Functional protein ingredients in their purest form – this Indian startup has the secret

Altein Ingredients hails from India and develops functional protein ingredients from indigenous legumes and other plant-based sources. The startup was founded by Tarak Badkas and Dr Shweta Deotale, both of whom are part of the seventh cohort at the ProVeg Incubator. This is their story.

What does your startup do and what is your mission? 

Shweta: We create functional protein ingredients in their purest form, so that they can be easily integrated into the whole spectrum of plant-based food products.

Our mission for the next 10 years is to replace animal-protein-sourced meals with healthier, sustainable, and cleaner plant-protein options. We want to see Altein Ingredients at the heart of food production across India.

Where did the idea for your company come from?

Tarak: It all started when a friend of ours was having trouble procuring the right high-functionality ingredients for his product. After some exploration, we realised the crucial need for quality protein creators in India. Consumer brands are looking to easily source ingredients without extending lead time. In order to bridge that gap, we started Altein Ingredients. 

Tell us about your team. Why are you the right people for the project? 

Shweta: By combining technical expertise and business knowledge, the Altein Ingredients co-founders make a powerful and effective team..

Tarak: Shweta completed her Ph.D. in food-process engineering at IIFT, Tanjore, India, and has years of hands-on experience in developing plant-based protein products.

Shweta: Tarak completed his business professional degree in Nagpur, India, and has previously worked as a business-development executive, from startup to scale-up.

Tarak Badkas and Dr Shweta Deotale are the Founders of Altein Ingredients

What are your favourite parts about building your business?

Shweta: The minor setbacks we face motivate us to continue to improve and they really bring out the best in us. It’s also very inspiring to be a part of the rapid evolution of the global plant-based food space. Particularly in a country with a large population, where it can have a significant global impact.

 What have been the main challenges you’ve faced? 

Tarak: The challenges we faced were mainly in optimising our processes when taking them from lab-scale to the pilot phase of production.

What is it that makes your company unique? 

Tarak: We have modified the standard process for producing protein products from mung beans and will be applying for a patent very soon. The process that we use allows us to achieve optimum protein purity without harming the natural functionality of mung beans.

Mung bean protein from Altein Ingredients
Altein Ingredients develops functional protein ingredients from indigenous legumes

Why did you decide to join the ProVeg Incubator? 

Shweta: The plant-based industry is still nascent and in order to survive during the early stages of development, a strong community is vital. The Proveg Incubator offers us exactly that. With its strong network of mentors, advisors, and investors, Proveg Incubator is the right place for a startup like us. 

What do you think it takes for a startup to be successful? 

Shweta: Executing steps efficiently, trusting your team, and finding the right advisor from the start.

What do you hope to achieve in the next 12 months?

Tarak: We aim to deliver our ingredients to two legacy brands and fulfill their plant-based protein requirements.

You might also like: