About Us

The initial focus of the company is the development of a soup and a range of other food products to reduce elevated blood glucose to ‘healthy’ levels in those at risk of Type II Diabetes (T2D). In addition to T2D, high levels of blood glucose are also a risk factor for other chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and some cancers. Our products are delicious and ‘healthy’ and will appeal to those with or without a health condition.

Blood glucose reduction is achieved by consuming just one portion of soup per week. The low impact on lifestyle (once weekly) and the healthy nature of the product make it an attractive meal option, particularly to those consumers who are seeking a healthy diet as well as those at risk of T2D. Neither over consumption or continued consumption of the product after the desired outcome is achieved is likely to drive blood glucose below the normal range.

The key ingredient in the soups is a unique, naturally bred broccoli. This broccoli has been developed by Professor Richard Mithen.

The company is a spin-out from the Quadram Institute Bioscience, one of the UK’s leading food and health research organisations, located at the Norwich Research Park (NRP), UK. It was formed with support from technology transfer specialists, Plant Biosciences Ltd (PBL) and the NRP translational fund before securing seed funding from the UK Innovation Science Seed Fund, Jonathan Milner and Oxford Technology Management and a grant from Innovate UK.

Meet the Team

Paul Finglas

Paul Finglas

Director

Paul joined Quadram Institute Bioscince (formerly the Institute of Food Research) in 1981 and heads up the Food Databanks National Capability. This group manages data on the composition of foods eaten in the UK.

As well as providing the nutritional information for food labelling, this data underpins research at the Quadram Institute, across Europe and beyond into the links between diet and health whilst helping to inform policy to promote a healthy lifestyle.

Paul’s expertise covers a wide range of research into food composition and analysis, food description, quality and food matching, dietary intake assessment, personalised nutrition, nutritional labelling & health claims, reformulation and impact on food intake and health.

Paul also has a broad range of experience in science publishing and is currently editor of the journals Food Chemistry, and Trends in Food Science and Technology and has published over 150 publications on a wide range of topics in food science and nutrition.

Laura Knight

Laura Knight

Chief Operating Officer

Laura is a serial entrepreneur with a background in corporate affairs and marketing communications across a broad spectrum of industry sectors. She has established and successfully sold two businesses one in online retail and the other hospitality.  Most recently she was Head of Corporate Affairs at the Quadram Institute.  She was part of the senior management team to establish this new academic food and health research institute and helped to spin-out the technology behind The Smarter Food Company.  She was on the Executive Board and represented the Institute on the Board of Trustees.  Prior to this Laura was a board member of Wills Australia, at the time, the third largest company on the Australian Stock Exchange, having worked in Hong Kong with an Asia Pacific remit for Consumer & Regulatory Affairs for a large FMCG multi-national.

Before this role, Laura was a director of a London-based marketing and communications company. Her career brings valuable experience from managing and growing SMEs to having a senior strategic role within a large multinational.  In addition she has been a Non-Executive of a manufacturing and refurbishment company serving the bakery industry based in the North West of the UK. 

She has also established a corporate social responsibility vehicle, The Today, Tomorrow Partnership, which sought to engage and educate young people, through schools, to improve the communities they live in.
Professor Richard Mithen

Professor Richard Mithen

Inventor and Lead Scientist

Following a PhD in plant genetics from the University of East Anglia, Richard Mithen spent four years working on the collection, conservation and use of wild crop relatives in south central Africa. Subsequently, he led a research group at the John Innes Centre in plant genetics, where he was responsible for the introduction of the high-glucoraphanin (GR) trait from the wild Brassica villosa into commercial broccoli lines through marker-assisted wide-crossing.   

 An increasing interest in the interface between plant science and human health research took Richard to the University of Nottingham, where he became Professor of Crop Science in 1999. 

 He moved to Quadram Institute Bioscience in 2003 (formerly the Institute of Food Research) where he led the Food and Health programme before moving to the University of Auckland as Professor of Human Nutrition at the Liggins Institute and Chief Scientist for the New Zealand High Value Nutrition National Science Challenge. His main research interests are in human nutrition and the role of plant specialised metabolites in promoting and maintaining human health.

Steve Morrison

Steve Morrison

Regulatory Specialist

Steve Morrison, a medical biochemist by training, previously worked for more than 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry as a global project development leader (Shire Pharmaceuticals, Medeva, Wyeth Laboratories, Evans Medical Ltd, and Ipsen Limited) before becoming the Chief Operating Officer of AIM listed Provexis plc (2008-12).

 Provexis plc made headlines in 2010 by becoming the first European functional food company to achieve an Article 13.5 ‘new science’ health claim from the European Food Safety Authority or EFSA (under the EC Regulation No:1924/2006). The Provexis plc claim was a “cardiovascular health” claim for the functional food ingredient, Fruitflow™ which is a water soluble extract of tomato and the specific health benefit related to the reduction of platelet aggregation in the blood.

 Subsequently, Steve established P2F Ventures Ltd in 2012, an independent consultancy business that provides regulatory and product development consultancy in the area of health claims within the functional food/nutraceutical space. P2F Ventures has successfully supported client companies in fund raising efforts to support development plans and is known to a number of VC funds in UK/Europe.

Dr Andy Muir

Dr Andy Muir

Director

Andrew is a Director of Midven and joined the business in 2004.  He is a Fund Principal of the UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund.

After an initial scientific career at Zeneca he went on to roles in research and business development at the medical device company Biocompatibles and then Vice President of Technology for a US start-up in disinfection of medical equipment.

He started his career in VC with NESTA (the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts). He has a degree and a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Oxford.

Dr Georgina Pope

Dr Georgina Pope

Director

Georgina is a Technology Transfer Business Development Manager for Plant Bioscience Limited(PBL). PBL is an independent intellectual property management and technology development company that specializes in protecting and commercialising IP and technology emerging from public sector research institutions around the world. Georgina has lead responsibility for PBL’s Health, Nutrition and Biotechnology portfolio. Georgina is also an Investment Executive Member for the Iceni Seedcorn Fund and holds Board positions on a number of spin-out companies. Prior to joining PBL, Georgina was an Intellectual Property Manager at the University of East Anglia where she supported the successful commercialisation of research outputs through licensing and spin-out company formation. Georgina previously held the position of Industry Liaison Manager at the Quadram Institute Bioscience (formerly the Institute of Food Research) where she developed, promoted and commercialised research outputs.  Georgina has a background in life science research and holds a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Kent.

Dr Martin Stocks

Dr Martin Stocks

Business Development, IP and Commercialisation

Martin has over 30 years’ experience in research and scientific commercialisation, including early research positions in the HHMI laboratories at the Yale University School of Medicine in the US and the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK. After 15 years in academic research he moved to the commercial sector to work on the development of biopharmaceuticals and most recently he was an IP and commercialisation specialist for Plant Bioscience Ltd. He was Founder and CSO of a biotech company developing engineered antibody fragments (Iclectus Ltd.) and has also managed a specialist CRO (The Model Gut), which he successfully sold to a Danish-based CRO, Bioneer A/S.

 Martin is a Director of antibiotic developer Procarta Biosystems Limited and has raised close to £17m in VC and translational funding for early-stage ventures/projects, and has negotiated and secured over 50 service or licensing deals including with major pharma (Merck & Co., Novartis, GSK, Pfizer), animal health (Elanco, Ceva), and agbio (Monsanto, Syngenta) companies as well as mid-tier entities and SMEs, active in both the food and pharma sectors.