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Developing Novel Functional Ingredients & Flavors

8:45 am Opening Address from Chair

9:00 am Are All Alternative Proteins Equal Nutritionally?

  • Maha Tahiri Chief Executive Officer & Founder, Nutrition Sustainability Strategies


  • The plant-based category and alternative proteins have been positioned as
    better options for the consumer
  • Are All the alternatives equally nutritious? most of the conversation has been
    focused on proteins digestibility
  • Let’s look at nutrient density and how many alternatives compare among
    themselves when it comes to a measure that considers multiple aspects of
    nutrition qualities.

9:30 am There Will be Blood: Heme as a Flavor Ingredient for Plant-Based Meat


  • We have developed a fermentation-based process to produce soy leghemoglobin using the yeast Pichia pastoris.
  • Close collaboration between R&D and Engineering is key to developing a robust, scalable process that meets yield, product quality, and throughput requirements.
  • As scale increases, process simplification becomes critical

10:00 am Solid State Fermentation for Sensorial Excellence

  • BZ Goldberg Chief Executive Officer, The Mediterranean Food Lab


  • The central barrier to widespread consumer acceptance of meat analogues is “The Consumer Experience Gap”. Current products are gaining popularity, but players wanting to grow, or even maintain market share will need to significantly improve the sensorial profiles of their products.
  • At the Mediterranean food lab we use multi-stage, multispecies fermentation of plant protein, to produce natural plant-based flavor-bases for a wide range of meat replacement needs.

10:30 am Networking Break

11:00 am Mushroom-Based Protein Fermentation


  • Mushrooms are an untapped kingdom, with just amazing potential for new ingredients, foods and nutrition
  • Myco has developed bleeding-edge technology pushing the boundaries of biology to make commercial scale mushroom fermentation a reality
  • Myco has Developed a highly nutritious, mushroom-based, ingredients and whole-food from the mycelium of gourmet mushrooms

11:30 am Leveraging Precision Fermentation to Make Novel Bioactive Food

  • Laura Katz Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Helaina


  • Many plant and animal products contain thousands of bioactive components
    that enhance immunity, gut health, and cognition.
  • These functional components feed the functional food industry which is
    expected to grow to over $300B by 2027.
  • Using fermentation to recreate bioactive ingredients is a more sustainable and
    targeted way to deliver bioactive and novel functional ingredients.
  • In this discussion, we will focus on targeting proteins for their bioactive
    properties and how to create high-value fermentation-made ingredients with
    exceptional health properties.

12:00 pm Replicating the Functionality of Animal-Derived Cheese


With many alternative protein players struggling to match the texture and functionality of their animal-derived counterparts, this presentation will explore how fermentation-enabled technologies and proteins can enhance the texture of plant-based dairy and closely resemble the functionality of animal-derived products.

12:30 pm Networking Lunch

Understanding Regulatory Framework to Accelerate Approval of your Alternative Proteins

1:30 pm OFAS Pre-Market Review Programs: An Introduction to Food Additives, Color Additives, and GRAS Ingredients

  • Stephanie Hice Regulatory Review Scientist and Microbiology Reviewer, US FDA


  • An introduction to the Federal Food, Drug, & Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) as it pertains to ingredients directly added to conventional food.
  • An understanding of the pre-market review process for food and color additive petitions (FAPs and CAPs), including FDA’s safety review of FAPs and CAPs.
  • An understanding of FDA’s GRAS Notification Program, including an overview of the program, FDA’s safety evaluation of GRAS notices, and the type of data and information we evaluate in microbial GRAS notices (e.g., ingredients produced by a microorganism, or an ingredient that is a microorganism).

2:00 pm Labeling and Advertising: Names, Claims, And Other Make-or-Break Issues


  • Learn the principles behind selecting an appropriate name for an ingredient and product.
  • Understand the requirements that apply to claims used in labeling and advertising.
  • Get an update on the latest legal and regulatory developments.

2:30 pm Networking Break

Communicating with your Customer & Increasing Customer Adoption of Alternative Protein Products

3:30 pm Communicating with the Consumer Through Effective Storytelling & Value Propositions


  • Explore how to develop a new purpose-driven brand/portfolio approach.
  • Discuss the importance of choosing your value proposition (nutrition vs sustainability).
  • Examine how to communicate with your consumers through effective storytelling.

4:00 pm Shifting Consumer Behaviour Towards Purchasing Alternative Protein Products


  • Making a shift towards alternative proteins is essential to relieving the pressure put on our planet.
  • There is a vast & exciting future in fermentation-based products because of the potential for better flavor and scalability.
  • A key part of the consumer shift is encouraging small, easy swaps, rather than a total diet change.

4:30 pm Coloring Outside the Lines: Promoting Widespread Adoption of Alternative Proteins With Creative Formats


  • What problems do consumers have that we can address with new technologies?
  • How do we get consumers to associate alternative proteins with moments of
  • Do we need to reframe the conversation about alternative proteins to capture
    more market share?

5:00 pm Chair’s Closing Address

5:15 pm End of Conference