Fredericton-based Chinova Bioworks, which is developing a mushroom-based natural preservative for food and beverages, has raised a $2.6 million CAD seed round from several foodtech VC firms.
The round was led by DSM Venturing BV and Rhapsody Venture Partners, with participation from AgFunder and Natural Products Canada. In the past, Chinova has received a pre-seed investment from the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, SOSV, and the First Angel Network.
“In just two years, Chinova has developed a unique and innovative preservation technology using mushroom-based chitosan that can be customized to fit the needs of food and beverage producers’ individual microbial issues. Our product fits the standards of the clean label that consumers want and that producers need,” said Natasha Dhayagude, CEO of Chinova. “Consumers are demanding natural ingredients in their foods and beverages.”
Chinova Bioworks has developed a preservative based on an ingredient extracted from mushrooms called chitosan, which offers broad spectrum protection against all types of microorganisms including bacteria, yeast, and mould. The company plans to use the funding to build its team, scale up production and manufacturing, and accelerate the commercialization of the product into the market.
“Chinova provides the first entirely natural preservative that is both highly effective and broad-spectrum,” said Dhayagude. “We are fortunate to already have customers ready to launch and a large and rapidly expanding sales pipeline. With our product now validated with leading food companies, we will use this investment to quickly scale our production to meet demand.”