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Mmm, fruit flies! Thai Union Group investing in latest food-tech

Oct 17. 2019
Thiraphong Chansiri
Thiraphong Chansiri
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Thai Union Group PCL has set up a venture fund as part of its continuous investment in innovation. Thai Union has initially committed US$30 million to invest in companies that are developing breakthrough food technologies.

The fund will focus on alternative protein, functional nutrition and value chain technology. Thai Union will actively partner with these companies to support and accelerate their development.

“In recent years Thai Union has made significant investments to become a leader in seafood innovation and sustainability,” said CEO Thiraphong Chansiri. “As we move into the next decade, we will increasingly cooperate with innovative startups in strategically interesting areas. This will complement our own activities as we are broadening our business beyond our traditional core.”

The announcement of its venture fund follows the recent opening of Space F, Thailand’s first food-tech incubator and accelerator, of which Thai Union Group, the National Innovation Agency and Mahidol University are founding members.

Thai Union has announced an investment in Flying Spark, an alternative-protein startup that uses fruit-fly larvae, which naturally feed on fresh fruit. The larvae have a lifespan of only seven days, yet multiply their body mass 250 times in that period.

Flying Spark’s technology enables easy and low-cost cultivation and processing, with nearly zero waste since all parts of the larvae are used. 

This gives it an edge over conventional protein sources – not only those from meat and plants but also over other insects, such as crickets and grasshoppers.

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