YOKNEAM ILLIT, ISRAEL – Phytolon, which develops fermentation-based food colors, has secured $14.5 million in funding led by DSM Ventures, a corporate venture business of Royal DSM. Phytolon’s technology has reached a semi-industrial production scale, and the Israeli-based company has prepared for regulatory clearances in the United States and Europe.
Phytolon’s proprietary technology is based on licensed technology from the Weizman Institute of Science in Israel. Phytolon uses the technology to produce betalain pigments through fermentation of baker’s yeast. The company offers colors ranging from yellow to purple for use in categories like baked foods, confectionery items, snacks, meat alternatives, dairy items and frozen food.
The Cibus Fund, Ginkgo Bioworks (in-kind investment in the form of Foundry services) and the Trendlines Agrifood Fund also participated in the funding.
“The investments of DSM Ventures, Cibus Fund and Ginkgo Bioworks open the door for broad penetration of our products in the global food industry,” said Halim Jubran, PhD, co-founder and chief executive officer of Phytolon. “We are excited to have new investors who share our vision to create healthy, efficient and sustainable food systems via biotechnology.”Steve Dubin, chairman of Phytolon’s board of directors, has worked with several biotechnology/nutrition companies. He was CEO of Martek Biosciences, which DSM acquired in 2011, and chairman of Enzymotec.