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Turning Potatoes into Protein Biofactories as PoLoPo Awaits USDA Approval

Imagine a future where potatoes do more than just fill your plate .. they revolutionise the food industry.

That's the vision of PoLoPo, an Israeli start-up molecular farming company who've just submitted its bio-invention to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for regulatory review.

PoLoPo’s innovation involves turning humble potato plants into biofactories through advanced metabolic engineering. This means the potatoes aren't just growing underground; they're producing valuable proteins replacing animal-derived ingredients such as egg protein in food processing.

 PoLoPo - transgenic egg protein potatoes
Source: PoLoPo - transgenic egg protein potatoes

PoLoPo as the first Israeli company to seek U.S. approval for such a technology. If the USDA gives the green light, expected within six months, PoLoPo can begin commercialising its transgenic potatoes in the U.S., partnering with local growers.

“This milestone is crucial for both molecular farming and PoLoPo,” says CEO Maya Sapir-Mir, PhD. “Producing ovalbumin in plants rather than animals offers a price-stable, sustainable alternative that could transform the food industry.”

Source: PoLoPo

Why is this important? The world faces rising egg prices, supply chain disruptions, and even avian flu outbreaks. PoLoPo’s potatoes could be the solution. These modified plants grow proteins directly in their tubers, which are then harvested, processed, and turned into a protein powder. This powder can seamlessly integrate into existing food manufacturing processes, providing a non-GMO, stable alternative to traditional animal proteins.

In essence, PoLoPo is turning potatoes into powerhouse producers, potentially changing how we think about food production and sustainability. The future of food might just be growing in a potato patch near you.

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