Functional ingredients producer Shiru, Inc. is partnering with the Puratos Group, Groot-Bijgaarden, Belgium, to evaluate and develop a next-generation egg replacement.

The partnership also aims to produce a variety of other new ingredient alternatives for plant-based baked foods using Shiru’s protein discovery process.

“Puratos and Shiru share the vision that our food system can be a force for good in terms of sustainability and nutrition, making us ideal partners,” says Jasmin Hume, chief executive officer and founder of Shiru. “Our Flourish discovery platform has identified functional ingredients that can unlock desirable plant-based baked goods products.”

Founded in 2019, Shiru uses a machine learning and bioinformatics process, dubbed the Flourish discovery platform, to sift through millions of naturally-occurring proteins and find promising functional ingredients. The ingredients are then produced and evaluated using precision fermentation and high-throughput screening techniques.

As part of the collaboration, Shiru will scale production and testing of identified proteins while Puratos will use its fermentation capabilities to produce ingredient prototypes, beginning with the egg-replacement proteins. Prototype ingredients then will be used in food application testing for a variety of baked foods.

“As a company rooted in biology and science, Shiru is the perfect partner in the Puratos’s journey to finding novel uses for proteins discovered by Shiru’s Flourish platform as functional food ingredients that are sustainable, healthy and delicious,” says Paul Baisier, chief R&D officer at Puratos. “Together with Shiru, we will be able to accelerate our plant-based product innovation pipeline for the benefit of our customers and consumers.”

Shiru’s partnership with Puratos marks its second collaboration on plant-protein ingredient prototypes this year, partnering with nature-based ingredient developer CP Kelco in March.