Chilean start-up blends ancestral science with modern tech for 'minimally processed' plant-based foods

By Niamh Michail

- Last updated on GMT

© Green Live Co
© Green Live Co

Related tags plant-based vegetarian start-up

The problem with most plant-based products is they use synthetic additives, highly processed ingredients and plastic packaging, says Chilean start-up Live Green Co, which aims to make low-impact, everyday products the norm.

Live Green Co was founded by three Indian citizens, Priyanka Srinivas, Sasikanth Chemalamudi, and Mukesh Ghatiya, who relocated to Chile in 2017 for the Start-up Chile accelerator program.

Although the initial challenges were learning the language and adapting to the culture, the trio already knew the kind of product they wanted to commercialize: the healthy, sustainable and low-impact consumer products that are commonly used in India.

“[As part of] our traditional Indian upbringing […] all our food, and personal and home care products were made at home - 100% free of

© Live Green Co

chemicals, plastic and pollution,” ​said Srinivas. “For example, [we used] neem twig toothbrushes, coconut husk dish scrubs, lotus leaves crockery, jackfruit chicken and mung omelets.”

“We realized that our knowledge […] could help make existing products better, cleaner and more sustainable, at a fraction of the current R&D time and money. That's how we returned to our roots and founded The Live Green Co,” ​she told FoodNavigator-LATAM.

The start-up's range currently counts a vegetable burger mix and a vegetable pancake mix, and it is planning to launch tortilla snacks and cheese mixes.

Its green burger mix blends mung bean protein, pea protein and lentils with ‘superfood’ ingredients such as vitamin-dense moringa. The mung bean works as gum that binds the patty together, while the moringa nullifies the bloating effect of mung.

 It also uses native ingredients such as cochayoyo, a Chilean seaweed.

Blending ancestral science and modern tech

The burger does not taste like meat and Live Green Co is not interested in making imitation meat burgers, Srinivas said. Instead, it wants to make healthy and minimally-processed plant-based foods.

“While existing plant-based products are cruelty-free, it is debatable how healthy and sustainable they really are,” ​the founder said. “They still use synthetic additives, heavily processed ingredients, and plastic packaging.

 To get right product formulation, the trio built a software called Charaka that blends ancestral Indian plant science, nutrition, and modern technology.

This science is the sister science of yoga. It is at least 2,500 years old and works on the premise that food is your first medicine. ​It uses only natural sugars and salt, and whole, minimally processed ingredients. 

Charaka also profiles the synthetic, processed and animal-derived additives in typical daily food and, based on this, makes recommendations.

Live Green Co’s burger mixes don't require freezing or high-barrier plastic packaging and the company likes to boast that its products are so clean that “even a five-year-old child can read and understand the ingredients”.

The start-up currently counts 42 points of sale across eight Chilean regions, and Srinivas said it is in “advanced stages of talks​” with a big-box retailer. 

In addition to its consumer-facing brand, the company licenses product formulations and its production process.

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