Food Startup’s Tech Gives Creamy Products a Healthy Boost
Ithaca-based startup, Ag & Food Tech (AFT), is the newest member to join the Rev community. AFT, co-founded by successful food entrepreneur Amrit Singh and researchers from Cornell’s food science department, is reimagining the foods we eat every day to be healthier and more natural, while staying delicious as ever.
An emulsion technology, developed by Dr. Alireza Abbaspourrad at Cornell University, will allow AFT to take high fat foods and replace 75% of that fat with water and protein. This technology significantly improves the health benefits of these food products, while maintaining the same desirable creamy texture and taste associated with foods high in fat.
Other food manufacturers rely on synthetic chemicals for creating similar emulsions but they are unstable. AFT’s emulsion technology and approach is unique, because they have found a way to accomplish the same thing, but with clean label ingredients and attractive unit economics.
“It’s one thing to develop something in the lab and it’s another to commercialize it on a larger scale—that is what we are working on” said Singh. The company is already having an impact on the local community – AFT works with chemical engineering seniors at Cornell every spring who help with the scale-up of the new technology. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for us to learn while also applying our skills to develop a real, impactful product,” said Rahul Rambhatla, a recent Cornell graduate who now serves as a design engineer at the startup.
Earlier this year, Singh and part of this team participated in a Regional I-Corps Course hosted by the UNY I-Corps and Southwest I-Corps Nodes, called AgCorps, which was taught on-site at the 2020 AFBF Annual Convention and Trade Show in Austin, Texas. The course provided Singh, and other food and agriculture innovators, with the opportunity to “get out of the lab” and conduct useful customer discovery, the methodology for determining product market fit, among potential customers working in the food and agriculture space.
With partnerships already in the works with Fortune 500 food companies, there is no doubt that the startup’s technology is making waves. The team is exploring the potential for this innovation to be used to create other food products with creamy textures for which consumers have expressed an interest in seeing a reduction in fat content, such as salad dressings, or well as dairy-free products, such as vegan mayonnaise and vegan butter.
As AFT expands, Singh is looking to collaborate with additional business partners, as well as effective ways to apply and market his innovative technology.
“The reason we became a Rev member is that the journey of entrepreneurship can be fairly lonely and for the journey that we are on, we don’t want to try to do everything ourselves,” says Singh. “We want to work with smart people who may have relevant experience, perhaps in different fields, and then see what ideas they have, what they might suggest, or what they might do in a similar situation.”
Rev is excited to have Ag & Food Tech join as its membership and looks forward to supporting the startup’s growth. To learn more about their affiliate company, Indian Milk & Honey, and its products, visit indianmilkandhoney.com.