Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Great science and good food makes million dollar business


A New Zealand start-up making apple, sauvignon blanc and pinot noir flour has received a $NZ1.2 million injection from the home of gastronomy, France.

A New Zealand start-up making apple, sauvignon blanc and pinot noir flour has received a $NZ1.2 million injection from the home of gastronomy, France.

Greenspot Technologies Ltd creates nutrient-rich alternative flours from fermented fruit and vegetable pulp that would otherwise go to waste. Their range, which is zero-waste, also includes beetroot, orange, carrot and parsnip flours. They are made using a sophisticated fermentation process developed in the research labs of the University of Auckland.

Academics-turned-entrepreneurs Associate Professor Silas Villas-Boas and doctoral candidate Ninna Granucci, both from the University’s Biological School of Science, are now heading to France to grow their fermentation business.
“France is a world leader in fermentation technology. But this technology is for the whole world because the whole world processes fruits and vegetables.”

They say the seed funding boost will allow the company to expand its team, test various fermentation technologies to inform the design of a dedicated manufacturing plant, and develop new food formulations.

Long-term plans are to have manufacturing plants in different parts of the world, including New Zealand. “We have good relationships with fruit and vegetable producers and food manufacturers here and New Zealand regulations means products coming out are very high quality.”

The pair’s careers pivoted after involvement with the University’s ‘Velocity Entrepreneurial Challenge’ which helps people test, prepare and grow smart ideas for commercial, social or environmental benefit. This year’s Challenge winners will be announced on 18 October.

“In 2015, we entered ‘Velocity $100K Challenge’ with a business idea based on the results of Ninna’s research. Ninna was looking into the actions of specific micro-organisms in the fermentation process to convert fruit and vegetable pulp into nutritious protein for human consumption.

“We saw how this might be applied to one of the biggest problems facing the modern world – food shortage versus food waste. By 2050 the world is expected to need 70 percent more food than we have now. Of course you can find new foods such as insects or put money into developing meat alternatives. Instead, we thought ‘let’s focus on reducing wastage of good food’. One-third of all food produced globally is lost or wasted every year, and 40 percent of that is fruits and vegetables.”
The scientists placed second in the competition.

“This fascinating activity, and strong feedback from the mentors and judging panel, was the motivation to found the company. We jumped into the challenge.”

By early 2017, the pair opened a small pilot plant in East Tamaki, Auckland, to prove they could increase quantities from the lab and produce a consistent product. “In the business world it is very black and white. It either works or it doesn’t.”

By the end of the year “things were getting serious” and the company required significant investment to scale up.

Greenspot’s experience testifies to the value of applied research, says Associate Professor Villas-Boas. “When you bring technology back to society, you create jobs, you increase income for the country. In our case, you also reduce negative impact on the environment.”

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

National: National Backs Businesses With $10k JobStart

National will provide a $10,000 cash payment to businesses that hire additional staff as part of our commitment to keeping New Zealanders in jobs, National Party Leader Todd Muller and Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith have announced. Our JobStart ... More>>

ALSO:

DIY Law: Government Exempts Some Home Improvements From Costly Consents

Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements as the Government scraps the need for consents for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports – allowing the construction sector ... More>>

ALSO:

Media Awards: The New Zealand Herald Named Newspaper Of The Year, Website Of The Year At Voyager Media Awards

The New Zealand Herald has been labelled a “powerhouse news operation” as it claims the two biggest prizes – Newspaper of the Year and Website of the Year – along with many individual awards at the 2020 Voyager Media Awards Website of the ... More>>

ALSO:

ASB Bank: ASB Takes The Lead Again With New Low Home Loan Interest Rate

ASB has moved again to support its customers, cutting a number of home loan rates, including the two-year special rate to a new low of 2.69% p.a. Craig Sims, ASB executive general manager Retail Banking says the reduced rate will be welcome news for many ... More>>

ALSO:

Nathan Hoturoa Gray: The Problems With Testing And Case Statistics For Covid-19

To begin to understand disease transmission in a country requires adequate testing of your population with properly vetted, accurate tests. As the world struggles to find what 'adequate percentage' of the population is necessary, (estimates predict ... More>>

ALSO:

RNZ: Fletcher Building To Lay Off 1000 Staff In New Zealand

The construction company will cut around 10 percent of its workforce as it struggles with the fallout from Covid-19. More>>

ALSO:

Can Pay, Won't Pay: Cashflow Moves Urged

Government Ministers are asking significant private enterprises to adopt prompt payment practices in line with the state sector, as a way to improve cashflow for small businesses. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why We Should Legally Protect The Right To Work From Home

For understandable reasons, the media messaging around Level Two has been all about “freedom” and “celebration”, but this is not necessarily going to be a universal experience. When it comes to workplace relations, Level Two is just as likely to ... More>>

ALSO:



Auckland Airport: Thousands Of Kiwis Travelling For Queen’s Birthday Weekend


Confidence in domestic travel is beginning to steadily ramp up, with thousands of Kiwis travelling within New Zealand for Queen’s Birthday.
Nearly 400 flights will be operating to and from Auckland Airport over the long weekend... More>>

ALSO:

Science Media Centre: Understanding 5G Concerns – Expert Q&A


Recent attacks on cell phone towers have brought concerns over the rollout of 5G technology into sharp relief.
While scientific research has consistently shown that the technology does not adversely affect human health, public concerns about its impact have spread around the world, fueled in part by growing misinformation online. The SMC asked experts to comment... More>>

ALSO:


Trade: Record Monthly Surplus As Imports Dive

Imports in April 2020 had their biggest fall since October 2009, resulting in a monthly trade surplus of $1.3 billion, Stats NZ said today. “This is the largest monthly trade surplus on record and the annual goods trade deficit is the lowest ... More>>

ALSO:


Media Blues: Stuff Chief Executive Buys Company For $1

Stuff chief executive Sinead Boucher has purchased Stuff from its Australian owners Nine Entertainment for $1.
The chief executive was returning the company to New Zealand ownership, with the sale is expected to be completed by 31 May.
"Our plan is to transition the ownership of Stuff to give staff a direct stake in the business as shareholders," Boucher said in a statement.... More>>

ALSO:

RNZ: Bar Reopening Night 'much, Much Quieter'

Pubs and bars are reporting a sluggish first day back after the lockdown, with the fear of going out, or perhaps the joy of staying home, thought to be a reason for the low numbers. More>>

ALSO:

Stats NZ: New Zealand’s Population Passes 5 Million

New Zealand's resident population provisionally reached 5 million in March 2020, Stats NZ said today. More>>

NIWA: Seven Weeks Of Clearing The Air Provides Huge Benefits: Scientist

Seven weeks of lockdown has provided evidence of how pollution can vanish overnight with benefits for the environment and individuals, says NIWA air quality scientist Dr Ian Longley. Dr Longley has been monitoring air quality in Auckland, Wellington ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: Milestone In Cash Flow Support To SMEs

A significant package of tax reforms will be pushed through all stages in Parliament today to throw a cash flow lifeline to small businesses. More>>

ALSO: