products and services, has developed VALTEQ, a unique line of quality improvers for instant noodle manufacturers.

The liquid product line uses emulsifier solutions to increase consumers’ overall instant noodle eating experience by addressing some of the everyday challenges facing manufacturers.

  • VALTEQ T merges instant noodles’ smooth texture with sought-after bounce and chewy mouthfeel. Research demonstrates that the innovative emulsifier system performs similarly to sodium tripolyphospate (STPP) on parameters such as color, flavor, smoothness and elasticity, but also accelerates the hydration process, shortening noodles’ soak time by at least 20% and making it a valuable alternative to STPP.
  • VALTEQ AS prevents noodles from sticking during processing, cooking and serving using antioxidant-protected emulsifiers that allow for increased production efficiency and quality to maximize profits while satisfying consumers. The blend, which can be directly applied to air- or freeze-dried noodles, improves instant noodles’ quality and palatability while also reducing waste.  
  • VALTEQ AO enhances instant noodles’ quality with an all-in-one solution of natural antioxidants and emulsifiers that extends shelf life and protects against sticking to production molds. The effective oxidation control improves the overall quality of instant noodles.

“The VALTEQ portfolio helps food manufacturers increase production efficiency, contribute to quantity output optimization, reduce unnecessary waste and maximize profits,” said Michelle Lim, President, Kemin Food Technologies – Asia. “The product line brings two new-to-the-industry iterations—VALTEQ T and VALTEQ AO—which can be applied directly to noodle cakes. VALTEQ AS also offers alternative application for instant noodles, which can be sprayed or dipped in the solution.”   

The instant noodles sector was significantly impacted by COVID-19, which led to higher-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. The global market is projected to grow from USD$54.60 billion in 2022 to USD$81.84 billion in 2029.1

“Instant noodles are one of the most internationally recognized food products consumed across both developing and developed countries,” said Joanne Tan, Associate Marketing Director, Kemin Food Technologies – Asia. “Market reports show that convenience, taste, nutrition and affordability all contribute to instant noodles’ increasing popularity among consumers. The VALTEQ suite of products answers all these demands, making it the ideal solution for instant noodle manufacturers.”

Kemin Food Technologies – Asia will host a technical seminar and several application workshops to launch VALTEQ at the Food Ingredients China tradeshow in Shanghai on March 15 – 17.

Click here to learn more about Kemin Food Technologies – Asia’s newest innovation to improve the quality of instant noodles.



About Kemin Industries

Kemin Industries (www.kemin.com) is a global ingredient manufacturer that strives to sustainably transform the quality of life every day for 80 percent of the world with its products and services. The company supplies over 500 specialty ingredients for human and animal health and nutrition, pet food, aquaculture, nutraceutical, food technologies, crop technologies, textile, biofuel and animal vaccine industries.

For over half a century, Kemin has been dedicated to using applied science to address industry challenges and offer product solutions to customers in more than 120 countries. Kemin provides ingredients to feed a growing population with its commitment to the quality, safety and efficacy of food, feed and health-related products.

Established in 1961, Kemin is a privately held, family-owned-and-operated company with more than 3,000 global employees and operations in 90 countries, including manufacturing facilities in Belgium, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Italy, San Marino, Singapore, South Africa and the United States.


Top 10 plant based food companies

Food Digital looks at 10 of the most innovative and popular plant based food companies catering to a growing market of vegan consumers.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the WHO European Region, more and more people are shifting towards plant-based diets for reasons relating to health, as well as to ethical considerations about climate change and animal welfare. In some countries changes in dietary patterns are only just emerging, while in others this trend is increasing rapidly. 

Food Digital has put together a list of the top 10 companies maximising on this growing trend and providing plant based food globally.


1. Impossible foods 

During a sabbatical in 2009, Stanford University Professor Dr. Patrick O. Brown decided to switch the course of his career to address the urgent problem of climate change by making the global food system sustainable. Pat brought together a team of top scientists to recreate the entire sensory experience of meat, dairy and fish using plants. In 2022, it launched in the UK with Impossible ”Chicken” Nuggets made from plants and Impossible Sausage Patties.


2. Gold and Green Foods

Gold and Green Foods is a food technology startup from Helsinki, Finland founded by Maija Itkonen, Reeta Kivela, and Zhongqing Jiang in 2015 serving vegetarians, flexitarians, pescaterians, and meat eaters. The company develops and markets plant protein products made from Nordic oats and legumes and combines them using Asian food technologies mixed with findings from Nordic food science to create their plant-based products. In 2016, Gold and Green Foods launched its first product line in Finland called Pulled Oats made out of Nordic oats, fava beans, and pea proteins. Pulled Oats are offered in three different flavors: Nude, Tomato, and Ginger.


3. Sunfed Meats 

Sunfed Meats is a company located in New Zealand making plant-based meat substitutes primarily out of pea proteins. Sunfed's Chicken Free Chicken was the companies first pea protein based product to be sold on the market; with double the protein of chicken and triple the iron of beef. Sunfed explores the world’s plants to identify unique and different plant functionality. Using clean technology, the breakthrough start-up takes proteins from plants and creates meaty protein that has similar mouthfeel to animal meat. The company's range of Sunfed Meats tastes, feels and cooks like meat but is healthier and lighter on the planet, it claims. 


4. VBites 

Established in 1993, long before the current trend in plant based startups, VBites has been pioneering vegan meat, fish, cheese and dairy alternatives for over 27years. Manufactured in the UK its products are distributed worldwide and no other 100% vegan company comes close in terms of range. Through its taste-obsessed research and development, it says its focused on delivering a wide variety of delicious and healthy meat substitutes to satisfy the most discerning meat-reducer.


5. Morning Star Farms 

Morningstar Farms  is a division of the Kellogg Company that produces vegan and vegetarian food. Many of its offerings are plant-based variations of traditionally meat products. Its products include meatless chicken nuggets, popcorn chicken, corn dogs, breakfast sausage, burgers, hot dogs, bacon, and pizza snack rolls with vegan cheese. Originally, Morningstar offered some, but not all vegan products. In 2019, Morningstar Farms announced all products would be vegan by 2021, but as of December 2022 this has not been achieved. 


6. Amy's Kitchen

Amy's Kitchen is a family-owned, privately-held American company based in Petaluma, California, that manufactures organic and non-GMO convenience and frozen foods. Founded in 1987 by Andy and Rachel Berliner, and incorporated since 1988, the company took its name from their daughter, Amy. All of Amy's 250+ products are vegetarian and made with organic ingredients. The company also operates a chain of four vegetarian fast food restaurants in California called Amy's Drive Thru.


7. Quorn Foods

Quorn is a brand of meat substitute products. Quorn originated in the UK and is sold primarily in Europe, but is available in 14 countries. The brand is owned by parent company Monde Nissin.

Quorn is sold as both a cooking ingredient and as a meat substitute used in a range of prepackaged meals.

All Quorn foods contain mycoprotein as an ingredient, which is derived from the Fusarium venenatum fungus. In most Quorn products, the fungus culture is dried and mixed with egg albumen, which acts as a binder, and then is adjusted in texture and pressed into various forms. A vegan formulation also exists that uses potato protein as a binder instead of egg albumen.


8. Beyond Meat 

Beyond Meat is a Los Angeles–based producer of plant-based meat substitutes founded in 2009 by Ethan Brown. The company's initial products were launched in the United States in 2012. Ethan Brown founded the company in 2009 with the stated mission of combating climate change. Brown initially contacted two University of Missouri professors, Fu-hung Hsieh and Harold Huff, who had been developing their meatless protein for years.

Upon licensing Hsieh and Huff's technology, Beyond Meat launched its first product, Beyond Chicken Strips (originally called "Chicken-Free Strips"), at Whole Foods in 2012 and expanded nationally in 2013.

In 2014, Beyond Meat developed its first plant-based beef product, Beyond Beef Crumbles, and has since expanded into plant-based pork. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals named Beyond Meat as its Company of the Year for 2013.


9. Daiya Foods 

Daiya Foods is a Canada-based dairy-alternative food company located in Burnaby, British Columbia. The company was established in 2008 by Andre Kroecher and Greg Blake. Daiya's original (and likely its best known) products are cheese analogues made from coconut oil and tapioca flour that are known for their cheese-like consistency and melting properties. They contain no animal products or soy, lactose, wheat, barley, gluten or nuts.


10. Tofutti Brands

Tofutti Brands is a U.S. company based in Cranford, New Jersey, that makes a range of soy-based, dairy-free foods under the "Tofutti" brand that was founded by David Mintz. Tofutti sells an ice cream substitute for the lactose-intolerant, kosher, food allergy sensitive, vegetarian, and vegan markets.

Since the late 1980s in Canada, Tofutti-Cholac Foods distributes Tofutti products to Canadian supermarkets, grocers, and healthy food stores.