Start-up Meala FoodTech, Ltd., the developer of a functional protein platform, announced the close of $1.9M in pre-seed investment. The round was led by The Kitchen FoodTech Hub, part of The Strauss-Group and DSM Venturing (the corporate venture arm of the Dutch multinational Royal DSM); with participation of Milk & Honey Ventures, specializing in alt-protein investments DSM Venturing's contribution marks its third investment in the Israeli FoodTech ecosystem in 2022.

While the plant-based category continues to gain momentum, alt-protein food formulators still struggle to improve the labels and mouthfeel of their products to match traditional, animal-based counterparts. Currently, popular meat alternatives such as veggie burgers and sausages, typically contain a long list of ingredients, some with complex chemical names unfamiliar to consumers.

Meala FoodTech is on a mission to revolutionize the plant-based protein industry by developing new ingredients and processes that allow the creation of cleaner, better-for-you, products.

Meala's multi-functional proteins vastly improve the texture of meat alternatives to more compellingly mimic the organoleptic qualities of real meat and deliver a more full-bodied flavor. Meala's proprietary platform creates functional proteins designed to be used as binding and gelling agents thanks to their superior water retention capabilities. The platform enables formulators to boost meat analogues with better nutritional value and functional properties using a short list of ingredients as in real meat.

The new funding will initially go toward continuing the development of the company's platform technology and accelerate from lab to pilot scale. The start-up's core technology enables the development of functional proteins for multiple meat replacements, including burgers, sausages, nuggets with egg and fish alternatives in development.

Meala's vision for plant-based alternatives is to have a short list of simple, recognizable "home kitchen" ingredients while delivering the same full-bodied flavor and texture of real meat. The platform works with a versatile range of plant proteins. The Meala solution can be easily integrated into CPG products through existing manufacturing lines.