Kern Tec lands $12.8 million to make dairy alternatives from upcycled produce

Guest Author

Lucy Ngige

ImpactAlpha, September 27 – The one-third of grown food that goes to waste is an enormous lost opportunity. It’s also an environmental liability, accounting for as much as 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Austria’s Kern Tec is redirecting and processing a portion of Europe’s 550,000 tons of discarded fruit seeds, such as cherry and peach pits, into oils and pulp for alternative dairy products and cosmetics.

Its $12.8 million Series A round was backed by Telos Impact, PeakBridge VC and the European Innovation Council.

Alt-milk fad

Dairy milk consumption still far outpaces plant-based alternatives. But alt-milk consumption is growing at a faster rate, in part because of the relatively lower environmental footprint.

Kern Tec touts its apricot seed milk, available in Austrian grocery stores, as cheaper and less water intensive than almond milk, a popular dairy alternative.

Food waste

Separately, Mill Industries in the US raised $70 million for a subscription food waste collection service. The company provides food scrap bins to households, then collects the scraps for processing into chicken feed. The round was backed by Prelude, Lowercarbon Capital, GV, Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Energy Impact Partners.