Tate & Lyle

Tate & Lyle launch £30m fund to find new ingredients

The British maker of sugar and specialised ingredients, Tate & Lyle, is to launch a venture capital fund to try to discover a new generation of ingredients for the food of the future. The company is to put £30m into Tate & Lyle Ventures II, which will launch in the new year and run for eight years.

The chief executive of Tate & Lyle, Javed Ahmed, has given the fund a remit to invest in new businesses around the world that are working on food science and technologies that could help the company to grow its specialist food ingredients division.

Tate & Lyle’s new fund will launch in the New Year and invest in startups and smaller companies which are looking to expand that will work on new food ingredients. The company said that these new ingredients will be vital in the future as food producers look to make new, healthier products.

The venture will be run by healthcare investor Simon Barnes and analyst David Atkinson.

David Atkinson, who will lead the new fund, said: “We are continuing to see a real change in consumer attitudes towards health and nutrition and in particular the growing interest in functional foods.

“Busy lives, an ageing population and rapid urbanisation in emerging markets mean that consumers across the world are looking to food to offer lifestyle solutions and bring added benefits such as fortification and enrichment. New technologies will be instrumental in this convergence as the world’s major food companies increasingly reposition themselves with a focus on innovation and health.”

The origins of Tate & Lyle date back to Henry Tate buying the rights to the technology to make sugar cubes in 1875. It could be said that the company is now searching for the technology that can create the 21st-century equivalents of the sugar cube.

It has opened a Commercial and Food Innovation Centre in Chicago for customers and also launched a new ingredient called Soda-Lo that can reduce salt content in foods by up to 50 percent.

The venture fund follows a similar initiative from Tate & Lyle that was launched in 2006. This had a narrower remit and only explored technologies in the US and western Europe.

Source: The Telegraph