Alternative fats start-up Nourish Ingredients has secured A$5.8M (US$3.9M) in funding and grants from the Australian government to help with its launch late next year, AgFunder News reported.

Co-founded by James Petrie and Ben Leita in 2020, the Australian firm uses fermentation to produce animal-like fats to be used in meat alternatives.

According to its website, the company uses yeast strains – through fermentation – to produce animal-free fats.

By tailoring the DNA of its yeasts and growing them in specially calibrated environments, the company said it could create customised fats to suit specific products.

“Our first product will provide authentic animal taste, aroma and natural cooking reactions. It also has high potency, which means that it brings a huge impact at a very low inclusion rate (<1% of the meat end product),” Nourish chief technical officer Anna El Tahchy told AgFunderNews.

The Canberra-based company was now in discussion with potential commercial partners although it did not intend to build its own large-scale [fermentation] facility, she added.

“We are looking to build our downstream and ingredients processing facility in the next round, location to be defined depending on fermentation and customers’ proximity,” El Tahchy was quoted as saying in the 25 July report.

“We are looking to the USA first, and Singapore, and are also gaining a lot of interest from Europe.”

The company was in the process of applying for approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Singapore Food Agency (SFA), El Tahchy said.

Nourish had not given details about the composition of its fats or how they might be labelled, the report said.

“We’re still in the process of defining our product name and labels,” El Tahchy added.