Sister Company to Present at Petfood Forum
11 March 2021
Dr. Susanne Wiegel, Investment Manager for Alternative Proteins for Food at NuFrontiers, a company within the corporate portfolio of Nutreco, Trouw Nutrition’s parent company, will speak at Petfood Forum, to be held September 21-23 in Kansas City.
Dr. Wiegel will present on how the pet food industry is innovating through alternative proteins. The pet food industry has become reliant on the use of animal protein sources as an important source of nutrients, but also as a key marketing lever to drive differentiation of a brand or product lines to pet owners.
In recent years, the sustainability and food ethics of using high-quality animal proteins in pet food diets has come under scrutiny as to what is best for the future of the planet and the increasing concerns of feeding the growing human population over the next 25 years. This has opened consumers’ eyes to evaluating new, novel protein sources that may be more sustainable but just as nutritious for the pet. This perspective is leading scientists to start looking at unconventional ideas and understanding how they affect the animal and the environment.
Alternative animal proteins, beyond non-farm animals and insect proteins, are being aggressively researched and developed to replace chicken and fish products. The science of cell-based and fermentation-based proteins are becoming a reality with the technology and acceptance in the food industry. Furthermore, all indications suggest that it will be available to purchase at grocery and restaurants for human consumption in many countries in the very near future. Market research indicates that it is also attractive to vegetarian and vegan supporters. Consumers are considering companies’ sustainability platforms in their buying decisions and are willing to support companies with sustainability platforms in which they believe in.
These new, novel protein sources are entering regulatory channels in effort to become effective alternative sources of protein in the U.S. and other parts of the world. This presentation will cover the science, safety and regulatory status of several cell-cultured animal protein sources and will provide insight into how these novel protein sources could play a role in pet food in the future. It will help pet food companies start the ideation and thought process about how their company could start to utilize these products in their innovation pipeline.
About Dr. Susanne Wiegel
At NuFrontiers, Dr. Wiegel is building a portfolio of leading start- and scale-ups in cell-based meat and seafood, as well as fermentation-based protein. Through directing the R&D collaborations with the portfolio companies, she develops innovative business opportunities in protein ingredients for food and pet food.
She earned her Ph.D. in Protein Biochemistry from the University of Braunschweig, Germany. She broadened her expertise beyond science through strategy consulting with McKinsey & Co. For more than a decade, Dr. Wiegel served as a business development professional in the biopharmaceutical industry, building and commercializing R&D portfolios of human protein therapeutics at the leading European biopharma companies Morphosys and MediGene. The similarity of the underlying technologies for protein therapeutics and alternative food proteins is the basis for her transition into the food and feed sector.
Prior to joining Nutreco in her current role, Dr. Wiegel volunteered with the Good Food Institute, a leading NGO in the field of alternative proteins. Dr. Wiegel’s passion to turn science into business has been the driving force throughout her career and now fosters the creation of novel, sustainable and healthy protein sources to feed a growing population and their fellow companions.