Ilan Samish is the Founder & CEO of Amai Proteins and the Project Lead for the EIT Food project Sugar-Out, Prot-In. The project aims to use innovative precision fermentation technology to produce a sweet protein which can be used as a healthy and sustainable sugar substitute.
Sugarcane is a water-intensive crop grown in plantations that have a significant impact on many environmentally-sensitive regions around the world, as well as on biodiversity. Reducing the need for these plantations through the development of viable sugar alternatives has the potential to have large-scale positive impacts on nature, water and biodiversity.
Sugar reduction is a major focus of the food and beverage industry, and innovative, healthy, tasty and food-compatible sugar substitutes are urgently needed in order to satisfy consumer taste whilst tackling the health risks associated with sugar over-consumption and the environmental impacts from sugarcane cultivation. For each 1% decrease in worldwide sugar production, 2.5 trillion litres of water and up to $10 billion in healthcare costs could be saved.
Other project partners include Danone, Israel Institute of Technology and PepsiCo.