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November 10, 2020 10:31 am

As McDonald’s Debuts ‘McPlant,’ Here’s a Look at the Israeli Competition

avatar by James Spiro / CTech

A Kosher McDonald’s franchise. Photo: Geogast via Wikimedia Commons

CTech – This week, McDonald’s announced that it plans to introduce a “McPlant” line of products — items that include a plant-based patty co-created by American food provider Beyond Meat.

Beyond Meat was the frontrunner to produce the “P.L.T.” McDonald’s burgers and will see the fast-food giant follow their competitors who have already introduced plant-based products. Famously, Burger King’s Impossible Whopper hit the menu with the help of Impossible Foods in 2019.

However, there are many Israel-based companies that are also in the plant-based race to fill our hunger needs. McDonald’s and Burger King might be using the help of some American companies today, but let’s see who might be helping them tomorrow.

1.

Name: Future Meat Technologies

Product: Biotechnology company developing tech for the GMO-free production of meat from animal cells

Founded: 2018

Founders: Professor Yaakov Nahmias

Funding: $16.5 million

Unlike Beyond Meat, which works on an entirely plant-based solution, Future Meat Technologies works to create a platform that can manufacture and distribute non-GMO productions of meat directly from animal cells. This removes the need to farm and harvest livestock animals while still “growing” real meat from cells. In 2020, the company won Calcalist’s Foodech Innovation Startup contest.

2.

Name: Amai Proteins

Product: Manufacturer of “designer” proteins to replace sugars with cheap and healthy alternatives

Founded: 2016

Founders: Ilan Samish

Funding: $850,000

Sugar supplements have been far from a new invention, but Amai Proteins has developed what it calls a “healthier and cheaper” alternative to regular sugar replacements. It uses its technology to produce “designer” proteins that are optimized to balance taste, health, and affordability for manufacturers.

3.

Name: Blue Tree Technologies

Product: Sugar reduction platform to assist the drinks industry

Founded: 2020

Founders: Yuval Klein

Funding: Unknown

Blue Tree Technologies is “on a mission” to develop a sugar reduction platform to help with industrial applications in the drinks industry. While it isn’t working on meat replacements like other Foodtech companies, Blue Tree’s first product is a pure sucrose-reduced orange juice — something that could reignite the falling juice industry.

4.

Name: SavorEat

Product: 3D-printed plant-based products

Founded: 2018

Founders: Racheli Vizman, Oded Shosayev, and Ido Braslevsky

Funding: $4.9 million

SavorEat combines 3D-printing, automated cooking devices, and plant-based materials to develop meat replacements with a variety of textures and designs. It can mirror any “conventional” meat, such as burgers or steaks, and is also gluten and allergen-free. Notably, its products do not need to be refrigerated.

5.

Name: Verticanna

Product: Provides cultivation solutions for food crops and cannabis

Founded: 2018

Founders: Roy Shay and Dan Meimeron

Funding: Seed (unknown)

Not all Foodech companies relate to food! Verticanna’s products help collect and analyze environmental data that can help with a variety of crops and medical cannabis. Its hydroponic platforms can help customers improve their yield while keeping costs low while growing plants and crops.

6.

Name: Ripples

Product: Personalized designs on foamed beverages

Founded: 2005

Founders: Danny Lavie and Eyal Eliav

Funding: Seed (unknown)

This one’s not technically a biotech company, but we think it falls in line with Foodtech all the same. Ripples has developed the Ripple Maker, a device that helps 3D-print images or texts on the foam layer of beverages, such as cappuccinos. Next time you go to your local coffee shop, you just might be able to have any image or quotation you want — perfect for Instagram!

7.

Name: Aleph Farms

Product: Producer of real steaks from isolated cow cells

Founded: 2017

Founders: Didier Toubla and Shulamit Levenberg

Funding: $13.25 million

Similar to another company on this list, Aleph Farms takes the cells from real cows and creates actual steaks without having to farm and harvest cows. Its 3D platform uses a variety of cells to make sure you can taste all the fat, tissue, and blood associated with your regular delicious steaks.

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