Dutch company PectCof has secured a €2 million (US$2.2 million) funding round as it works to scale up production of a food product that uses coffee pulp as a primary ingredient.
The product, called Dutch Gum, has been tested as an emulsifier, stabilizer or texturizer in various candies, sauces and beverages. It involves the reuse of coffee pulp, a byproduct of post-harvest coffee processing that is often either discarded as waste or composted for reuse on farms.
“We are looking forward to [offering] our customers the opportunity to co-develop new clean-label formulations, in line with the latest trends in the food and beverages industry,” PectCof CEO Daniela Ribezzo said in an announcement of the funding round for the 10-year-old company, which is based in Venlo, The Netherlands.
The latest funding round was led by Dutch agricultural private investment firm Brightland Venture Partners and the $12 million Future Food Fund, which is led by 30 entrepreneurs with a focus on Dutch companies.
Dutch Gum is one of scores of products that has emerged using coffee pulp as a core ingredient over the past decade. Driven by principles of a circular economy, pulp has been used either as a core beverage ingredient, as in cascara, or as a biomass resource, as is the case with Dutch gum.
While most companies using coffee pulp or other coffee waste stream materials claim to offer environmental benefits through waste diversion or economic benefits to producers, such claims remain tenuous without some combination of increased transparency and independent, third-party verification.
A team of researchers last year discovered that coffee pulp has shown potential to dramatically hasten tropical reforestation.