March 6, 2024
1 min read

Novel Foods Group and partners reveal plan for new biotech cluster in the UAE

Novel Foods Group, the Abu Dhabi based global pioneer in the alternative proteins sector, together with several esteemed global engineering companies have announced a landmark agreement to commence the planning phase of a USD500mn biotech production site located in the UAE. The agreement was signed between Novel Foods, Glatt Group, BioEngineering AG, and CB Consultancy AG during the inaugural Healthy Innovation Conference (HiConf) held recently in Dubai. 

The new biotech production site will focus on the development of brazzein, a natural sweet protein with a genuine sugar taste that is several thousand times sweeter than traditional sugar (sucrose). The commercial applications of brazzein extend across various sectors, including beverages, confectionery, bakery, as well as dairy and ice cream.

The growing use of brazzein comes at a time when the global alternative sugar market is growing faster than the traditional sugar market, with a yearly growth rate of approximately 5% versus 1%, respectively.

Brazzein is currently derived from berries of the equatorial belt of West Africa and has been an integral part of local consumption for centuries. However, challenges in harvesting due to remote locations and limited availability are now being addressed through precision fermentation, a process combining traditional fermentation and precision biology to economically bring brazzein into the commercial market.

Alaa Al Ali, Shareholder and Member of the Board of Novel Foods Group, emphasizes: “We believe people should enjoy the sweetness they love without sacrificing health or taste.”

Novel Foods currently engages in partnerships with universities and research institutions to create brazzein-infused recipes, organize tastings, and collect consumer feedback. Its existing concept and R&D center in Dubai is committed to crafting tailor-made recipes that replace sugar with brazzein, supporting co-creation with regional decision-makers and product development teams.

Today, Novel Foods is at the forefront of developing, manufacturing, and commercializing innovative food products such as sweet proteins, plant-based meat, cellular nutrition, and more. With a vision to transform the food and beverage industry, the company is on a mission to implement innovative food ingredients and products, ensuring the health and happiness of communities.

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