ISRAEL – PoLoPo, a trailblazer in molecular farming, has taken a significant leap forward with the unveiling of the SuperAA platform, marking a pivotal moment in the production of proteins in common plant crops.

The platform, employing patented metabolic engineering techniques, is currently deployed in greenhouse-grown potatoes to synthesize the native protein patatin alongside the egg protein ovalbumin.

Transforming the humble potato plant into a micro-biofactory, the cutting-edge SuperAA platform facilitates the production of target amino acids within the plant, storing them in the tuber.

Once these tubers reach optimal size, they are harvested, and their proteins are meticulously separated and processed into powder form.

This final product seamlessly integrates into existing food processing lines and recipes, promising a streamlined approach to protein production.

PoLoPo’s selection of potatoes as the inaugural crop for this groundbreaking platform was deliberate.

Potatoes boast adaptability to diverse climates, cost-effectiveness in cultivation, rapid maturation, ample tuber storage capacity, high yield per acre, and compatibility with prevalent harvesting and processing technologies.

Maya Sapir-Mir, PhD, CEO of PoLoPo, underscores the strategic significance of potatoes, envisioning them as a stable and economical conduit for expanding molecular farming endeavors, fostering efficiency, sustainability, and economic viability within the agricultural landscape.

“The SuperAA platform harnesses the inherent productivity and storage capabilities of plants, paving the way for large-scale production of proteins identical to those sourced from chicken eggs,” explains Sapir-Mir.

“This transformative approach not only revolutionizes potato farming and processing but also holds promise for broader agricultural and ag-tech sectors, promoting resilience and sustainability in our food system.”

The SuperAA platform is already yielding promising results with the development of increased quantities of ovalbumin and patatin.

Ovalbumin, prized for its functional attributes such as texture enhancement, stability, and nutritional fortification, emerges as a cost-effective alternative amid escalating egg prices, supply chain volatility, and avian flu outbreaks.

Forecasts predict the global market for ovalbumin-based products to soar to USD 36 billion by 2032, driven by growing consumer demand.

Meanwhile, patatin powder derived from high-protein potatoes finds versatile applications across a spectrum of products, ranging from plant-based alternatives to baked goods, cereals, snacks, beverages, and nutraceuticals.

Its allergen-free profile and nutritional benefits offer a solution to food insecurity challenges in malnutrition-afflicted regions.

The brainchild of Maya Sapir-Mir and Raya Liberman-Aloni, Ph.D., PoLoPo stands at the intersection of academic rigor and industry experience.

Both co-founders, with backgrounds in agricultural research and biotech, leveraged their expertise to establish PoLoPo, securing a USD 2.3 million pre-seed funding round in 2023.

Since then, the company has garnered accolades, including recognition from MassChallenge Israel, the Coller firm, and FoodHack, validating its potential to drive impactful innovations in the food-tech sphere.

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