Many of the products made by the major commercial baby food producers include considerable quantities of hazardous heavy metals, such as arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury, which can jeopardise child neurological development, revealed a report.
The findings, according to the committee, demonstrate the need for more stringent regulation of commercial infant food, including FDA heavy metal regulations and mandatory heavy metal testing.
This prompted a barrage of information in the media about the consequences and how parents can be extra careful by double-checking ingredient lists. As a result, food firms focused on providing more healthy options for babies and older children benefited from the increased nutrition awareness.
Meanwhile, in the food tech space, a startup known as Amara has secured $12M in Series A funding to extend its product range of nutrient-dense snacks for children aged three to seven. Eat Well Group, a plant-based foods company, led the investment round. Existing investors from the seed round, such as Pharmapacks, also took part.
This round of funding comes 18 months after the company raised $2M in a seed round and increased its number of outlets from 100 to 1,000.
The proceeds will help Amara to expand quickly in order to fulfill demand as it invests in employment, product development, and brand recognition. The company further intends to bring Amara’s products into additional grocery stores during the next year.
In 2017, Amara began selling at Whole Foods Markets in Northern California. Its items are now accessible in retailers like Costco and online through Amazon and the company’s own website across the United States.
Tech At Play
These goods are manufactured with “unique technology that locks in the taste, texture, and nutrition of fresh baby foods,” according to Amara, without the customary sugars and preservatives found in such items. While the company is keeping the details under wraps, its food preservation method involves exerting pressure on fruits and vegetables, draining the water, and grinding the remaining material into powder. The procedure does not use the high degrees of heat that many baby food manufacturers do.
The items can be sold at a cheaper price range than other premium organic baby food products because they are all shelf-stable. Amara’s products, according to CEO Jessica Sturznegger, can be “as low as” $1.80 per meal. “It has to be at a price point that any family can afford,” she says. “We’re able to accomplish it because of our technology.”
Amara, situated in San Francisco, was created in 2017 by CEO Jessica Sturznegger and chef Vicki Johnson. The startup makes powdered plant-based baby food that can be combined with water or breastmilk and is shelf-stable.