The foodtech industry is one of Israel’s most prevalent forebears of innovation at present. The problems that it aims to solve are many, and a significant portion of them are pressing, chief among them being the search for more sustainable protein sources that can slow the effect of climate change and prevent ecological disasters.
To that end, FreezeM, an Israeli agritech company, on Sunday announced it has raised €6.3 million in European Innovation Council funding for its technology that aims to make insect farming into a simple, sustainable and accessible method of protein sourcing on a global scale.
Since its founding, FreezeM has spent the last five years developing biotechnology to breed black soldier flies for use as an alternative protein for both animals and humans. While many may balk at the idea, insects have been proven to be a great source of protein for humans and animals, containing up to 45% of high-quality protein.
“We are very proud of the work that we do and of the value our pioneering technology provides the insect-protein market and, in particular, the black soldier fly,” FreezeM CEO Yuval Gilad said. “The world is facing an unprecedented food crisis, with the global population expected to reach 10 billion people by 2050, thus new technologies are needed urgently to sustainably produce, store and transport animal protein feed.”
“The world is facing an unprecedented food crisis, with the global population expected to reach 10 billion people by 2050, thus new technologies are needed urgently to sustainably produce, store and transport animal protein feed.”Yuval Gilad
How will FreezeM optimize the breeding process?
To optimize the breeding process of the traditionally difficult-to-manage flies, FreezeM’s technology stops or pauses the flies’ development at egg or neonate larvae stage, permitting their safe transportation over long distances, reducing costs an estimated 30% and increasing protein production capacity and efficiency by 25%.
Earlier this year, FreezeM entered a strategic partnership with German-based Hermetia, which provided it with instant access to a fully operational black soldier fly breeding facility in Europe to be used for industrial and commercial activities.
FreezeM is also set to enter an R&D collaboration with the National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev, a bio accelerator affiliated with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. The goal of the collaboration is to evaluate and test the feasibility of a technology developed by BGU’s Dr. Isam Khalaila and specifically to validate it with black soldier fly embryos.