Faba: First startup of FoodTech incubated at Tecnosinos
Changing the world from grain to grain. This is the big propose of Faba, the first incubated startup of Foodtech that develops food. Created in 2020, the company uses techonology to replace products of animal origin in elelements composed just by vegetals. From chickpeas, FABA reached a product with emulsifying and sparkling properties, from a natural and renewable source with great scalability potential. “Our product has similar properties as the ones founded in chicken eggs, but the proteins founded in the chickpeas are resistent to harm and can be frosted more than one time, defrosted, heatted or cooled, unlike the egg that once it goes through the cooking process has its proteins denatured ” explains the Production Engineer and Administrative Director at Startup, Rodrigo Kayser.
The idea of using chickpeas as raw material came from Frederico Hofstatter, Food Engineer and Research, Development & Innovation Director at Faba. ““When I prepared my final course work, I thought of bringing a proposal that would not be stucked in the drawer”, reports the engineer. By analysing, he realized that there were plant-based substitutes for a variety of foods, such as meats, milks, cheeses and others, but there was nothing on the market to replace chicken eggs. That’s when Frederico’s reasearch intensified. Based on a functional mapping of chickpea protein, the engineer developed a natural-based emulsifier from a renewable source that replaces 100% chicken eggs in their functionality.
This innovation allows the application of lots of existing products. “It’s possible to make a full replacement of the eff in a lot of products we find at the supermarket, such as: mayonnaise, ice cream, breads, cakes, cookies, mousses, meringues, salad dressings”. explains Hofstatter. The initiative is fully aligned with a current trend in the food industry, which is the search for plant-based products. In addition to giving one more option of food from a renewable source, Faba also serves a part of the population that is allergic to chicken eggs, not to mention the vegan and vegetarian public.
Rodrigo also mention the role of Unisinos at the development process of the raw material of the company. The University made available laboratories and infraestructure to researches.
MayOh!, the first mayonnaise 100% vegetal in Brazil.
Operated by Faba partners, the production of the raw material takes place in partner companies. However, the startup needed to use creativity to be able to show the market how the chicken egg substitute ingredient, H2Faba, works and generate revenue, since the structure is relatively small. So, MayOh! Emerged. “In Brazil, 12 thousand tons of mayonnaise are consumed per month. Furthermore, it is an item that demonstrates how our product works, while mayonnaise is something already well known, which we would not need to teach our customers ”, says Hofstatter.
Released on june, the seasoning of this mayo seems to be the sucess. For the partners, since it started, the startup has been living its happiest moment. “In the middle of the pandemic we didn’t know how would e the answer to the product in the sale point. But we only have positive thing to say abou it”. says Hofstatter. The propose was so succesfull that in its firts month of sales (july) it hit the goal that was expected to be achieved in september. And it keeps growing exponencially. “The goal for december was achieved in august”, tells Kayses.
Today, MayOh! already cross the barrier of 30 clients and it is sold in all cities between Novo Hamburgo and Porto Alegre. It is also possible to find it in Portão, Caxias do Sul, Lajeado and the capital of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis. They are sales points such as natural stores, gourmet emporiums, markets, bakeries and meat shops. “We are opening up front in many stores, it is a lot of work, but the feedbacks are always very positive”, reveals Hofstatter. The businessman says thatmost of the customers, when trying the product, end up being loyal to it. The company already has a partnership with a chain of stores for national expansion, which should result in the presence of the brand in more than 42 stores throughout Brazil by the end of the year.
MayOh! can be founded in flavours such as: Original, green erbs and chipotle, in glass packages of 200 grams and 1,2 kilograms destined to restaurants and burguers.
Faba at the BRDE Labs
In this wave of good achievements, another thing that Faba can celebrate is its participation in the BRDE Labs Program. Coordinated in the State by the Ventiur accelerator, the acceleration process has the support of the technological parks of the three universities that are part of the Alliance for Innovation: UFRGS, PUC and Unisinos.
Of the 188 startups registered between May and June this year, 30 were selected to participate in the first stage and, of these, Faba was one of 12 chosen for the acceleration process. In this edition, Faba was the only startup of FoodTech that develops food. To the teams, participating in an aceleration process is a way of giving a direction to the business. “Now, we have a vision of accelerating the business, we design and redesign the business model with a view to scalability ”, explains Kayser. For him, the acceleration helps to give maturity to the business, mainly in areas that are not part of his routines.