Shiru, a moonshot factory for food


October 6, 2022

As food brands spin up “idea factories”, at Shiru the future is already here.

Companies like Impossible Foods and Perfect Day are true pioneers of the plant-based food industry. They have trailblazed new regulatory, market, and technical territory. They’ve shown us how plant-based foods — with just a few hero ingredients — can bring delicious and sustainable products to the world. They are the v1 proof-of-concept that we can sustainably transform our food system by leveraging disruptive ingredients.

Now, as these pioneers look ahead to v2, one thing is clear: the success they’ve seen with one or two novel ingredients promises there are many more out there worth exploring. Whether it’s to create new hero ingredients, develop entirely new foods, or even explore non-food ingredients, the pioneers of our food industry need to be able to discover and deploy plant-based ingredients faster than ever, across a wide range of applications. 

Case in point: Impossible Foods founder Pat Brown is stepping down as the company’s Chief Visionary Officer to lead a new “transformative innovation” lab, what The Spoon’s Michael Wolf calls a “moonshot factory for food.” But what does a moonshot factory for food even look like? In general, a moonshot factory transforms an extraordinary journey to one that’s a lot more ordinary. In food, we interpret that as dreaming up, finding, and launching hero ingredients at warp speed.

The future is here

We need such a moonshot factory more urgently than ever — we’re eating our way towards a global food crisis. The great news is that a more sustainable food future isn’t just a moonshot idea but a reality enabled by Shiru today. At Shiru, we acknowledge that we need to disrupt not only the way ingredients are discovered, but also how we bring them to market. We’re applying AI as an accelerant for discovery and leveraging fermentation know-how and capacity of the world’s best ingredients companies to make our vision of the moonshot future of food a reality.

A cartoon of the Flourish platform
Watch our YouTube video to see how the Flourish platform discovers hero ingredients

The proof is in the pudding (pun intended!): in a remarkably short time, our AI-powered protein discovery platform, Flourish™, has identified several highly functional texturizing ingredients. The best part is we’re already working to commercialize our ingredients with some of the world’s biggest ingredient manufacturers, with the goal of getting more sustainable food options on your plate as soon as possible. With CP Kelco, we’re developing new plant-based ingredients to provide the juicy taste and texture of your favorite burger. With Puratos, we’re exploring plant-based ingredients to reduce the environmental impact of eggs in baked goods. We’re also scaling plant-based structured fats that are healthier than animal fats, palm oil, and even coconut oil — with a much improved environmental footprint. (Let’s talk, @Time Traveling Milkman!)

In short, we’re growing a pipeline of ingredients that will help create a more sustainable food system. From improving ingredient functionality and discovering clean-label alternatives to bringing disruptive new products to market, our platform helps solve a wide range of formulation problems to create foods that are better for us and the planet.