West Australian-based food tech company, Whole. has secured $1.5 million in its seed funding round, supported by Artesian and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).
The raise will support Whole’s continued R&D activities, as well as the launch of its patented food processing technology, WINX, which provides food manufacturers with access to healthier and more sustainable whole food ingredients.
The WINX (Whole Ingredient Nutrient Extraction) technology uses ultra-high pressure to ‘explode’ the cells of the input ingredient, which according to Whole., significantly enhances its nutritional value and makes it more bioavailable in the body.
The technology is free from any chemical processing, produces no waste and maintains the nutritional integrity of the original ingredients.
Whole’s CEO and co-founder, Nick Stamatiou (pictured below, left), said the company currently has two business models: the WINX technology can be used by food manufacturers so they can produce their own highly-functional ingredients, or Whole can produce its own ingredients and flavours, which are then sold directly to manufacturers for them to incorporate in their own products.
The company is currently working with a large global ingredient company to produce a healthier, greener oat milk.
“Current oat milk production generates significant waste in the form of fibre decanted from the process, and huge volumes of waste water that need to be treated. The WINX process has neither of these waste streams as the entire oat is processed and turned into a functional product, meaning all the fibre is now functional and can be incorporated into a downstream product.
“In addition, the unique processing of the oats using the WINX process means we don’t need to add oils, stabilisers or buffers, but still achieve all of the functional properties of dairy. This allows us to produe the cleanest label oat milk in the world,” Stamatiou said.
Fernando Felquer, head of business development at GRDC, which invested in Whole. via its $50 million GrainInnovate fund, said “GrainInnovate is committed to investing in solutions that can create value for Australian grain growers, and the WINX technology is a prime example of this. Its sustainable and efficient approach to grain, food and ingredient processing makes it a standout investment opportunity. We are enthusiastic about this exciting venture that can create further opportunities for secondary processing of great Australian grains, to the benefit of Australian growers.”