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5@5: Lab-grown plants could transform agriculture | BlueNalu raises $60M

Each day at 5 p.m. we collect the five top food and supplement headlines of the day, making it easy for you to catch up on today's most important natural products industry news.

New Hope Network staff

January 20, 2021

2 Min Read
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MIT develops method for lab-grown plants

You've heard of lab-grown meat, now get ready for lab-grown plants! This nascent technology could have huge implications for agriculture, because even the most eco-friendly farming approaches can still take a lot of resources to maintain. And as farmers become more wary of extreme weather affecting crops, this could be a safer and more reliable way to feed future generations. Tech Crunch has the story.

BlueNalu raises $60M, pushing cell-based seafood closer to the mainstream

Speaking of lab-grown meat, The Food Institute reported on cell-cultured seafood company BlueNalu's recent $60 million in debt financing from investors. BlueNalu will complete its regulatory review with the FDA and begin testing products in a variety of foodservice locations in the U.S., as well as start building out a 40,000-square-foot pilot production facility, with the funding.

Foodborne diseases kill thousands of Americans each year. Tracing food with genetically engineered spores could help

Aanika Biosciences is a biotechnology company that uses genetically engineered bacterial spores to identify a food's origin (down to a plot of land on a farm!). Aanika's spores cannot be washed away, or be destroyed by microwaving, frying or steaming; while this might obviously be concerning for some consumers, the bioengineered spores are comprised of the same bacterium found in probiotic yogurts already on the market. Head to The Counter for more.

Why isn't kelp catching on?

Kelp is a nutrient-dense food ingredient that doesn't require irrigation, pesticides or fertilizer, but it's taking a while for mainstream American shoppers to realize all of its virtues. Those in the space believe that a newly developed infrastructure in terms of kelp farmers, processing plants and innovative approaches to drying and preparation means kelp's moment in the sun is fast approaching. Investing in kelp is also, notably, an instrumental part of food sustainability initiatives. Get the scoop at The New York Times.

Minimalism, blue light protection, skin barrier repair and hand care are the fastest-accelerating skin care categories for 2021, according to Refinery 29. These trends cover everything from excessive COVID-19-related hand-washing to increased awareness about the damage constant screen time is doing to our epidermis. (And there is quite a bit of overlap with New Hope Network's 2021 natural beauty predictions.)

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