Unhappy Gut? This Swedish Startup Can Fix That
YOGUT ME is bringing personalized, functional plant-based yogurt to consumers' kitchens with an app-powered machine [GreenGut Weekly Find 12/4]
Happy Friday, my dear fellow nerds! Are you as happy to be at the end of the week as I am? 😰It’s been a crazy wild ride, and I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to put on a goofy Santa hat 🎅🏻 and slide right into the holiday season. 🎄
But, of course, there’s still plenty of good going on despite the crazy — including startups launching new and unique solutions to today’s most common health problems.
Ever notice how many people have gut issues, 🦠 for example? I’ve seen it most of all in younger generations, and while I can’t be 100% sure of the cause, I wouldn’t be surprised if chemical-laden 🏭 food (and an equally chemical-laden environment) has something to do with it.
So, this week’s GreenGut Weekly Find is all about a happier gut. Hailing from Sweden, let’s meet YOGUT ME.
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Designing a Better Yogurt
When microbiology, bioengineering and the microbiome meet, something interesting is bound to happen.
And it did—when Aline de Santa Izabel dreamed up the Yogut personalized yogurt machine in 2019. The Brazilian-born entrepreneur paired her educational background 🔬 with career experience in lifestyle and digital health to create accessible technology with the power to improve the microbiome right at home.
She’s certainly no stranger to gut optimization. She founded (and still runs) Synbiotic Kitchen, where she offers education and technology that helps people understand the microbiome and how to support it with a diet that’s healthy for the whole body. 🥗
Push-Button Gut Health for the Masses
The Yogut machine concept grew out of Santa Izabel’s desire to give people something that would actually help their guts. Many commercial yogurts are marketed as being gut-friendly, but few can actually deliver on the promise. Instead, they mostly deliver a lot of sugar 🍨 and artificial additives. (Not to mention the detrimental health effects of dairy products in general.)
Probiotic supplements can be equally disappointing. Many don’t contain what they claim on the label or are unable to deliver a truly beneficial level of live cultures that survive the stomach and make it to the colon.
The Yogut machine bypasses these issues by making yogurt fresh on demand. How does it work? Users add their milk of choice along with a pod of YOGUT ME’s proprietary prebiotic and probiotic blend and enter their preferences in the connected app. The machine’s merges all the components to create an edible end product in 10 to 12 hours.
Better Dairy, Bioprocessed
Through YOGUT ME, Santa Izabel seeks to not only put control of gut health directly into consumers’ hands but also enable everyone to create better dairy products 🥛 at a price comparable to ready-made yogurt.
The machine isn’t overtly marketed as vegan, but YOGUT ME does emphasize using plant-based milks. The machine’s bioprocessing technology has the potential to be a boon for the countless numbers of people suffering from lactose intolerance while simultaneously looking for ways to support microbiome 🦠 health.
And it doesn’t have to stop at yogurt. What began as a joint development effort with partners in various incubators and innovation programs has the potential to become a multi-purpose home appliance. Future product iterations could be whipping up frozen yogurt, 🍦 cream cheese and more, all with prebiotic and probiotic benefits.
Obviously, the gut health nerd in me is excited about this one. 🤩 It’s an interesting idea and comes at an extremely opportune time when both gut health and personalized/functional nutrition are hot.
Plus, with consumers becoming more discerning about what they put in their bodies, people are going to be looking for products with ingredients they can recognize—or, more preferably, control.
I would love to see this kind of technology paired up with what companies like Sun Genomics are doing. 🌞 Such a collaboration would allow for full personalization that optimizes each individual’s microbiome on an ongoing basis. It would also be great to see more emphasis on the dairy-free aspect, 🐄 particularly given the negative impact dairy consumption can have on the whole body.
Either way, I always love discovering gut health pioneers and I am excited to see what’s next from YOGUT ME. 👍🏻
P.S. I’ll be retiring the Weekly Find at the end of December to focus on other projects and plan the future of The Modern Health Nerd. You can still find interviews with great innovators and thought leaders over on the podcast!