The GEA Enzymes team comes from Santiago, Chile, where they designed MADI (Molecular Affinity Device Interface) , a machine learning platform to design and create synthetic proteins . MADI is under trade secret. GEA Enzymes further developed their technology in San Francisco with the IndieBio accelerator program.
MADI uses Deep Learning, a type of artificial intelligence that uses artificial neural networks to scan data sets and look for patterns. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. MADI can correlate certain amino acid sequences and other factors with how the protein will fold and be shaped and is used to create designer enzymes, proteins and peptides. An enzyme is a type of protein that binds to other molecules and speeds up chemical reactions that change the molecular structure .
GEA Enzymes food applications are in the chocolate, vegetable oil and dairy industries. For cooking oils, GEA is developing enzymes that can improve the fatty acid composition to improve quality when fatty acid ratios are inconsistent . This can benefit vegetable oils because the quality of the raw plant ingredient used to make the oils can vary unpredictably due to climate and soil conditions. Their designer enzymes can change saturated fats to unsaturated fats. Since saturated fats are associated with obesity and heart disease this can make some foods healthier . By changing saturated fats to unsaturated fats GEA Enzymes created dark chocolate that melts at room temperature . Their product DairySain is a group of enzymes that reduce saturated fats quickly and easily from dairy products .
While proteins are long chains of amino acids, peptides are short chains of amino acids that have potential as antimicrobial agents or as drugs. Peptides can bind to and target specific molecules in the body. GEA Enzymes is designing peptides to bind glucose.
GEA Enzymes have received government and public funding from Chile and private investments from Chile and the US . They have received $500K in total funding from Start-Up Chile, CORFO, Angel Investors, SOSV with partner Arvind Gupta and IndieBio.
Senior protein engineer
Protein design and project manager
Juan Carlos Duarte
VP Sales and Marketing
An Interview with Francia Navarrete Utreras of GEA Enzymes
Startup Stories: GEA Enzyme
LSN Editorial Team