Linguagen Corp. a developer of ingredients used to improve the taste of pharmaceuticals, foods, and beverages, has received a commitment of $10.2 million in new equity financing. Participating in the first round financing were NJTC Venture Fund SBIC, L.P, Cargill Ventures, Danisco Venture A/S (Danisco A/S), DuPont Ventures, Aperture Venture Partners LLC, and RK Ventures Group, LLC.
The funding will be used to expand Linguagen’s taste receptor research for solving problems associated with bitterness, too much salt, and too much sugar, and to commercialize products and systems that are developed. The participation of three of the world’s leading food ingredients companies in Cargill, Danisco, and DuPont will bring not just financial resources to the effort but also greater insight into trends and needs of the food industry.
“We are pleased at the high level of confidence our investors have shown in Linguagen’s research and strategic plan for applying our technology in the emerging field of taste signaling,” said Shawn M. Marcell, Linguagen’s COO and acting CEO. “The investor syndicate includes well-known players in the venture capital, food, and pharmaceutical industries, and we are pleased to have their collective experience as we move the company forward into its next phase of growth. We plan to use this funding to aggressively develop our research and to meet the needs of our expanding customer base.”
Linguagen uses innovative, proprietary biotechnology to discover natural ingredients that improve the flavor of pharmaceuticals and the flavors and health values of foods and beverages. Traditionally bitterness is masked by adding large quantities of sugar, salt, flavorings, or coating agents. Linguagen has developed technology to identify compounds that selectively eliminate the perception of bitterness so that products would require less sugar, salt, or flavorings, resulting in products that taste better and are healthier. The Company’s first product, AMP, has recently completed GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) regulatory approval process in the U.S. for use in coffee and tea beverages, artificial sweeteners, chewing gum, salty snack foods, salt substitutes, and soup products and is currently being evaluated by a number of companies for use in their products. Linguagen’s science is also being applied to discover superior natural sugar and salt substitutes and to enhance the sweetness of natural sugar.