Xampla launches microcapsule technology as poll shows young consumers lack Vitamin D

UK technology company Xampla has launched its breakthrough vitamin microcapsule product to market, enabling brands to micropackage vitamins within beverages without the risk of degradation during transit or storage.

The announcement comes as polling of 4,000 UK adults by Yonder, commissioned by Xampla, reveals young people are among the most concerned with health and wellbeing with half of 18-35 year olds saying they do not get enough Vitamin D in their diets, as opposed to just 25% of 65+ year olds.

Xampla’s natural technology wraps a microscopic droplet of vitamin oil in plant-based material to guard the vitamin, such as Vitamin D, from UV light, pH imbalance, and pasteurisation.  This enables brands to add Vitamin D-led health claims to a wide range of beverage products, including those shipped in clear liquids and clear bottles.

The Cambridge-based company’s vitamin microcapsules increase the volume of effective vitamins without affecting the taste of the product.  Consumers will be able to get more nutritional value out of the beverages they already enjoy, from the brands they already know and trust. The technology can be used to package any oil-based vitamin or flavouring, including Vitamin A, D, E or K. 

Previously, brands either relied on costly ‘overage’ of vitamins and nutrients, accepting that the ingredients would deteriorate during the products lifetime, or simply would not add vitamins at all. Xampla’s technology presents a new opportunity for brands to increase vitamin content of their product line, in a 100% digestible, vegan, and gluten-free form.

Products that support a healthy lifestyle are a significant trend in the industry, with a third of consumers (33%) choosing drinks containing vitamins over those that do not.

As we approach the colder months, 69% of the British public are looking to guard against winter colds, flu and Covid by taking extra vitamins and nearly three in five (57%) say they prefer to increase their vitamin intake through food and drink products.   The company’s consumer survey also shows that 69% of parents consider the vitamin content of food and drink they give to their children.

Xampla announced a partnership with global drinks manufacturer Britvic earlier this year to develop new innovations for the drinks industry. Its vitamin microcapsules are a drop-in solution and fit seamlessly with existing industry manufacturing processes

Simon Hombersley, CEO of Xampla, said: “Xampla’s microcapsules offer an opportunity for big beverage brands to get the vitamins people need directly to them inside everyday products.

“The trend for benefit-led products has been steadily growing over the last ten years.  Young people and parents are particularly concerned with the health and wellbeing properties of their products, particularly in the post-Covid context and as we approach the colder months.

“Our vitamin microcapsule provides a much needed, simple solution for brands to micropackage Vitamin D safely in clear bottles, and the potential to micropackage a whole range of other nutrients in future. We are working with multi-nationals to bring this product to supermarket shelves.”

Xampla named in green tech firm top 50

Creator of natural alternatives to single-use plastic, Xampla, has been named among the top-50 green tech companies in Britain. 

Following a public vote among readers of BusinessCloud, and an assessment by independent judges, the inventor of the world’s first natural plant protein polymer features in the prestigious Envirotech 50 ranking.

The inaugural list celebrates the UK’s most innovative start-ups, scale-ups and established firms creating technology to protect the environment and promote sustainability.

Based on 15 years of research at the University of Cambridge, Xampla is pioneering a natural plastic substitute, made from plant proteins, as a like-for-like replacement for traditional plastic in commercial use.   With no other chemical changes made to its plant-based materials, Xampla’s products biodegrade safely at the end of life, leaving nothing behind.  

Committed to replace the most polluting single-use plastics, Xampla’s plant-protein technology has applications in flexible films, microcapsules and coatings and has already launched to market in partnership with global brands, including Britvic and Gousto.

From a shortlist of 93 firms, Xampla placed 27th out of 50. The panel of judges included Craig Melson, Associate Director for Climate, Environment and Sustainability at TechUK, David Pugh, Head of Sustainability at Digital Catapult and Lubomila Jordanova, Co-Founder of GreenTech Alliance.

CEO of Xampla, the first UK University spin-out to be awarded B Corp status, Simon Hombersley said:

“It is an honour to be named as one of the UK’s most innovative green technology firms. Receiving accreditation from the industry is a huge boost in our efforts to bring pioneering invention to life.

“The last two years have been a period of exponential growth for Xampla. From working with global brands to developing world first products using our sustainable and natural alternative to single-use plastic, to doubling our expert team over the past year, we have not stopped.”

Jonathan Symcox, editor of BusinessCloud said: “Our inaugural EnviroTech 50 ranking is the latest in our innovation series across sectors and a showcase for companies with truly ground-breaking solutions to protect the environment and boost sustainability.

“It’s a privilege to shine a light on so many admirable companies.” For more information on BusinessCloud’s ranking, visit: https://businesscloud.co.uk/envirotech-50-uks-most-innovative-green-technology-creators-for-2022

New hires see industry experience grow at Xampla

Creator of natural alternatives to single-use plastic, Xampla, this week welcomes Sabina Burmester as Head of Engineering and Scott Thompson as Head of R&D.  The duo of expert hires comes as part of Xampla’s growth strategy, with a marked scale up of operations through 2022.

Sabina and Scott join seven other new hires who have started at Xampla since January, with the team growing by 95% over the last year alone. 

Sabina Burmester brings nearly 30 years of experience working on the development and manufacturing of innovative materials for commercial goods and has led teams in various industries, including FMCG.

Sabinajoins Xampla from Johnson Matthey, Clean Air. Working as Senior Chemical Engineer Innovation Specialist Sabina collaborated with experts to deliver a global project for the Clean Air Sector and is the co-inventor of multiple patent applications for innovative processes and equipment. The main areas include novel processes and equipment to improve product microstructure and improve ingredient functionality; process efficiency; and creating novel product architectures.

Scott Thompson joins Xampla from his role as Head of Supercapacitor Development at Superdielectrics, a technology start-up, where he worked closely with the CEO to lead the research and development of novel technology. Prior to this, Scott led a team developing new thermosetting polymer formations at Hexcel Composites.

In his new role as Head of R&D, Scott will work closely with Marc Rodriguez Garcia, CTO of Xampla, and the team of scientists to develop further applications for its pioneering natural alternative to plastic made from plant proteins.

Burmester and Thompson’s appointments follow the addition last year of Katrina Curl as Head of Marketing and Communications.  Curl brings more than a decade’s creative and communications experience from the UK’s top agencies, working with household names in FMCG and tech including Unilever, Britvic and Canon.

Xampla is also preparing itself for a growing order book with the launch of a new laboratory in January, which is helping the team maximise productivity and accelerate the research and development of new plastic-alternative technologies.

Following 15 years of research at The University of Cambridge, the certified B-Corp company has created a natural and biodegradable alternative to single-use plastic.

Xampla’s plant-protein technology has applications in flexible films, microcapsules and coatings and has already launched to market in partnership with global brands, including Britvic and Gousto.

Simon Hombersley, CEO of Xampla, said: “Xampla has continued to grow from strength to strength.  We are truly excited to welcome Sabina and Scott, who bring with them a wealth of industry knowledge and experience to add to the wide range of expertise within the company.

“As we continue to work with leading global brands to bring our technology to supermarket shelves, having the very best talent in the industry is key to our continued success. With our full management team in place, Xampla’s people are all united by the same commitment to turn the tide on plastic pollution.  We know Sabina and Scott will play a central part in that mission.”

New Head of Engineering, Sabina Burmester, said: “Xampla is a dynamic and effective team which collaborates with global experts in specialised scientific and technological fields to develop truly ground-breaking new products and processes.  I am looking forward to exploring even more potential applications for this natural alternative to single-use plastic, and to working with the team to scale-up from lab tests to manufacturing.”

XAMPLA ANNOUNCED AS FINALIST FOR TOM FORD PLASTIC INNOVATION PRIZE

Creator of natural alternatives to single-use plastic, Xampla, has today been announced as a finalist for the Tom Ford Plastic Innovation Prize after being given a vote of confidence from global investors.

Senior figures from Encourage Capital, Sky Ocean Ventures, North Equity LLC, ALG Investment Management were amongst the judging panel that chose Xampla from 170 global competitors to be shortlisted after a highly competitive two-year process.

The award recognises world-leading innovators, creating next generation, sustainable alternatives to flexible film plastic that are truly sustainable and scalable by 2025. The potential for this material will now be tested with global fashion and technology customers, such as Dell.

As a University of Cambridge spin-out, Xampla has spent 15 years researching and pioneering the world’s first plant protein polymer for commercial use.   With no other chemical changes made to its plant-based materials, Xampla’s products biodegrade safely at the end of life, leaving nothing behind.

The applications for this technology have the potential to replace plastic across a range of industries, including in food and beverages, the home cleaning products industry and now technology and fashion.

Xampla’s technology has already entered the market through partnerships with leading global brands including meal kit retailer Gousto and soft drinks manufacturer Britvic.  Former White House Climate Change Advisor, Jeff Seabright, joined the firm as Chair in 2020.

The Plastic Innovation Prize was first launched in 2019 by global fashion designer Tom Ford, in partnership with 52HZ,  to identify and support organisations advancing truly biologically degradable plastic alternatives.

The prize winner, to be chosen from the eight finalists and announced in 2023, will receive $1.2 million as well as three years of financial and advisory support. 

As a finalist, Xampla will now focus on how its industry-leading plant-protein material can be applied to single-use polybags.  Over 300 billion polybags, single-use resealable sandwich bags and storage bags are used globally every year.  These products are almost impossible to recycle and end up in landfill, incineration or the natural environment.

Plastic films are estimated to make up five million metric tons of ocean plastic leakage accounting for 46% of the total.

Simon Hombersley, CEO of Xampla, said: “Our material is the result of 15 years of research, bringing together the very best minds in science to create a truly sustainable alternative to single use plastic. We have already brought our innovation to market with global brands such as Gousto and Britvic and the support we have been shown by the team of judges and investors is evidence of the potential of our material to address global pollution. We can’t wait to get started working with Tom Ford’s team.”

Jeff Seabright, former White House Climate Change Adviser and Chair of Xampla, said: “With 175 countries committed to developing a UN plastic pollution treaty by 2024, turning off the plastic tap is now firmly on the global agenda. Alternative materials that naturally biodegrade are key, and we believe Xampla offers a better by design alternative. A key criterion for the Tom Ford judges is how well and how completely the material biodegrades, making this a very welcome endorsement for our technology.  

“We are looking forward to working together with Tom Ford and the team over the coming year, as Xampla partners with leading brands to innovate in the world of fashion and technology as we have already in food and drink.”

Xampla wins Best New Business at World Food Innovation Awards

Creator of natural alternatives to single-use plastic, Xampla, has been announced as the winner of Best New Business at the eighth annual World Food Innovation Awards.

The World Food Innovation Awards, in partnership with IFE, celebrate the most ambitious developments in the food and beverage industry over the last 12 months. The judging panel, including senior figures from Selfridges, JourneyFoods and Mission Ventures, considered entries from over 22 countries before choosing final winners across 25 categories.

Xampla secured the Best New Business award in recognition of its growth since 2020, bringing its breakthrough material to market with global brands including soft drinks manufacturer Britvic. In 2021, Xampla partnered with meal kit retailer Gousto to create the world’s first edible stock cube wrapper.

Xampla was also a finalist in two further two categories, Best Technology Innovation and Best Ingredient Innovation, in recognition of its edible film and nutrient microcapsule technology.

As a University of Cambridge spin-out, Xampla has spent 15 years researching and pioneering the world’s first plant protein polymer for commercial use.  Xampla is committed to replacing the most polluting single-use plastics as well as hidden plastics, such as microplastics within laundry products and is the first UK University spin-out to be awarded B Corp status.

Simon Hombersley, CEO of Xampla, said: “Over the past two years, Xampla has seen exponential growth, working with global brands to develop world first products using our sustainable and natural alternative to single-use plastic. Earlier this year we announced the opening of our second lab in Cambridge and with this Best New Business award under our belt, we are looking forward to further developing our innovation over the next 12 months with more partnerships to come.”

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XAMPLA AT COP26

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Tomorrow’s food packaging today: Xampla’s edible film arrives in kitchens

Marc Rodríguez Garcia, CTO at Xampla writes…

As a protein scientist, I’m more used to science labs and academic conferences than kitchens and consumer launches. But this week, the first of our products will be shipped to the paying public for the first time. It’s a cookable stock cube wrapper.

Recipe box company, Gousto, is including our product in its deliveries, as part of their package for making Indian Spiced Carrot & Lentil Soup. Where the consumer would previously have taken a stock cube from a plastic or foil wrapper, they will now drop the whole item – wrapping and all – into the soup.

This simple consumer experience is the result of 15 years of Cambridge-based research into the fundamental understanding of how proteins can be shaped into useful materials, such as transparent and flexible films.   The result is a completely unique single-use plastic alternative made from common food ingredients such as pea protein.

Following a full year of product development and formulation working closely with Gousto, Xampla’s edible and cookable films are the first plant protein film in the world to go to market. Their potential goes well beyond stock cubes to applications across the food and drink sector. It will mean brands can still give customers the benefits of plastic in protecting the shelf life of a product, without harming the environment.

With 855 billion plastic sachets thrown away each year – enough to wrap the entire surface of the earth – the need for a sustainable replacement could scarcely be more urgent. Most sachets cannot be economically recycled: they end up in landfill or polluting the soils and the seas. Our stock cube wrapping shows the possibility that – for example – the ubiquitous ketchup and mayonnaise sachet could soon become edible alongside its contents. And if consumers don’t cook or eat the sachets, they can simply put them in the food waste bin.

Consumers are increasingly making choices about what they buy based on the sustainability of a product or service. The majority want to reduce their plastic use, and single-use plastics in particular are increasingly unacceptable. In a recent survey, 65 percent of consumers said there aren’t enough plastic-free options on offer for the products they buy, despite trying to avoid plastic packaging where possible. Fully 86 percent try to avoid plastic packaging at least occasionally.

Our mission is to work with the big brands to help them meet this consumer demand. Xampla’s customer-led approach is all about understanding what potential clients need – both to keep their food products fresh and to mesh with existing manufacturing processes. 

We are lucky to benefit not just from cutting-edge science and research, but from a team of technical and commercial experts, many of whom have come from the industries Xampla is working with. Each product we develop goes through an in-depth trial and testing process, making sure we prioritise the client’s need and the end consumer’s needs in what we offer.

We refuse to compromise either on consumer experience or on the end of life of our product. Xampla’s packaging will always protect its contents as brands and consumers expect, but will always be made from completely natural or edible materials, which will safely break down if they reach the natural environment.

It has been a pleasure working on this product with Gousto, demonstrating the potential of this technology through stock cubes. The company is a fellow B-Corp, with sustainability at its heart: a recent study by environmental services company Foodsteps showed that dinners from Gousto already produce 23% less carbon emissions than equivalent meals from supermarket stores.  Gousto shares our values, and we can use our scientific excellence to help them to deliver their sustainability goals.   

COP26 is highlighting just how global the movement away from polluting industries is, and how all countries and industries are engaging in the largest trend of our generation – sustainability. Our launch this week is the first step for Xampla on the road to providing solutions in all sectors to the harm caused by single-use and microplastic.

XAMPLA SPEAKING AT ENVIRONMENTAL PACKAGING SUMMIT 2021

Xampla CTO, Mark Rodriguez Garcia, has been invited to speak today at the Environmental Packaging Summit. Marc will address the audience on ‘Natural Alternatives to Single Use Plastic’. This will be supported by Head of Marketing and Communications, Katrina Curl, who has been invited to join a panel tomorrow to discuss how advances in packaging sustainability are communicated to the public. 

XAMPLA AT COP26

XAMPLA AT COP26

Our CEO Simon Hombersley was invited by British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association to contribute to the COP26 debate today. Xampla is being showcased in Glasgow as one of the businesses looking to use cutting edge technology to solve the environmental crisis. 

Xampla at the Science Museum for half term

The Science Museum has invited Xampla, creator of natural alternatives to single-use plastic, to be a key exhibitor in its “Future Explorers” activity this October half term.  

Showcasing its innovation in creating the world’s first plant protein material, Xampla will help children from the age of 7 to think about how the world will change by 2050.

As part of the week of action, Xampla will show young visitors to the museum how to identify microplastics and their harmful impact on the ocean through games and interactive demonstrations. 

Xampla’s team of experts will be on site in South Kensington to engage with families as part of the company’s continued efforts to boost STEM education for the next generation.

The product of more than 15 years’ research at Cambridge University, Xampla has developed a plant protein material that mimics the molecular structure of spider silk, creating a strong, flexible and entirely natural alternative to single-use plastic. Its technology has applications in flexible films used in packaging, microcapsules used to contain fragrances in household products and nutrients in food and drink.

The Science Museum partnership comes as Xampla prepares to commercialise its products for customers across a range of industries.

Xampla CEO, Simon Hombersley, said: “We are incredibly proud to be invited to partner with the Science Museum. At Xampla, our team of experts has a real passion for taking science out into the real world to educate the next generation about STEM careers.  We hope to inspire some of the children we meet this half term to be tomorrow’s scientists and innovators, seeking to improve the world around them.  

“The activity will be ‘hands on’ and will be about getting young people really excited about science and the impact a career in this field can have.  We will then be building on this programme of outreach over the next year with more events and activities to get involved with.”

Laura Southall, Head of Learning at the Science Museum, said: “We’re excited to be joined by Xampla to ignite the curiosity of young visitors this October half term as we explore the effects of and solutions to microplastics in our environment.”

The Future Explorers activities will be taking place at the Science Museum, London, between 25th-29th October. For more information visit: https://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/see-and-do/future-explorers