DIC Corporation has announced an investment in Back of the Yards Algae Sciences Inc. (BYAS), a sustainable food technology startup focused on developing innovative extracts and alternative proteins. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, BYAS operates out of The Plant, a research and production facility comprising a collaborative community of small food businesses. Terms of the investment were not announced.
DIC Corporation is the core of the DIC Group, a multinational organization comprising over 190 companies around the globe in more than 60 countries and territories. The move strategically advances DIC’s growing business position in more sustainable and circular algae-derived products, including natural food colorants, natural food additives, and biostimulants for improving vertical farming yields.
BYAS owns proprietary technology for efficiently extracting active ingredients from biobased materials, notably algae and mycelia. The company’s spirulina (cyanobacteria) algae-based Heme Analog (BYAS-AHA) is receiving interest for its ability to enhance alternative meat taste and aroma, without the use of genetically modified organisms (GMO).
BYAS’ proprietary zero-waste platform utilizes all ingredients obtained from biobased materials, contributing to both the improvement of consumer health and the circular economy. This aligns with DIC’s Vision to improve the human condition by safely delivering color and comfort for sustainable prosperity.
A pioneer in Spirulina research
Since becoming the first company in the world to successfully commercialize Spirulina production as Earthrise in the 1970s, the DIC Group has been a pioneer in Spirulina research. They have innovated to find safe ways to use high-quality Spirulina powders. Their Spirulina-derived edible pigment and natural blue food colorant Lina Blue® has found its way into healthy food products, food materials, and livestock feed, globally.
Through this new alliance, DIC and BYAS will share algae mass-culture technology and functional component extraction technology that DIC has long-cultivated in the Spirulina business. Together, the two groups will develop new products, further improve production efficiency, reduce waste, and improve sustainability through the more-effective use of natural resources.
Additionally, in collaboration with Parsippany, New Jersey-based Sun Chemical Corporation, a DIC Group member company operating in the United States and Europe, DIC plans to expand BYAS’ product sales globally while developing new applications.
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