Silicon Valley-based startup Geltor recently raised $18.3 million in a Series A round of funding led by investment firm Cultivian Sandbox Ventures. The company makes collagen (a component of gelatin) by fermenting bacteria in a yeast-based medium to create protein structures that act in similar ways to animal-derived collagen. According to Geltor CEO Alexander Lorestani, only 31 percent of consumers are aware that gelatin—which is traditionally made through extracting collagen by boiling pig or cow bones—is derived from animals. Lorestani told Foodnavigator-USA that his company’s collagen will facilitate the development of gummy bears that mimic the taste and texture of their animal-based counterpart better than other plant-based ingredients such as pectin and agar-agar. Geltor’s vegan collagen also removes concern for kosher and halal consumers who abstain from pork-derived gelatin. It can also be used as an ingredient in confections, nutritional supplements, and cosmetics. Geltor will use the new funding to scale its production in order to make its vegan collagen commercially available by 2020.

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