Michroma wants to disrupt food coloring

Its product, while fascinating, is oddly reminiscent of HBO’s “The Last of Us.”

Fungi are neat, because one day you can be watching an apocalyptic TV show about them taking over the world through our food supply, and the next you’re learning about a startup using them to disrupt food coloring.

Michroma, a San Francisco-based startup founded in 2019 by Argentines Ricky Cassini and Mauricio Braia, recently raised a $6.4m seed round.

  • The company replaces petrochemical-based coloring ingredients through “precision fermentation.” Eventually, it plans to expand into flavors and fragrances.
  • The company’s Red+, a replacement for Red 40, has already been tested with some large food companies, per TechCrunch.

Among Michroma’s investors are General Mills-backed VC firm Supply Change Capital, and Be8 Ventures, which is supported by German multinational food company Dr. Oetker.

Michroma plans on applying for regulatory approval from the FDA and the European Food Safety Authority, though that could take years.

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