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The Leaf Protein Co.: Nutritious, highly functional alternative plant protein ingredient - seeking $US1 million seed investment, partners to establish pilot manufacturing

Opportunity for

  • Investors and commercial partners interested in supporting an alternative plant protein ingredient start-up to commercialise.
  • Partners with knowledge or experience in establishing pilot manufacturing to produce samples for market validation by food manufacturers.
    ^This opportunity is only for professional and sophisticated investors.

Opportunity description

Industry challenge:

The plant-based food market was valued at US$40 billion in 2021 and is expected to double in value to US$80 billion by 2028. Despite the increasing demand for plant-based foods, food manufacturers around the world face critical problems in meeting this demand including:

  • A lack of available ingredients in the market. Today there are only 3 plant protein ingredients widely available: soy (60%), wheat (30%) and pea (10%).
  • Declining consumer acceptance of existing plant proteins. 2 of the 3 readily available proteins contain common allergens (wheat-gluten and soy) which 25% of Australians and 30% of Americans choose to avoid.
  • Growing consumer concerns about how crops are grown, such as GMO and environmentally unsustainable monoculture cropping methods.

This results in food manufacturers and companies struggling to create the next generation of plant-based foods that are nutritious and tasty.

The Leaf Protein Co. represents an opportunity for Australia to be the world-leader in creating a new category of plant proteins from an abundant plant source - leaf protein, Rubisco.

Current opportunity:

The Leaf Protein Co. is seeking $US1 million in seed investment to establish pilot manufacturing in Queensland, Australia to produce larger scale samples that will progress the current potential market opportunities. Previous funding has enabled the initial acquisition of plant property and equipment with seed investment allowing for refinement of operations and the manufacturing process for scale-up.

Initial samples have been shared with international and local food companies who have expressed interest in larger sized samples to progress their trials and inclusion of leaf protein in their finished products.

Interest in this ingredient is 2-fold:

  • Nüleaf Protein™ as a nutraceutical ingredient that offers a more nutritious plant-protein with its unique full amino-acid profile and high digestibility.
  • Nüleaf Protein™ as a “clean-label” binding agent to replace additives that are used by food manufacturers to create shelf-stable foods and replace animal-based, (e.g. egg-white), synthetic, (e.g.hydrocolloids) and allergen-unfriendly (e.g. gluten) ingredients.

Opportunity background

Leaf Protein, Rubisco, is the most abundant plant protein on Earth that has potential to sustainably and nutritiously feed our growing population, expected to reach 10 billion people by 2030.

The Leaf Protein Co. has developed platform technology able to extract leaf protein, Rubisco, from any plant source and to develop a library of leaf protein ingredients.

Its’ proprietary thermomechanical extraction process allows for the preservation of the protein, which can easily denature during extraction and lose its nutritional and functional value. They’ve developed a buffer solution that acts to preserve protein quality and the end nutritional and functional value of Nüleaf Protein™ ingredients.

Nüleaf Protein™ ingredients are a 5-in-1 ingredient offering a more nutritious plant-protein as well as the key functional properties (emulsification, gelation, foaming and solubility) that food manufacturers need to create the next generation of plant-based foods. Including the ability to replace animal-based ingredients such as egg-white and whey protein.

The company has also developed unique cropping and harvesting methods of leaf biomass that allows for double the efficiency of protein production per acre compared to traditional plant protein crops (soy and wheat) and significant reduction of water and chemical usage.

Other widely recognised leaf protein extraction methodologies are uneconomical to scale and haven’t allowed for the commercial production of leaf protein. The Leaf Protein Co. has developed a unique extraction methodology that allows for the commercial production of leaf protein at a market competitive price.

Potential other applications

Related opportunities in the agriculture sector include the valorisation of green leaf biomass from multiple sources, either:

  • Purpose grown crops that have been selected for not only protein content but their ability to regenerate degraded farmland, such as saltbush which has high protein content and is able to desalinate unproductive farmland.
  • Waste leaf vegetable material at the farm or at retail. Currently the company has a Fight Food Waste CRC project to research the valorisation of waste leaf vegetable material from a large grocery chain.

There is the opportunity to further valorise the side-stream from leaf protein extraction, in particular the fibre output which has potential to be upcycled into a food ingredient with protein content.

Apart from the food industry, the cosmeceutical industry also has expressed interest in using leaf protein as a functional ingredient, particularly with growing interest in “cleaner label” ingredients for shelf-stable products that require emulsification, gelling, and foaming additive ingredients.

To find out more or to discuss this opportunity go to ‘Enquire now’ to get in touch.

^Professional and sophisticated investors as defined in the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). The content of this opportunity is intended for use by persons having professional experience in matters relating to investments and must not be acted or relied upon by any other person including, without limitation, retail clients.

Opportunity type

Seeking investment, Seeking partners


Mid (TRL 5-7)
Proof of concept in the laboratory then in the field resulting in the development of a minimum viable product (MVP).
What does this mean?
Describes the stage of the challenge or opportunity being pursued.

Opportunity led by

Multiple industries
Alternative protein Packaged food Vegetables
evokeAG. Alumni

The Leaf Protein Co.

The Leaf Protein Co are unlocking Earth’s most abundant source of protein, RuBisCo, from green leaves. Our leaf protein ingredients are high in protein, free from allergens, not genetically modified and sourced from crop by-products and regenerative plants.
  • Location

    Australia and The USA

  • Organisation type

    Startup or Scaleup or SME


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