Press Release March 6, 2024

Novel Foods Group and partners reveal plan for new biotech cluster in the UAE

Agreement has been signed to commence planning of new USD500mn biotech production site

Focus will be on the development of natural sweetener, brazzein, and inclusion in products that retain genuine sugar tase but cause no blood sugar spikes for diabetics

Dubai, UAE – March 6, 2024: Novel Foods Group, the Abu Dhabi based global pioneer in the alternative proteins sector, together with several esteemed global engineering companies have announced a landmark agreement to commence the planning phase of a USD500mn biotech production site located in the UAE. The agreement was signed between Novel Foods, Glatt Group, BioEngineering AG, and CB Consultancy AG during the inaugural Healthy Innovation Conference (HiConf) held recently in Dubai.

The new biotech production site will focus on the development of brazzein, a natural sweet protein with a genuine sugar taste that is several thousand times sweeter than traditional sugar (sucrose). The commercial applications of brazzein extend across various sectors, including beverages, confectionery, bakery, as well as dairy and ice cream.

The growing use of brazzein comes at a time when the global alternative sugar market is growing faster than the traditional sugar market, with a yearly growth rate of approximately 5% versus 1%, respectively.

Brazzein is currently derived from berries of the equatorial belt of West Africa and has been an integral part of local consumption for centuries. However, challenges in harvesting due to remote locations and limited availability are now being addressed through precision fermentation, a process combining traditional fermentation and precision biology to economically bring brazzein into the commercial market.

Alaa Al Ali, Shareholder and Member of the Board of Novel Foods Group, emphasizes: "We believe people should enjoy the sweetness they love without sacrificing health or taste."

Novel Foods currently engages in partnerships with universities and research institutions to create brazzein-infused recipes, organize tastings, and collect consumer feedback. Its existing concept and R&D center in Dubai is committed to crafting tailor-made recipes that replace sugar with brazzein, supporting co-creation with regional decision-makers and product development teams.

Today, Novel Foods is at the forefront of developing, manufacturing, and commercializing innovative food products such as sweet proteins, plant-based meat, cellular nutrition, and more. With a vision to transform the food and beverage industry, the company is on a mission to implement innovative food ingredients and products, ensuring the health and happiness of communities.

Photo credits: Standing Row (Left to Right)
  • Dirk Steinhäuser: Vice Head, Dresden Engineering Office of Glatt Group
  • Alaa Al Ali: Shareholder and Member of the Board of Novel Foods Group LLC
  • Matthew Robin: Member of the Board of Bioengineering AG
About Novel Foods Group

Abu Dhabi-based Novel Foods Group is pioneering the future of alternative nutrition. Novel Foods is at the forefront of the food industry’s biotechnology revolution – offering innovative, sustainable solutions that will revolutionize the future of food production, manufacture, and consumption. Bringing together an outstanding international network of specialist scientists, the company ensures breakthrough results in the development and implementation of the most advanced food technologies, bringing them to the markets of GCC countries.

About Glatt Group

Glatt, headquartered in Weimar, Germany, is a leading plant engineering partner serving the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, chemical, fine chemical, food, and pet food sectors. With affiliates and service hubs across Europe, MENA, India, and the Americas, Glatt excels in powder synthesis and fluidized and spouted bed methods for granulation processes. A vital component of the international Glatt Group, Glatt Ingenieurtechnik benefits from a global network of over 3000 professionals. and

About BioEngineering AG

Since 1971, BioEngineering has been at the forefront of developing equipment for cell culture and fermentation. With over several hundred installations spanning five continents in the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors, BioEngineering is expanding its expertise to include scaling up operations in emerging food sectors. This includes collaborations with The Cultured Hub, Bio Campus, and YD Labs, among others.

About CB Consultancy AG

CB Consultancy AG (CBC) stands out as a distinguished engineering partner, excelling in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and Novel Food sectors. Headquartered in Switzerland, CBC extends its reach with strategic service hubs located in Singapore and China. Renowned for its expertise and innovation, CBC continues to lead the way in engineering solutions for cutting-edge industries.