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Shiru: Pioneering AI-Driven Food Innovation with OleoPro™

In a groundbreaking achievement for the food industry, Shiru, the AI-powered discovery and development company for novel ingredients, has successfully commercialized its first food ingredient using its patented artificial intelligence-powered discovery system. This milestone marks a significant leap forward in the quest for sustainable and nutritious plant-based food alternatives.

The much-anticipated debut of OleoPro™, a novel plant protein-based fat ingredient, was confirmed in June of 2023. OleoPro™ has been designed for use in a wide range of alternative protein food products, presenting a game-changing solution to the challenges faced by the industry. Notably, this innovative ingredient allows for up to a remarkable 90% reduction in saturated fat content while enhancing technical performance in alternative meats. This achievement sets OleoPro™ apart from commonly used, carbon-intensive, and cardiovascularly damaging structured fats.

One of the key advantages of OleoPro™ lies in its unique properties. Unlike other fats, this AI-developed ingredient stands on its own, maintaining its shape at room temperature and exhibiting browning properties when cooked. Furthermore, OleoPro™ imparts a juicy, fatty mouthfeel to plant-based meat applications, ensuring a satisfying and authentic culinary experience.

Griffith Foods, a purpose-driven product development partner and a global manufacturer of sustainable food-ingredient solutions, became the first commercial partner for OleoPro™. Founded in 1919, Griffith Foods has a rich history of providing innovative food solutions to various segments, including alternative protein, sauces and dressings, seasonings, and coating systems. Their partnership with Shiru has been a strategic move to harness the transformative potential of OleoPro™ in bringing top-tier alternative protein products to the market.

The introduction of OleoPro™ took place in March, where Shiru unveiled a delectable plant-based chicken karaage developed by Griffith Foods' corporate venture arm, Nourish Ventures. The overwhelmingly positive feedback from consumers and chefs alike reinforced the significance of this pioneering achievement, solidifying Griffith Foods' position as OleoPro™'s first revenue-generating customer.

The visionary mind behind Shiru is Dr. Jasmin Hume, the CEO, and founder. Dr. Hume underscored the importance of addressing cost barriers in food innovation. By utilizing artificial intelligence, Shiru has revolutionized the cost and time cycle of food innovation, making it more accessible and efficient for dozens of companies seeking breakthrough ingredients for their products.

Shiru was established in 2019 as a business-to-business synthetic biology company, collaborating with multinational ingredient makers on deep research and development projects. The company's expertise in combining artificial intelligence and machine learning has been instrumental in driving down the cost of molecule discovery and scaleup, significantly shortening the timeline for identifying high-functionality, commercializable, and natural proteins for food. Shiru's proprietary database, housing hundreds of millions of formulations, was used to scan and select nearly 10,000 formulations for the creation of OleoPro™ in less than three months.

This exceptional application of AI in synthetic biology has ushered in a new era of "Synbio 2.0," where AI technology accelerates and enhances the potential of biological engineering. By combining AI with classical synbio tools like genetic engineering, DNA synthesis, and cell engineering, Shiru has paved the way for a revolution in multiple industries, including medicine, agriculture, and energy.

Dr. Ranjani Varadan, Shiru's Chief Scientific Officer and former VP of R&D at Impossible Foods, recognizes the transformative potential of AI in synbio. She points out that AI represents a critical breakthrough in making sustainable proteins scalable and affordable, ushering in a future where alternative protein products can be produced more efficiently, sustainably, and cost-effectively.

In conclusion, Shiru's commercialization of OleoPro™ marks a significant milestone in the food industry's pursuit of sustainable and nutritious plant-based food alternatives. With the power of artificial intelligence and a visionary team behind them, Shiru is at the forefront of revolutionizing food innovation, making it more accessible, affordable, and environmentally friendly. OleoPro™'s success with Griffith Foods serves as a testament to the vast potential of AI-driven research and development in shaping the future of food. As Shiru continues to drive down the cost of protein discovery, we can expect more innovative and sustainable ingredients to transform the food landscape for the better.


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