Case Study: Paleo

Revolutionising Alternative Meat And Seafood with Bio-Identical Heme Proteins

Money Compressed

A European B2B food technology company with a portfolio of heme proteins

Company Overview:

Paleo is a synthetic biology company that creates functional ingredients to enhance the alternative meat and fish industry. Paleo was founded in October 2020 by Hermes Sanctorum and Andy de Jong as co-founders of the company. Using precision fermentation, Paleo produces bio-identical heme proteins derived from myoglobin, identical to animal proteins and free from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Their initial target market is the plant-based meat and seafood industry, but they also foresee potential applications in the pet food sector. Paleo has developed six types of myoglobin proteins: beef, chicken, lamb, pork, tuna, and mammoth. Furthermore, precision fermentation allows Paleo to achieve large-scale production 20 times faster than animal production.

Paleo - Revolutionising Alternative Meat And Seafood with Bio-Identical Heme Proteins
Paleo - Revolutionising Alternative Meat And Seafood with Bio-Identical Heme Proteins
Paleo - Revolutionising Alternative Meat And Seafood with Bio-Identical Heme Proteins

Market Background:

The alternative protein market is projected to reach 11% of the total protein market by 2035 (Investment Memo, 2022) with a 97 million metric tons volume. The consumption of alternative proteins is expected to have a solid average annual growth rate of 14%. By 2025, consumption is predicted to double to 24 million metric tons and again by 2030 to 65 million metric tons.

Paleo aims to address the increasing demand for plant-based alternatives by utilising precision fermentation to develop non-GMO myoglobin heme as a functional ingredient. By adding myoglobin to plant-based meat and fish alternatives, Paleo enhances the sensory experience and replicates the characteristics of conventional meat or fish. Moreover, myoglobin serves as an essential source of iron, with heme form offering superior absorption compared to plant-based iron. Paleo anticipates that precision fermentation will enable the cost-effective production of essential functional ingredients, thus reducing the barrier to entry for consumers.

Social & Environmental Impact:

Precision fermentation, significantly reduces the environmental impact of protein production compared to conventional farming practices. It results in lower greenhouse gas emissions, reduced land use, and less water consumption. Paleo aims to improve public health by using precision fermentation and avoiding antibiotics and hormones in protein production. Additionally, Paleo’s focus on sustainability, health, and food security aligns with 11 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The company’s efforts contribute to global food security and reduce the negative impacts of animal protein production on animal welfare, the environment, biodiversity, and human health.


Paleo is a pioneering synthetic biology company whose commitment to sustainability and reducing the environmental impact of protein production sets them apart. Please get in touch to learn more about how you can support Paleo in the alternative meat and seafood industry. Together, we can embrace sustainable and healthier alternatives that benefit consumers and the planet.

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