Incredo rebrands after securing $30 million to upscale ‘game-changer’ sugar alternative
The latest round of funding was led by dsm-firmenich Venturing and Sienna Venture Capital, along with strategic commercial partners such as Ferrero and investments from new (Teseo Capital) and existing (Pitango and BlueRed Partners) investors.
The funding will be used to take the product to the next level, as well as to secure commercial partnerships to roll it out in five European markets.
Incredo Sugar is a first-of-its-kind sugar alternative that can reduce the amount of sugar in sweet foods by 30-50% without impacting the taste, mouthfeel or texture of the treat. Being clean label, it also means no additions to the ingredients label.
Too incredo-ble to be true?
The Israeli foodTech pioneer promises the complete absence of anything synthetic or artificial, which, in other sweeteners, typically creates a metallic or lingering aftertaste.
Incredo’s wizardry, instead, is based on tricking people to detect sweetness – by binding real cane or beet sugar to an inert mineral particle (silica), which improves the efficiency of sugar deliver to the sweet taste receptors on the tongue.
The patent was invented by Prof Avraham Baniel, a former bomb-maker and scientist with 75 years of experience in industrial chemical research. In 2014 – together with his son Eran – he founded DouxMatok to perfect his targeted flavour delivery system first concocted in his kitchen.
The sucralose molecules surround and coat the silica particle to form structures that human taste receptors perceive to be sweeter than a comparable amount of free sugar. This achieves the same level of sweetness at substantially reduced sugar levels.
This breakthrough system enables food manufacturers to develop better-for-you formulations: Despite the lower sugar content, silica has no caloric value because – like salt – it does not burn.
In addition to fighting the over consumption of sugar (two-thirds of UK adults are now overweight or obese, costing the UK economy £27bn a year), swapping to Incredo could reduce the environmental impact of the sugar industry significantly, including growing the sugarcane or beet, the size of refineries, the transportation of millions of tonnes of sugar and warehousing.
It also exhibits the same properties in processes like heating, baking and freezing, making it a boon for bakery and snack producers. However, as it’s water-soluable, it’s not as successful in beverages or applications with a high water content.
Silica is a commonly-used anti-caking agent approved in the EU and listed as a GRAS (general recognised as safe) food additive by the FDA. It’s also a naturally-occurring mineral in foods like bananas, carrots, bread and rice.
“Now that our flagship product has become commercially available and is gaining more awareness within the industry, we have decided to simplify our communications by unifying our identity under the name ‘Incredo’ – a single, powerful brand that will be memorable to our customers as we gear up for a period of continuous growth and commercialisation,” said Ari Melamud, CEO of Incredo Ltd.
Everything in the right place to move forward
Incredo’s latest round of funding comes on the heels of a successful 2022, when it announced partnerships with Batory Foods and Blommer Chocolate Company. The Petah Tikva-based company is now looking to accelerate commercialisation of Incredo Sugar in 2023, with new and increased availability across the US, Europe and Israel.
“Incredo has developed one of the most promising innovations in the food space we’ve seen – a delicious affordable and clean label product that can reduce the sugar in foods without additives or changes to taste,” said Isabelle Amiel-Azoulai, managing partner at Sienna Venture Capital, which invests in early-growth companies that aim to sustainably transform their sector and society with their Tech for Purpose vision.
“Incredo has everything in the right place for Incredo Sugar to appear in products around the world, and our injection of capital will help support this mission-driven company to accelerate its growth.”