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Founded by honey enthusiasts Darko Mandich and Aaron Schaller, PhD., The company set out to address the serious problems caused by the global $ 10 billion honey industry. MeliBio uses precision fermentation and plant science to produce vegan honey without bees.
Speaking exclusively to Plant Based News, Mandich shared: “The MeliBio team has a mission to introduce sustainability to the honey industry by finally giving bees a break from honey production.”
New generation honey
Using microbial fermentation technology, the company is able to produce honey that has the same molecular composition, taste, texture and viscosity as conventional honey, all without using bees in the process.
In a recent industry blind tasting test, MeliBio honey was indistinguishable from traditional honey, prompting more than 30 companies around the world to register to be the first users of the product.
The company aims to supply vegan honey as an ingredient to various industries including food, beverage, pharmaceutical and cosmetic.
Why formulate alternatives to honey?
The native bee population is declining rapidly around the world and the founders of MeliBio want to address the impact honey bees have on biodiversity.
Mandich said: “Reports show that 20,000 wild and native bee species are threatened by commercial bee farming.”
This is largely due to honey bees competing for their food – as honey production increases, the greater the threat to native species. This adds to the challenges that bees are already facing, such as pesticides, habitat loss and climate change.
‘Make delicious, nutritious honey without interfering with our precious bees’
Recognizing the challenges the bee population is facing, Mandich explained: “We at MeliBio believe that our proprietary approach to connecting nature and science can enable us to produce delicious and nutritious honey without interfering with our precious bees.”
The start-up’s bee-free honey invention was previously named TIME’s Best Inventions 2021 and meets the UN’s major sustainable development goals. MeliBio funding to date has reached 7.2 million dollars.
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