DAVIS, CALIF. — Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. has acquired the assets of Agrasys SA, a food ingredients company based in Barcelona, Spain.
The transaction includes the physical and intellectual property assets to enable Arcadia to commercialize Tritordeum, a proprietary cereal grain that was developed at the Instituto de Agricultura Sostenible — Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, (IAS-CSIC) the largest public institution dedicated to agricultural research in Spain, and subsequently licensed exclusively to Agrasys for commercialization.
Tritordeum is a combination of durum wheat and wild barley, resulting in a grain that is high in fiber, protein and lutein. Lutein is a carotenoid with anti-inflammatory properties that is known to improve or even prevent age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness and vision impairment.
Tritordeum is highly functional in a wide range of cereal-based applications such as bread, crackers, pasta, baked snacks and beer. As a crop, Tritordeum is a robust and sustainable cereal that is water-efficient with good disease and pest resistance and broad environmental adaptability. Finished products made with Tritordeum have a unique golden color and a slightly sweet, buttery taste.
Agrasys works with a network of more than 50 grain producers and 25 millers and distributors to deliver its proprietary products to customers. The company has commercialized Tritordeum in 10 countries with seven retailers in Europe, most recently launching its Tritordeum bread product with Albert Heijn, the largest grocery retailer in Holland.
“Not only do we see further growth for Tritordeum in Europe, we believe that there is untapped potential for the product in North America and other important cereal markets around the world,” said Matt Plavan, chief executive officer of Arcadia. “Additionally, the network and capabilities that the Agrasys team has built will serve as an excellent foundation for our GoodWheat products as we expand our commercial footprint. We are delighted to welcome the Agrasys team into the Arcadia family and look forward to continuing to deliver the nutritious and delicious products that consumers seek.”
Etienne Vassiliadis, general manager at Agrasys, added, “I have always believed that the combination of Arcadia’s GoodWheat platform and the unique position that we have developed in Europe for Tritordeum would make a powerful combination. As a food scientist and professional baker, I am eager to unlock the many powerful applications and synergies of our respective cereal grains products.”
Arcadia completed the transaction through Arcadia SPA, SL, a newly formed company based in Spain. Key Agrasys personnel will join Arcadia SPA and will operate the Tritordeum and GoodWheat business through that entity, where the combined skill, experience and capacities of the respective teams will be leveraged across multiple channels and markets.