LESTREM, FRANCE — Roquette Ventures, a French investment company and part of the Roquette Group, has invested in Magellan Life Sciences Ltd., a London-based biotech company that has developed a proprietary expression and fermentation platform to produce new generations of plant-inspired protein sweeteners.

The sweetener, called Brazzein, may be used in foods and beverages to lower calories. It tastes almost identical to sucrose and has a higher sweetening power, according to Roquette Ventures. The sweeteners contribute negligible calories at intended use levels while maintaining the sweetness profile required by the applications and formulations. The protein sweeteners have no undesirable aftertaste and are stable under a variety of thermal and chemical conditions.

“In a context of global health challenges such as the rise of sugar-related diseases like diabetes or obesity, Magellan’s protein sweeteners have a tremendous potential to meet the increasing demand of consumers for healthier alternatives to sugar,” said Edouard Nuttin, general manager of Roquette Ventures. “Roquette Ventures’ core mission is to invest in pioneer innovations for food, nutrition and health markets. When we heard about Magellan Life Sciences and its work on protein sweeteners, we found a total match with that mission and quickly decided to help accelerate the development of these products to an industrial scale.”

The funding round will assist in scaling up the manufacturing process. Roquette Ventures led the seed round. Investments from SOSV, which is a global venture capital firm, and three European businesses completed the seed round.

“There is a global emphasis on using plant-inspired proteins to meet food and beverage markets’ expectations,” said Abhiram Dukkipati, co-founder and chief executive officer of Magellan. “Within this theme, Magellan is addressing the important issue of sugar reduction by providing alternatives to carbohydrates with new protein sweeteners. This round of funding will allow us to expand our R and D team and scale our proprietary manufacturing process.”