CHICAGO — Nature’s Fynd, a food technology company, has hired four people who combined have more than 60 years of experience working for food and ingredient companies. Chicago-based Nature’s Fynd produces a fungi protein called Fy and plans to commercialize food and beverage products that contain Fy.
Baljit Singh Ghotra, PhD, joined Chicago-based Nature’s Fynd as senior vice president of food innovation. He previously was vice president of food research at Archer Daniels Midland Co. and has more than 20 years of experience. Dr. Ghotra received a PhD in grain science and technology. Pat Dalugdug, the new director of sales, previously worked for Kind Healthy Snacks, Bulletproof and Danone North America.
Tom Frey, the new director of project engineering, worked at Cargill for 16 years, most recently as engineering manager. His experience in fermentation will help Nature’s Fynd to continue scaling production of Fy for commercial launch. Emilie Runac, the new director of manufacturing, previously worked at Bel Brands USA for 16 years and managed a union plant that manufactured more than 25 million lbs of cheese per year.
“Today, we’ve announced the hiring of several top food industry experts who will significantly advance the commercial success of our products,” said Thomas Jonas, co-founder and chief executive officer of Nature’s Fynd, on Dec. 8. “We’re at a pivotal moment where changing the way we all eat to take better care of our health and to care for our planet is crucial. Using Fy, our nutritional fungi protein, we’ve made foods that contain a complete protein and have an extremely low carbon footprint.”
Fy is made by fermenting Fusarium strain flavolapis. Fy contains all nine essential amino acids, and it is a good source of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Nature’s Fynd plans to commercialize food and beverage products that contain Fy across the breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack occasions. Fy has been shown to work in meat alternatives and dairy alternatives.
Nature’s Fynd, which previously was known as Sustainable Bioproducts, seeks to create alternative proteins. The company was born out of research conducted for NASA on microbes in Yellowstone National Park. Nature’s Fynd has raised over $150 million in equity and debt financing. Production began in March at a 35,000-square-foot manufacturing facility on the site of the historic Union Stockyards on Chicago’s South Side.