SAN FRANCISCO — More than four dozen startups are set to convene in San Francisco this month for the Future Food-Tech summit. Held March 24-25, the event will showcase solutions spanning precision fermentation, plant-based whole cuts, functional protein ingredients and cultured meat scaffolding.

“Fifty-five food-tech innovators will vie for attention through innovation challenges, startup pitches, product launches and tastings,” said Jet Lockhurst, startup partnerships manager at Future Food-Tech. “This summit will bring you closer than ever to the future of food.”

Several startups will participate in innovation challenges hosted by Danone North America and Givaudan. Danone’s challenge will focus on technologies to improve the texture and meltability of plant-based cheese. Finalists include Alfred’s Food Tech, a maker of yellow cheese with 25% protein; Cultivated Biosciences, a company developing a fat ingredient from oleaginous yeast; and The Melt, a startup creating a product for flexitarian, saturated-fat conscious and lactose intolerant consumers using the existing dairy food production system.

Three finalists also were selected for Givaudan’s innovation challenge, which will focus on natural ingredients supporting immunity, energy and sleep. Finalists include Nutrition Innovation, a company harnessing the power of polyphenols to boost immunity; Comet Bio, a maker of healthy ingredients from crop leftovers; and Tait Labs, an upcycled ingredients company using clean extraction technology.

Other events include Gone In 60 Seconds, which will give innovators one minute to spotlight their technology’s potential, and a TechHub Exhibition, which will see founders of early-stage companies demonstrate their technologies and meet with summit delegates.

Innovators at the forefront of chicken alternatives will share their insights in a “kitchen-to-fruition” Q&A session. Chefs will create dishes onstage using Meati Foods’ mycelium-based whole cuts, Sundial Foods’ plant-based chicken wings, Umiami’s plant-based whole cuts, MeliBio’s alternative honey, QOA’s alternative chocolate and Evo Foods’ plant-based egg. Critics will give their verdict on the culinary creations live onstage during the event.

Making its debut at the upcoming summit, Future Food-Tech’s Taste Lab will invite a small group of delegates to attend product launches and tastings with brands from around the world. Participants will sample microbial fermented milk from Remilk, nutrient-dense snacks from Incredible Foods, gene-edited lettuce from Pairwise and more. A slew of entrepreneurs, food brands, investors and technology companies will take to the mainstage for discussions covering a range of topics, from cultured meat and microbial fermentation to artificial intelligence in R&D.

Future Food-Tech’s menu will feature Current Foods’ plant-based sushi-grade raw fish, Eat Just’s plant-based egg alternative, Eclipse Foods’ dairy-free ice cream, Atomo Coffee’s molecular brew, Loliware’s seaweed-based straws and peanut butter cups featuring Epogee’s EPG fat replacer. Click  here  for more information or to register for the summit.