Archive For The “Israeli FoodTech” Category
Israeli startup VeganNation announced Friday that it leased some 15,000 acres (60.7 square kilometers or 23.4 square miles) in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest for a ten-year period to protect the land from deforestation and wildlife poaching. The Amazon basin covers about 2.7 million square miles, 2.1 million square miles of which is rainforest; and much of it is in Brazil.
VeganNation, which built a global e-commerce platform and social network for vegans worldwide powered by its own digital currency, said it would hand the land over to preservation groups and activist organizations to protect it.
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“The Amazon rainforest might be located in Brazil, but its destruction affects us all, as climate change is a direct result of human activity and it’s in our hands to fight it,” said Isaac Thomas, VeganNation CEO and co-founder.
The startup also announced partnerships with four local soccer teams (Remo, Paysandu, National, and Iranduba) from cities near the entrance to the rainforest to raise environmental awareness. Thomas tells NoCamels that VeganNation is already a main sponsor of the teams – three men’s teams and one women’s team – and revealed that an additional four top-tier national teams are set to sign on to the initiative.
Thomas says the plan has been in the works for months. “We thought how can we take things to the next level, raise awareness about the environment, about veganism, and team up with local soccer teams to raise awareness with fans.”
VeganNation’ initiative comes amid the devastating fires that have continued to burn in the rainforest since early August, releasing dangerous air pollutants into the atmosphere, severely damaging flora and fauna ecosystems, and endangering indigenous communities that live under the forest canopy. The fires can be seen from space.
Cannibble (or the truncation of cannabis and edible) may be the next buzzword with legs if this Israeli startup has its way.
For decades, cannabis was classified by the United Nations as a drug with high potential for abuse and no medical value. The plant was included under Schedule I and IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs alongside psychotropic and even potentially fatal such as cocaine and fentanyl.
After more than 50 years of restricted research, almost no access to medical cannabis, and a crescendo of cannabis-related arrests and police seizures, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched in-depth research into the plant, announcing in 2018 that Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive derivative of the cannabis plant, should be removed from all schedules.
Today, medical cannabis is decriminalized or legalized in over 20 countries, and millions of people every year are consuming the drug recreationally – that is, just for fun.
This article was originally posted by NoCamels.com
Pancakes with hemp from Cannibble’s brand The Pelicann. Courtesy
One Israeli team is ready to enter the recreational market with a line of CBD products that will expand on the definition of cannabis “edibles” from snacks like brownies and gummies to an entire breakfast, lunch or dinner.
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Cannibble FoodTech Ltd., based in the central city of Kfar Saba and founded in 2018 by CEO Yoav Bar Joseph, CTO Elad Barkan, CFO Asaf Porat and VP of Business Development Ziv Turner, is creating over 100 CBD-infused, powder-based instant mixes for baking, beverages and spices. These can be used to make quick-mix shakes, pancakes, popcorn butter, falafel, iced and hot drinks, toppings and so on.
Cannibble, pronounced “can nibble” for cannabis and nibble (and not “cannibal,” thank heavens), calls itself the “industrial connection between cannabis and foodtech,” and infuses its premixed foods, beverages, and nutritional supplements with CBD and delta 9-tetrahydorcannabinol (THC) in a controlled and measured dosage.
“Edibles are a delivery system, just like suppositories, ointments, topicals, capsules,” Turner tells NoCamels. “It’s a smoking replacement for active cannabinoids. We have to remember that all consumers like to eat and drink. If people don’t like to smoke, they can have another option on the shelf,”
Edibles of all kinds, for all kinds
Saul Kaye, a cannabis expert and founder of cannabis tech startup accelerator iCAN, says edibles are an exploding market right now as consumers are always looking for new ways to consume cannabis. But, there are still challenges and consumers may wonder how they will be affected by them.
“Smoking is consistent, it’s measurable – puff once, puff twice, puff three times,” Kaye tells NoCamels. “With edibles, there’s a variance in how they get absorbed and that’s one of the challenges. A 10-milligram capsule might affect me differently each time that I take it.”
The effects of consumption vary among users, like any other medication. Turner addresses this by saying Cannibble’s products contain the “perfect dosage” in every serving, whether the product is a single serving or larger.
Cannabis consumers can generally choose between products with only CBD, or products that also contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive derivative of the cannabis plant.
Cannibble’s dry powder line, under the brand name The Pelicann, will offer both CBD and THC products, as well as products containing hemp, a strain of the cannabis plant with no psychoactive properties. Each type of product offers its own benefits, Turner explains.
“THC is the psychoactive one, it gets you high, but also THC is one of the best painkillers,” Turner explains. He says both have medical qualities. “CBD is anti-inflammatory, it helps with glaucoma, epilepsy,” and other conditions.
The hemp products are high in protein and fiber, and will feature low sugar, low-calorie shakes, power bars, and granola mixes, targeting athletes and the trendy wellness market in the US.
Because Cannibble is restricted from distributing its products within Israel, the startup will have its primary production facilities in California and Florida. While Israel is at the forefront of medical cannabis research, recreational use is still not legal, and the recent approval of exports has done little for the medical cannabis consumption market.
“There’s still a lot of uncertainty in the market in terms of investment, until it happens…the money’s not really going to flow,” Kaye says of Israel’s cannabis export production, which he admits hasn’t fully come to fruition yet. “That hurts the industry, it hurts the economy, and the government is missing out on the massive opportunity to actualize on this now.”
The CBD and hemp powders are expected to hit the shelves of American supermarket chains such as Walmart, Publix and 7-Eleven, as well as dispensaries, as soon as the end of 2019. Manufacturing and distributing of THC products, Turner said, will have to be determined state by state. While the use and sale of cannabis containing over 0.3 percent THC is currently illegal under federal jurisdiction in the United States, several states have decriminalized and even legalized recreational use, including Oregon, Colorado, and California.
Kaye says California is the most important recreational market in the world right now.
“That’s where legalized cannabis is interesting,” Kaye continues. “If you can make it in California, you can make it anywhere in the world.”
And Cannibble is ready to tap into California’s burgeoning recreational cannabis market. In June, the California-based vertically integrated cannabis platform and contract manufacturer Natura Life + Science announced a partnership with the Israeli company to make its products available in the Golden State beginning in the third quarter of 2019.
“We are excited to partner with such a professional group of cannabis experts as Natura,” Yoav Bar Joseph said in the statement announcing the partnership. “We can’t wait to see our products available for the first time in the US.”
“Natura is committed to manufacturing products that are safe, high-quality and consistent – products consumers can trust,” said Ori Bytton, Natura founder and CEO. “Our partnership with Cannibble allows us to offer our contact manufacturing partners and consumers unique cannabis food products they won’t find anywhere else. We will bring a whole new level of edible offerings to market.”
Looking to the edible future
Turner says Cannibble is already planning its expansion to the rest of the world and its planned initial public offering (IPO) with the Canadian Stock Exchange at the end of 2020’s first quarter is just the first step. He says they are looking to eventually expand throughout all of North America and Europe with the company’s CBD products.
“We have to remember Europe is a big place,” Turner says. “We have to be very choosy with what we do right now because we are a small company. This is why we are doing a public fundraising round to cover all those opportunities.”
Cannibble recently raised over $1 million from its crowdfunding efforts with Israeli crowdfunding platform Pipelbiz.
A team of Israeli archeologists, microbiologists, and brew experts, recently brewed a beer so old it would have been drunk by Pharaohs some 5,000 years ago. The yeast was discovered in ancient pottery from that era.
Portions of this article were originally reported by NoCamels.com
In the study, authored by over a dozen scientists from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, Bar-Ilan University, Ariel University, and the Dead Sea and Arava Science Center, the researchers wrote that they “developed a pipeline of yeast isolation from clay vessels and screened for yeast cells in beverage-related and non-beverage-related ancient vessels and sediments from several archaeological sites,” finding that “yeast cells could be successfully isolated specifically from clay containers of fermented beverages.”
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The scientists say that a majority of previous studies of ancient organisms were based mainly on the analysis of ancient DNA, and that attempts to recreate ancient beer and wine were made using “modern ingredients combined with modern domesticated commercial yeast (predominantly Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and not with the actual microorganisms that might have been used in the production of these fermented beverages.”
These results, they wrote, “open new and exciting avenues in the study of domesticated microorganisms and contribute significantly to the fields of bio- and experimental archaeology that aim to reconstruct ancient artifacts and products.”
The team was led by Dr. Ronen Hazan and Dr. Michael Klutstein, microbiologists from the School of Dental Medicine at the Hebrew University, and Dr. Yitzhak Paz from the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Paz called the study a “real breakthrough,” asserting that “this is the first time we succeeded in producing ancient alcohol from ancient yeast… This has never been done before.”
In all, the scientists isolated six yeast strains from 21 beer-and mead-related ancient vessels dating back to the reign of Egyptian Pharaoh Narmer (roughly 3000 BCE), Aramean King Hazael (800 BCE) and to Prophet Nehemiah (400 BCE) who, according to the bible, governed Judea under Persian rule.
Over a thousand visitors from forty-five countries converged on Tel Aviv for CannaTech, the medical Cannabis (marijuana) conference. Participants from the biotech, pharmaceutical, and medicine were all ears (and eyes) at what appears to be the world’s largest medical cannabis conference, giving Israel yet another designation of Cannabis Nation.
The following content has been exported from NoCamels.com where this story was originally reported.
According to Kaye, the Israeli government’s inhibition of cannabis business in the past, which he says was due to fear of the negative image associated with exporting “guns, cannabis, and other drugs,” made medical cannabis a “heavily illegitimate market.” Despite earlier government backlash, however, continuous pressure and a greater number of resources devoted to medical cannabis research have allowed for CannaTech’s consistent growth since its inception in 2015.
As perhaps the chief representative of the Israeli medical cannabis market, CannaTech’s development signifies Israel’s quick emergence as a global industry leader.
“We’re uniquely placed in innovation, ag-tech, water tech, and now canna-tech in order to propel us into what is the next massive industry […] When you add in the culture of funding startups, and the ability to both black market test and sell your product to an audience, that creates an environment that’s fantastic for a growing ecosystem,” Kaye states.
He also cites Israel’s advanced hospitals, universities and claim to the highest number of PHDs per capita as additional contributors to the country’s potential for sustained success in the industry and the world’s primary innovator and producer of medical cannabis.
“Patients who need medicine now have to get it from somewhere – they can get it from Canada or they can get it from Israel. Those are your options in the world. Canada’s leading and Israel will catch up.”
In January, Israel’s Ministry of Health gave its long-awaited approval for the medical cannabis export law, paving the way for the country to become a leading medical cannabis exporter, and participant in the global cannabis sector. Although law enforcement officials have not yet established a framework through which new international cannabis trade will be executed, the market has already begun to feel the law’s effects. “We are talking about a $2 billion industry next year that, last year, was also a $2 billion industry, it just wasn’t legal,” Kaye says.
By 2029, the global cannabis industry is expected to soar to $33 billion, which Kaye believes is necessarily an underestimate: “It’s the fastest growing industry in the world with more consumers than we know about because they have all been in the closet. So, we don’t really know the size, but it’s way bigger than whatever we think it’s going to be.”
Despite the growing support for medical cannabis within Israel and beyond, there are those who still doubt the plant’s positive potential, arguing that it may decrease societal productivity. Kaye urges doubters to reject “uneducated stigma that they’ve been taught for 60 years” and to instead, turn to cannabis research.
It’s been a long time since McDonald’s made a major acquisition. Twenty years actually, and their acquisition of Isreali-tech startup Dynamic Yield may be a shrewd move to buy the proprietary AI technology and keep it from their competitor’s reach.
What follows was excerpted and originally reported by NoCamels.com.
McDonald’s is set to acquire Israeli company Dynamic Yield, a market leader in customer personalization and decision logic technology, the two companies announced on Monday.
The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but TechCrunch reported that “a source with knowledge” said the agreement was valued at over $300 million and is McDonald’s largest acquisition in 20 years.
Founded in 2011 by Israeli entrepreneurs Liad Agmon and Omri Mendellevich, the New York-headquartered company’s AI-powered omnichannel personalization engine helps product managers, and engineers build personalization campaigns that deliver individualized experiences at every customer touchpoint (online, mobile apps, email, kiosks, IoT, and call centers).
Dynamic Yield says its platform’s data management capabilities “provide for a unified view of the customer, allowing the rapid and scalable creation of highly targeted digital interactions. The company has over 300 clients that have included IKEA, URBN Brands, and Stitch Fix.
McDonald’s said in a statement that it will use Dynamic Yield’s technology “to provide an even more personalized customer experience by varying outdoor digital Drive Thru menu displays to show food based on time of day, weather, current restaurant traffic and trending menu items.” The tech can also suggest and display additional items based on customer current selections.
“Dynamic Yield’s ability to meet McDonald’s customer needs, coupled with their commitment to grow capabilities around ever-changing consumer trends and evolving marketing technologies, allows for the continued advancement and elevation of the McDonald’s customer experience with technology and innovation,” the fast-food giant said in the statement.
Steve Easterbrook, president and CEO of McDonald’s Corporation, said “technology is a critical element of our Velocity Growth Plan, enhancing the experience for our customers by providing greater convenience on their terms. With this acquisition, we’re expanding both our ability to increase the role technology and data will play in our future and the speed with which we’ll be able to implement our vision of creating more personalized experiences for our customers.
Agmon, who serves as Dynamic Yield’s CEO said: “We started Dynamic Yield seven years ago with the premise that customer-centric brands must make personalization a core activity. We’re thrilled to be joining an iconic global brand such as McDonald’s and are excited to innovate in ways that have a real impact on people’s daily lives.”
According to the agreement, Dynamic Yield will remain a stand-alone company and employees will continue to operate out of its offices across the world, including Berlin, Singapore, Moscow, Paris, London, NY, and Tel Aviv. Dynamic Yield will also continue to serve their current, and attract future, clients.
McDonald’s said upon the completion of the deal, it will become sole owner of Dynamic Yield, and will continue to invest in the company’s “core personalization product and world-class teams.”
Dynamic Yield previously raised some $83 million from investors such as Viola Growth, an Israeli-based technology growth capital fund, Innovation Endeavors, Bessemer Venture Partners, Vertex Ventures Israel, and Union Tech Ventures.
Who would have thunk it. Israeli farmers lining up to grow pot. You are not living in some alternative universe. That’s what’s going on right now in Israel. And the government is supporting the initiative which it expects to generate $1billion in exports per year, and that’s even with a cannabis-hostile Trump administration.
The following text was originally reported in NoCamels.com.
According to Israeli government research, medical cannabis exports is set to bring in an estimated $1 billion in revenue per year. Since the government announced the reforms two years ago, some 400 Israeli farmers applied for permits to grow cannabis, the Israeli Health Ministry said last year, with another 242 receiving preliminary approval. The ministry also said it received some 200 applications for cannabis nurseries seeking to distribute cannabis plants, 95 requests to set up cannabis pharmacies, 60 applications for processing facilities, and 44 requests to set up stores selling cannabis products.
The medical cannabis exports law hit a snag last year when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, much to the dismay of the local industry, froze export plans amid political wrangling and opposition by the Ministry of Public Security headed by Gilad Erdan which said it was afraid plants grown for exports would spill over into the recreational market, and demanded some NIS 200 million to its budget to help secure facilities. A reported conversation with US President Donald Trump, whose administration is taking a hard line against cannabis including its medical use, was also said to be the cause of the sudden export freeze.
The revised law provides a budget for police to monitor, track and control the production and delivery of cannabis for export, and prevent said spill over. Recreational use of cannabis in Israel is still not legal but licensed medical cannabis consumption for vetted physical and mental health issues has been allowed for a decade.
The law also specifies that any foreign investment of more than five percent in an Israeli cannabis company will require regulatory approval.
The ubiquity of
The remainder of this text was excerpted from full-length published article in NoCamels.com
For decades, Israel has been an established world leader in medical cannabis R&D, due to the pioneering work of Hebrew University of Jerusalem Professor Raphael Mechoulam. In 1964, the renown organic chemist was the first researcher to identify cannabis’ THC compound, the chemical known for causing a “high,” laying the foundation for scientific research on cannabis and its use in modern medicine.
In the years since, Israel became among the few countries with a government-sponsored medical cannabis program, and was the first in the world earlier this year to approve a vaporizer as a medical device for the use of cannabis extracts and formulations.
Though the country’s efforts to lead in other areas – like its big plans to become a top medical cannabis exporter with an estimated $1 billion in revenue per year – have stalled due to political wrangling, Israeli cannabis startups have stepped ahead with cutting-edge, smart devices and products for cannabis cultivation, consumption, measurement, and storage.
And their sights are set on the global cannabis market, expected to be worth some $32 billion by 2022.
Oren Todoros, CEO of the branding firm CannaImpact, tells NoCamels that mixing cannabis culture with IoT (the internet of things) “has the potential to lift the industry to new heights.”
“Due to this rapid shift towards smart connected devices, growers and consumers are increasingly turning to IoT technologies, essentially comprising of sensor devices, artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics, to bring new efficiencies to the way we grow and consume cannabis,” says Todoros, whose firm works with Israeli startup Kassi Labs, which developed a smart storage hub solution for marijuana.
Yona Cymerman, a co-founder of Can Innovation Finder (CIF), a new initiative that hopes to connect North American cannabis growers with blue-and-white tech solutions, says “the licensed producers we work with are always interested in hearing about innovative designs and technologies being developed to improve the consumer experience, and have expressed a lot of interest in devices and gadgets.”
“Israeli entrepreneurs have demonstrated great creativity in developing and designing their products, adopting concepts from other industries such as the sports market, and are aware of, and investing in the aesthetics of their products, which makes them all the more attractive for investment purposes,” she tells NoCamels.
From vaporizers and inhalers to growing environments and all-in-one storage solutions, we’re taking a closer look at seven companies that developed forward-looking “smart” gadgets for a next-generation cannabis experience and data analysis.
While Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) continue to be stigmatized by natural food purists who still refuse to come to grips that genetic modification occurs naturally through cross-pollination, the “audacity bar” in food innovation just got raised… BIG TIME.
The remainder of this text was originally published by NoCamels.com
Israeli clean meat company Aleph Farms has officially unveiled the first slaughter-free steak grown from animal cells to deliver “the full experience of meat with the appearance, shape, and texture of beef cuts,” the company revealed on Wednesday, essentially announcing what it says is the first prototype of lab-grown steak in the world.
Aleph Farms says its 3D technology enables it to mimic traditional cuts of beef in both structure and texture, but without beef’s huge environmental impact, its heavy resource requirements, or its contribution to climate change.
“We’re shaping the future of the meat industry — literally,” says Aleph Farms co-founder and CEO Didier Toubia. “Making a patty or a sausage from cells cultured outside the animal is challenging enough, imagine how difficult it is to create a whole-muscle steak.
“At Aleph Farms, this is not science fiction. We’ve transformed the vision into reality by growing a steak under controlled conditions,” he added in a statement.
The milestone achievement didn’t come easy. Aleph Farms, previously Meat-the-Future, was co-founded in 2017 by Israeli food-tech incubator The Kitchen, a part of the Strauss Group, and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, alongside Toubia and Professor Shulamit Levenberg, the startups’ chief scientific officer.
Levenberg said earlier this year: “It has been a major hurdle to mimic meat’s many properties, such as texture, shape, juiciness, and flavor. Our use of the four cell types found in conventional cuts of meat, including vascular and connective tissues, is the key to a product that will be closer to the beef that people crave.”
For decades, researchers relied on the Delboeuf illusion to explain how the size and shape of the serving object effects how much we actually eat. In a recent 2012 study, scientists asked their participants to serve themselves soup in bowls of different sizes. The people who used larger bowls poured themselves more soup than those with smaller bowls. This is the classic understanding of the Delboeuf illusion.
Since then, restaurants responded by adjusting the size of serving plates. It depending, however, on their clientele. For health-conscious venues, the plates got smaller. But for fast food restaurants, “supersizing” was all the rage. And ever since, the food industry has invested billions in finding what works best for their customers, what can be rightly stated as a manipulation they enjoyed.
But some Israeli researchers are questioning all of this, not that it’s wrong per se, but that it’s not necessarily the size that matters. What matters more is your level of hunger. Using the Delboeff illusion again, they did the standard object manipulation, only this time their participants hadn’t eaten for three hours whereas the other group ate just one hour before.
The findings were eye-opening. Those who were considerably hungry were to accurately size up the true quantity of food regardless of the plate size while the group who just ate experienced the classic Delboeff illusion; the size of the object cause them to misrepresent the service size.
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Researchers believe that this latest study show evolutionary tendencies in action. In other words, the more hungry we are, the more attuned we become toward objective reality, that is, the true situation. When we’re not so hungry, we are easily manipulated by the Delboeff illusion. Put slightly differently, the more hunger becomes an existential need, the more focused and accurate our assessment of our world becomes.
An interesting follow-up study would be to extend the length of food deprivation to see at what point (in time) the accuracy of assessment begins to veer off.
If you ever tried to lose a few pounds — which is nearly everyone — a smaller meal with greater frequency strategy for dieting is a common way to combat conventional diets. In fact, some argue that it’s not about calories but metabolism and keeping your intake consistent and steady throughout the day.
But a study published in the medical journal Appetite by Dr. Tzvi Ganel of the Laboratory for Visual Perception and Action in BGU’s Department of Psychology and BGU PhD student Noa Zitron-Emanuel found that when people are hungry, or food-deprived, they’re more likely to identify a portion size accurately, no matter how it is served.
I am not one who is quick to question scientific research with a simple anecdotal evidence for obvious reasons. First, anecdotal evidence is the least reliable of all evidentiary candidates. We often misrepresent, intentionally or not, what we’re recalling. Then there’s the problem of just being wrong about our recall, actually depicting an event and its particulars which turn out to be flat wrong, or wildly inaccurate.
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Controlled studies, on the other hand, take out human bias, and thus provide more objective and reliable reporting. What this means is that there’s every reason to trust controlled studies over anecdotal evidence, which is why it is so odd about what I’m going to say. I simply do not, and never have been able to apportion my plate to my level of hunger. Never! So does this mean that I’m some sort of outlier like the Israeli researchers would strongly suggest? Could be.
Or maybe something else is going on which can explain my personal experience in a way that does comport with the research. And it’s pretty simple.
While I may not deviate by how much I load up my plate, I can control the amount I actually eat. Not because I have awesome discipline but rather because my biological indicators do it for me. And I’m no outlier here. The reason is simple. I tend to feast or famine with my daily caloric intake. If I’m really focused, I can go almost an entire day without eating. When I stop I then notice very quickly how hungry I am and will eat anything in site to address a totally out of whack metabolism. This explains why I will fill my plate regardless of how hungry I am. It’s because I’m almost always very hungry because I don’t eat frequent meals. I often (not recommended) eat one meal per day.
Yet there’s a real possibility that I am misreporting my plate filling habits. In the coming weeks, I’m going to pay closer attention to this and then report back. After all, anecdotal evidence is unreliable.
It should be interesting.