Shiru, an AI-powered discovery and development company for novel ingredients, has launched its first product: OleoPro™. The ingredient will be publicly showcased for the first time at San Francisco’s Future Food-Tech conference as part of a plant-based crispy chik’n karaage developed by Nourish Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Griffith Foods.
OleoPro™ is a novel, plant protein-based fat ingredient for use in a range of alternative protein food products. Combining plant proteins and unsaturated plant-based oil, OleoPro™ is a high-performance, sustainable, and nutritious alternative fat ingredient. It enables a 90% reduction in saturated fat while enhancing technical performance in alternative meats when compared to commonly used, environmentally-taxing structured fats. OleoPro™ is self-standing, holding its shape at room temperature; browns when cooked; and delivers a juicy, fatty mouthfeel in plant-based meat applications.
“At Shiru, we think consumers shouldn’t have to compromise on taste or texture to make sustainable, nutritious food choices, and we know novel ingredients are crucial to unlocking the next generation of plant-based foods,” said Dr. Jasmin Hume, Shiru’s founder and CEO, “Oils commonly used in plant-based meats today like palm and coconut are disastrous for the environment and aren’t great from a health perspective either. OleoPro™ is a categorical upgrade, bringing all the juiciness and fattiness we expect from conventional meats to plant-based, but with a much improved nutritional profile and without tearing down the rainforest.”
OleoPro™ is patent-pending, and comes from Shiru’s proprietary technology platform, Flourish™, which leverages AI to generate unique plant protein insights. Flourish™ uncovered highly functional proteins that, when combined with more sustainable oils through a novel process, create an ingredient that looks and behaves like traditional animal fat.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Shiru on the launch of their first ingredient, OleoPro™. At Nourish Ventures, we understand food formulation, and recognize the historical challenges associated with delivering a true, fat-like experience for alternative proteins. OleoPro™ is a real game-changer, and we’re excited by its potential to impact the alternative protein industry,” said Simon Burton, managing director of Nourish Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Griffith Foods.
While initial development has focused on plant-based meat applications across multiple formats, Shiru is exploring additional applications, including plant-based dairy and personal care products. Shiru is currently sampling OleoPro™ to prioritize initial launch partners, with commercial production beginning later this year.