The centre, located at Kibbutz Givat Brenner in Israel, will aim to generate source ingredients for the food industry starting at the seed level
Equinom has opened an R&D centre that houses biochemistry, applications, sensory, and breeding departments under one roof.
The four laboratories at the centre cover most of the company’s R&D units: seed processing, biochemistry lab, food application lab, and a sensory lab.
The biochemistry lab allows for analysis of a seed strain’s nutritional profile (protein, oil/fat, fibres, starch etc.) and, together with the bioinformation team, can provide a full genotype and phenotype of each crop. The food application lab can directly incorporate food engineering inputs into Equinom’s breeding technology.
“Consumers are now demanding clean-label plant-based products,” said Itay Dana, VP of Marketing for Equinom: “By discovering appealing textures starting at a seed level for, as an example, meat analogues, we can dramatically reduce the need for extensive processing.”
The sensory lab includes organoleptic tools, aimed at improving the design of food products. By applying what it calls an electronic nose, Equinom says it can analyse various seeds for thousands of taste compounds, reducing off flavours. “Introducing the e-nose lets us target desirable traits more accurately and design seeds that produce palate- pleasing products,” said Shalev. “As a bonus, it also reduces the need for maskers to block unpleasant flavor notes.”
The facility also includes a seed processing lab with phenotypic analysis that complements the field exploration and analysis. With 4,800 sqft dedicated to seed processing, Equinom is able to increase production up to 50% and accelerate its breeding capabilities. A larger climatised seed storage unit hosts Equinom’s legume germplasm collection.
In addition to establishing the facility in Israel, Equinom also opened one in Indianapolis, Indiana, for offices and storage. This location will help Equinom serve its clients in North America and continue its momentum. The site will store planting seeds of sesame, yellow pea, and soybean (Equinom’s main commercial products) plus function as the Midwest office for the company’s recruits.