Cash infusion means prebiotic, sweeteners from up-cycled ag waste will make commercial scale sooner, company says

By Hank Schultz contact

- Last updated on GMT

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Getty Images
Comet Bio has completed round of financing with existing investors that will assure the company can meet expected demand for its arabinoxylan prebiotic ingredient and low glycemic sweeteners, both made from recycled agricultural waste.

The company announced the additional financing recently, while at the same time revealing the creation of a headquarters office in the Chicago area. Existing investors Sofinnova Partners and PM Equity Partner participated in the financing.

Up-cycled ag waste

The company has won recognition for its method of recycling agricultural waste into functional ingredients for foods and dietary supplements.

The key element of the innovations is a proprietary heat treatment/enzymatic process to liberate the functional ingredients from agricultural waste, principally corn stalks or wheat straw. 

“We have developed a technology that can up cycle farm and food leftovers into healthy ingredients,”​ CEO Rich Troyer told NutraIngredients-USA. 

“And these are healthy ingredients that don’t compromise on performance,”​ he said. 

Troyer said the process uses heat and steam to help separate the raw material into component parts. The functional ingredients are then separated out via a combination of enzyme treatment and water extraction. In addition to the fiber and sweetener products, the company said the process can yield feed ingredients as well as biomaterials components for more eco friendly packaging. 

Ingredients with attractive properties

Comet BIo’s Arabinoxylan Plant Fiber Extract is a prebiotic ingredient has a high dietary fiber content, low glycemic response, and can be non-GMO. The company said the fiber has high utility in many formulations including supplements and nutrition bars. It also has a low waste sustainability message and can be produced in a non GMO fashion. 

Troyer also said the ingredient has a suite of polyphenols in it as well as the fiber, which may prove to have gut health promoting properties of their own.

The company’s sweeteners, branded as Sweeterra, are syrups that are functionally equivalent to traditional sweeteners, but are more sustainable, lower in calories and sugar, and higher in fiber.

Troyer said the new investment means the company will achieve full commercial scale in a relatively short time frame.

“We are able to supply small orders now.  With some of our bigger clients, they do take some time.  We are working with them to develop that supply chain,”​ he said.

The company now has offices or facilities in Schaumburg, IL, in London, ON, and it Italy, where the technology was developed and where the ingredients are currently produced.

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