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UK start-up targets $3.5 trillion global health food market in latest investment round

A UK start-up company specialising in the production of healthy food products which provide a long term solution to elevated blood glucose levels has launched a new funding round as it seeks to stem the rise of Type 2 Diabetes.

Based in Norwich, The Smarter Food Company has developed a vegetable-based soup containing specialised natural ingredients including glucoraphanin, a naturally occurring compound found in broccoli, that actively regulate hepatic digestion to control glucose metabolism. As well as appealing to health conscious consumers, the product is also being aimed at people at risk of Type 2 Diabetes with clinical data suggesting it reduces elevated blood glucose, a significant risk factor for the development of the condition. Diabetes charities report that more people than ever are at risk of contracting Type 2 with predications the numbers could rise to 5.5m in the UK alone by 2030.

The key ingredient in Smarter Food’s soup is a unique, naturally bred broccoli which has been developed by its Inventor and Lead Scientist, Professor Richard Mithen. Consuming just one portion per week can provide a long-term, sustainable solution in addressing elevated blood glucose levels. There is also further evidence that the product may reduce cholesterol, and may have a beneficial impact on heart disease and various cancers, including prostate cancer.

Smarter Food is now seeking to raise £500K through a new crowd-funding round, of which £135k is already secured.  This investment will be used to launch its first product and help the company secure a share of the $3.5 trillion global health food market. The investment will go towards supporting specialist crop growing, product processing and manufacturing, and marketing costs.

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Smarter Food is a spin-out from the Quadram Institute Bioscience, a leading UK food and health academic research organisation, located at the Norwich Research Park.  The company was formed with support from technology transfer specialists, Plant Biosciences Ltd, and has already secured £1m in seed funding, including a grant from the UKI2S Innovate Accelerator, a joint funding initiative with Innovate UK directed at early stage science and engineering companies.

Smarter Food is now carrying out further trials with a view to obtaining European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) approval for a health claim and then plans to register with the US Food & Drug Administration as well as other regulatory bodies around the world. The company has completed recruitment for its current human trial where results are expected by the middle of next year.

Dr. Andrew Muir, Investor Director of Smarter Food, said: “We’re excited about our latest investment round which enables anyone who shares our vision of developing foods with proven health benefits to join our journey. With Type 2 Diabetes on the rise in many other parts of the world and a growing global health food market, we are well-positioned to translate our extensive research into a product that will benefit consumers and healthcare providers everywhere.”

Laura Knight, Smarter Food’s Chief Executive, said: “This latest investment round will support us in bringing our first product to market, by making it available online.  Our product is potentially a game-changer with Type 2 Diabetes being a significant and increasing public health issue throughout the world.  If we can help reduce high blood sugar, a key risk for Type 2 Diabetes, it will not only benefit individuals’ health but also positively impact healthcare systems and society everywhere.”

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