New portfolio company brings umami flavour to plant-based products
The newest investment from Accelerace, has created a game changer for plant based alternatives to meat.
When Martin Decara, the founder of Umamamia, decided to reduce his meat consumption, he, like many others, found it much harder than expected. He sought to understand why and discovered that most plants contain very little to no umami, while meat is rich in umami, which makes it difficult to give up. This realisation sparked an idea: what if umami could be added to plant-based products in a clean way using biotechnology?
At that time, Martin had been fermenting food and beverages as a hobby for over 10 years, and understood firsthand, how simple food ingredients could transform from relatively plain to complex and delicious through fermentation. However, the challenge he aimed to address – making plant-based food tastier on a large scale for maximum impact – required more than what the traditional fermentation techniques had to offer. These methods were hard to scale and lacked high efficiency. So he teamed up with co-founder and biotech engineer Jakob Einfeldt, and he developed a scalable production method for Umamamia’s new clean label umami product, UmamiFix, made from only peas and salt.
The lack of taste has undoubtedly been detrimental to the switch to plant based meat alternatives, and it was about time something was done about it – Claus Kristensen, Partner at Accelerace
Martin and Jakob joined forces with co-founder Charlotte Vinther Schmidt, who holds a Ph.D. in umami, and the three launched UmamiFix together, alongside working on a new product that can revolutionise the transition of plant-based food, and help to push toward a sustainable change where food is delicious, nutritious and sustainably produced. The team combines Jakob’s expertise in biotechnology for producing umami, Charlotte’s technical insight into umami taste and food technology, and Martin’s skills in process and innovation to address customer needs and build a business around it using technology.
It is such a strong team they have assembled at Umamamia, with extensive domain expertise, and if anyone can do this, it is them – Claus Kristensen, Partner at Accelerace
We’ve received substantial soft funding for product development along the way. But the investment from Accelerace allowed us to move beyond development and start activities crucial for building a company, like selling, which soft funding often cannot cover. We love creating exceptional products but that isn’t enough and we would´t have gotten to where we are now if it wasn’t for Accelerace believing us” – Martin Decara, Founder & CEO at Umamamia
Umamamia employs fermentation technology to enhance the umami taste derived from pulses. By understanding and replicating the natural bioprocesses, they’ve created an organic, clean label product for the food industry. This product allows companies to incorporate pulses into their offerings, producing great tasting plant based or hybrid products. Umamamia have a collaboration with DTU Food around the development.
Accelerace has invested with advisors and Umamamia will use the runway from the investment to bring in big clients in the food industry.
Having Claus Kristensen and Accelerace invest in Umamamia enables Umamamia reaching our next value inflection point that is the big clients in the food industry – Martin Decara, Founder & CEO at Umamamia