An Israeli agro-startup called Pigmentum was welcomed by FreshStart into its food-tech incubator based in Kiryat Shmona. The technology used by Pigmentum is aimed at modifying the genetic components of plans for enhancing the color substances and natural flavor. Not only will the company have a place in the incubator, but has also been granted funding of about $1 million. The company’s technology assists with the assimilation and crossbreeding of the genetic elements of plants for generating unique seeds.
According to Pigmentum, the plants that are grown with its technology produce a concentration of flavor or pigment that is 10 to 15 times more potent, as opposed to those produced from more conventional solutions. The company states that every plant can be transformed into a small factory of aroma compounds and natural flavor, thanks to their technology. The chief executive officer at Pigmentum, Tal Lutzky said that they had decided to join FreshStart because it can provide business and technological support from prominent players in the global and local finance and food industries.
He said that they were looking forward to advancing their genetic platform and business partnerships, so their solution could be taken to the market. The chief executive officer at FreshStart, Ronny Barak said that their goal was to launch a more ecological and healthier transformation of the global market of food ingredients. According to estimates, the global market for aroma substances, flavoring, and food coloring is valued at nearly $16 billion. Flavor, natural pigment, and aroma substances account for almost half of this value.
There is an increase in demand for natural ingredients, but they still have a lot of barriers to deal with because they are twice as costly as synthetic substances. Since a lower plant yield is required by Pigmentum’s technology and solution for producing natural substances, as compared to existing crops, this means that it needs less irrigation, land and also reduces cultivation costs. Lutzky, Professor Alexander Vainstein, and Amir Tiroler co-founded Pigmentum back in 2018.
Amir Tiroler is the company’s COO, while Prof. Alexander Vainstein is the scientific advisor. It is a product of Facul Tech, which is the Students’ Entrepreneurship Club of the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment at Hebrew University.