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Amai Proteins CEO, Dr. Ilan Samish: Israeli Agri-Food week by Startup Nation Central

November, 2021



Amai proteins-sweetener without sugar

November, 2021



$100,000 up for grabs for cutting edge foodtech endeavors

September, 2021

Dr. Ilan Samish, the founder of Amai Proteins, which came in second place in last year’s competition, said: "It gave our name validation. To date, we have won 10 awards, which served investors as another part of their due diligence. ... Last year the company raised $11.3 million, and went from 6 to 25 employees.


Amai Proteins 2021: Reaping Nature’s Sweet Rewards

August, 2021

Dr. Ilan Samish, founder and CEO of Amai Proteins, describes how his food tech startup is transforming the food industry with the first protein-based sugar substitute.


Israeli Food Tech Amai Proteins Replaces Sugar with Healthy, Sweet Proteins

May, 2021

My experience with the large food companies teaches me that taste is king,” says Dr. Samish, explaining why Amai’s approach is to reduce and complement sugar instead of aiming to replace it. 

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Ocean Spray and Amai Proteins Partner to Create the First Protein-Sweetened Reduced Sugar Cranberry Juice

December , 2020

Ocean Spray  has announced a partnership with Amai Proteins in an effort to incorporate healthy, sweet proteins into the product portfolio. Through joint development agreements, Ocean Spray and Amai Proteins plan to develop cranberry juice with at least a 40% sugar reduction, offering consumers more ways to incorporate the cranberry into a healthier lifestyle. "Ocean Spray is proud to partner with Amai Proteins to bring consumers additional options for changing habits and lifestyles," said Katy Latimer, VP of Research and Development at Ocean Spray.

Announcement by Ocean Spray CEO

Food Ingredients First




5 sweet innovations that can save us from sugar overload

November , 2020

We are the first to link ‘healthy’ to ‘sweetener.’ Our protein binds to the sweet receptors in the tongue just like any sweetener but has absolutely no interaction as a sweetener with the microbiome, liver and kidneys. It is digested to amino acids just like any protein,” Samish says.



September , 2020

"The idea behind the technology is that most proteins live in their small piece of heaven, but food, for a protein, is a hell of an environment. Thus, one needs to redesign the amino-acid sequence of the protein to be more similar to proteins that sustain life in harsh environments such as hot springs, acidic swamps, or the Dead Sea"


FoodTech innovation startup contest

August 12 , 2020

Amai Proteins won 2nd place in the Calcalist-Tnuva Israeli startup competition.


Investing in Amai and the Case for ‘Bits and Atoms’ Fueling Sustainable Innovation.

July 7 , 2020 explains the investment in Amai: "The convergence of computing and biology (“Bits and Atoms”), coupled with increasing consumer demand and regulatory pressure, is catalyzing corporates to remake basic “stuff” more healthfully, sustainably, and resource-efficiently."


Interview with Amai Proteins CEO on the clean future of foodtech post Covid-19 using precision fermentation and microbial technologies.

MAY , 2020

"Covid-19 epidemic gives us a reminder that while we are a small world, we still need to maintain some local food security and there are some hurdles which interfere with the small world import/export in the usual supply chain. On the other hand, there is a much greater emphasis on safety."


Sweet Proteins From the Jungle Can Replace Sugar

APRIL 30, 2020

the WHO recommends eating less sugar and salt in their Nutrition advice for adults during the COVID-19 outbreak....  Amai Proteins, an Israel-based food tech company, arguably is about to change the structure of food we eat and the drinks we consume. 


Challenges of bringing a precision fermentation protein to the market"

March 31, 2020

A talk by Amai Proteins CEO outlining the different challenges of bringing to the market alternative proteins produced by precision fermentation. The talk is part of a symposium with The Good Food Institute, The Weizmann Institute of Science and The Israeli Fermentation Society.


Startup success for Amai Proteins - Ilan Samish

March 26, 2020

Amai Proteins is on a mission to reinvent the Food & Beverage industry with their unique protein design technology. By combining biotechnology with Agile Integrative Computational Protein Design (AI-CPD), Amai produces tasty, healthy and food-compatible proteins, fit for the mass food market.


Is sugar the new tobacco?

March 18, 2020

 Amai Proteins CEO at an EIT Food Food Fight podcast series.


Taking an innovative approach to sugar reduction

January 13 ,2020

[Amai] makes designer sweet proteins that contribute zero calories and work well in industrial foods and beverages...


Israel's food tech scene experiments with insects and computer-designed sweeteners

January 3 ,2020

We're determined to give the first truly healthy, cost-effective, tasty, zero-glycaemic index, zero-calorie protein which activates the sweetness mechanism in our mouth, just like sugar," Dr Samish said. "But then [it] is digested just like any other protein which builds our body's muscles and tissues, leaving no substances — unlike other sugar replacements which negatively affect our microbiome, our liver and our kidneys.


‘Curing food, one protein at a time’: Meet the start-up replacing 1 tsp sugar with 0.5mg protein

December 11, 2019


Amai Proteins has set out to address ‘the world’s biggest health challenge’: sugar reduction. The start-up is developing designer proteins that are not only sweeter than sugar, but tasty, scalable, sustainable, and importantly, cheaper than the real thing"


Fi Europe 2019: Sweeteners in the spotlight as sugar reduction trends intensify

December 09, 2019


Amai Proteins took home the Most Innovative Food or Beverage Ingredient award of the “Startup Innovation Challenge” at FiE (Food Ingredients Europe).


Israel seeks to feed growing global appetite for food-tech

September 27, 2019


"I decided to heal the food we make instead of the diseases caused by it, one protein at a time."


Israel seeks to feed growing global appetite for food-tech

September 27, 2019


"I decided to heal the food we make instead of the diseases caused by it, one protein at a time."


Israel seeks to feed growing global appetite for food-tech

September 27, 2019


"I decided to heal the food we make instead of the diseases caused by it, one protein at a time."


Israel seeks to feed growing global appetite for food-tech

September 27, 2019


"I decided to heal the food we make instead of the diseases caused by it, one protein at a time."


Israel seeks to feed growing global appetite for food-tech

September 27, 2019


The bearded scientist left behind an academic career to form a company called Amai -- Japanese for sweet -- which aims to solve one of the world's biggest health problems with hyper-sweet natural protein.


Israel seeks to feed growing global appetite for food-tech

September 27, 2019


 "I decided to heal the food we make instead of the diseases caused by it, one protein at a time."


‘Over Ten Thousand Times Sweeter Than Sugar’: Meet The Man Making Some of The World’s Sweetest Proteins

April 11, 2019


When he passes over the taster, there is a look of cautious expectation.

Does it taste … supercalifragilisticexpialidocious?

Well, it is certainly sweet … But nothing to send you onto the next flight to Tel Aviv in search of another fix. It seems to taste more like just plain, unremarkable sugar; as good a thing as any to help the medicine go down.


Scarce resources, much chutzpah set stage for Israel’s lead role in food tech

March 20, 2019

“You have to be a little bit crazy to leave a safe job as an academic and start your own company,” Samish said at his lab in Rehovot, outside of Tel Aviv.


USDA, FDA announcement brings cell-based meat one step closer to U.S. supermarkets

March 13, 2019

“I hope that the regulators will take this opportunity to encompass within the new guidelines all the proteins produced by fermentation,” said Ilan Samish, Founder and CEO Amai Proteins, in a blog post, “whether these are nature-identical or designer proteins adapted to the mass food market.” Samish suggests that areas such as 3D scaffolds, growth factors, growth media, and designer proteins and enzymes may still be subject to the FDA’s case-by-case determination of what is “generally regarded as safe” (GRAS).


In the Future, Your Food Will Be Sweetened With Protein

January 10, 2019

“What Amai is doing is very exciting,” says Shmuel Marko, who heads up the syrups R&D department at SodaStream. “It is a very new product, and there needs to be some adjustments, but they are definitely on track. I would say that in a couple of years we will see sweet proteins used in drinks.”



December 01, 2018

Israeli start-up company, Amai Proteins, is working to create a new type of artificial sweetener that it says will not have a bitter aftertaste, as many currently do.

Amai Proteins is developing artificial sweeteners that differ from traditional versions since these are derived from proteins. The proteins – which are found in fruits – contain zero calories. They may offer a popular alternative for people with diabetes, who are unable to digest too much sugar, without triggering an insulin response.


New sugar substitute may be sweet news for diabetics

November 08, 2018

Thanksgiving, with its bounty of delicious food, is right around the corner. And those holiday desserts can spell danger for anyone with diabetes or even those just looking to eat more healthy.

Now, an Israeli startup thinks it may have a solution: they've created a calorie-free "sweet protein" that is thousands of times more sweet than sugar, and they claim it's healthier to digest. "Sugar is public enemy #1, but you cannot get rid of sugar,” said Dr. Ilan Samish, who founded Amai Proteins in December 2016. "People enjoy sugar. So the question is: how do you move from sugar to something which is really healthy?”


As obesity surges, Israeli startup develops sweet protein to help cut calories

November 08, 2018

Samish and his team of computational protein designers studied the DNA makeup of the natural proteins and recreated it. They also redesigned it to decrease the aftertaste and to be able to make it in greater quantities.


Designer protein’ scientist plans sweet success in sports nutrition

October 24, 2018

An Israeli scientist is aiming to enter the sports nutrition industry with his healthy ‘designer protein’ sweetener that is cheaper than sugar.


Healthy sweetness: Amai Proteins CEO on sweet protein potential

October 26, 2018

The food industry is undergoing massive, disruptive changes, with innovative start-ups in a range of disciplines vying to tackle global nutrition issues. One of these, Amai Proteins, is aiming to disrupt the global sweetening market by offering sweet proteins that are fit for mass food production. NutritionInsight spoke with Amai Proteins CEO and Founder Dr. Ilan Samish at Future Food-Tech in London.


This Sugar Substitute Aims to Avoid a Bitter End

October 20, 2018

SodaStream International, the seltzer-machine maker, is in the initial stages of testing Amai’s proteins, said Shmuel Marko, the company’s head of syrups R&D. “If Amai sweetener works with our products’ profile and taste, at a reasonable cost, and will comply with regulatory needs we may consider incorporating it into our products,”


How Israeli Ingenuity Is Keeping Your Sweet Tooth Healthy

October 07, 2018

“The goal of Amai is to make a global meaningful effect on sugar reduction by many different ways,” Samish tells NoCamels. “We’re producing a healthy sweetener. Amai’s proteins get digested in the upper gastrointestinal tract with zero insulin resistance.”


Highlights of SynBioBeta 2018 Day 3, Twist $86.3M IPO, Pivot Bio’s $70M, Genomatica’s $90M

October 03, 2018

SynBioBeta 2018: “I decided to dedicate my life to curing the foods that we eat rather than the diseases we get from them.” — Ilan Samish, CEO Amai.


Israeli startups want to replace your sugar with high-tech alternatives

September 13, 2018

You can develop a very healthy product,” said Tammy Meiron, the head of Amai’s food technology department, “but if the consumer experience isn’t great and the food isn’t tasty, they won’t buy it a second time.


Start-ups in the spotlight: “Breakthrough” innovation nominees for Future Food-Tech 2018

September 11, 2018

Isreali-based Amai Proteins produces healthy sweet proteins as a sugar substitute. The sweeteners are healthy (zero calories, zero glycaemic-index), widely-food-compatible, cost-effective, non-GMO and taste like sugar. 


Interview on Amai at i24News

July 31, 2018


New sweet protein holds out hope for diabetics

July 30, 2018

An Israeli company has developed a sweet protein that can replace sugar in food and won’t raise your blood sugar or insulin levels.


Food 2.0: Three companies that are changing the way we eat

July 15, 2018

Amai Proteins, based in Israel, is commercializing peptides that taste like sugar but are digested like proteins. The consumer benefits are immediately obvious: …Amai’s compounds contain negligible calories and don’t activate the insulin response.


Could computationally designed sweet proteins revolutionise sugar replacement sector?

June 19, 2018

Israeli firm Amai Proteins has developed computerised 'designer' sweet proteins as it seeks to tap into the sugar replacement market.


Israeli co offers sweet protein as sugar substitute

June 12, 2018

Amai Proteins designs sweet proteins that do not affect the sugar levels in the blood.

 In 2018, calories are out. The cornerstone of modern healthy nutrition is the distinction between carbohydrates (bad) and sugar (very bad) and proteins (preferable). People, however, still crave something sweet. One possible solution is a sugar-flavored protein.


4 Reasons Why Israel is Now a Developed AgriFood Tech Hub

May 23, 2018

Two weeks ago, I went to Israel to attend Food and Ag Week including FoodTech IL 2018 hosted by the Strauss Group and incubator The Kitchen, and Agrivest 2018, hosted by accelerator group Trendlines and agrifood tech VC GreenSoil. It had been five years since I last visited so I was excited to see how the agrifood tech ecosystem had developed in that time.


Future Food Asia Award: Here are the 10 finalists competing for the 100,000 USD prize

May 14, 2018

Ten agri tech and food tech start-ups from Australia, India, Israel, Japan, Korea and Taiwan are vying for US$100,000 in the second Future Food Asia award.


14 disruptive food-tech startups that will change how we eat

May 07, 2017

Israel is cooking up a grand feast of food technology, tempting policymakers, investors and industrialists to take a bite.

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