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From Seed to Success: Unearthing the Origins of MVPea - An Interview with Jonathan Clarke

Our second blog post is an exclusive interview with Jonathan Clarke, one of the co-founders of MVPea. Jonathan sheds light on the origin behind MVPea, the challenges faced during its inception, and the company's exciting future plans and projects.

Introducing Jonathan

Jonathan is a co-founder and mentor for MVPea with his role being to help and support the students and team in getting our food products to the market!

Sowing the Seeds of Innovation

Jonathan described the origin of MVPea which started 4-5 years ago from an extension of a research project that was run at the John Innes Centre in collaboration with the Quadram Institute and Imperial College London. The project was looking at improving the starch composition in pea seeds and its effect on human health.

Jonathan described the outcome of the project and how this improvement in starch composition in the peas caused the starch to be slowly digested which had a major impact on reducing the glycemic index.

"We would be able to replace foods that are very sugary and have a high glycemic index response with an improved product"

Collaboration: The Power of Synergy

Jonathan illuminated the pivotal role of collaboration in MVPea's story and how research centres such as John Innes Centre (JIC) have supported and helped MVPea's journey. He mentioned how JIC has provided abundance of support in setting up and creating MVPea and also in finding ways for MVPea to "optimise the pea into a high-value and credible product". The fusion of academic rigor and entrepreneurial spirit exemplified by this partnership underscores the essence of MVPea's mission - to bridge the gap between scientific knowledge and business.

Bridging Expertise: Jonathan Clarke's Fusion of Business and Research

With a distinguished career that spans over 25 years in research and a seasoned executive director of multiple spin-out companies, Jonathan brings a unique blend of scientific and entrepreneurial insight to MVPea. We asked him how his previous experiences have helped in his role in MVPea and its future.

Navigating Challenges and Fostering Growth

Like any transformative journey, the path of MVPea was not without its challenges. Jonathan discussed the obstacles faced during the company's journey which started with changing the initial idea of plant breeding new varieties into "identifying existing varieties and repurposing them as new products".

"The breeding process in peas is a long one, it would take 7-12 years before any innovation developed could be used commercially in a large scale"

However, the team's unwavering determination, coupled with their commitment to the cause, has enabled them to overcome hurdles and pave the way for MVPea's success.

Nurturing a protein-packed future

There is a lot brewing for MVPea behind the scenes. Jonathan described the exciting future of peas and their amazing source of protein and intriguing plans on how MVPea will deliver protein through peas.

A big thank you to Jonathan for giving an insight into the ideas behind the creation of MVPea and the exciting future plans we have.

If you want to find out more and be updated on our journey of unlocking the power of peas please subscribe so you don't miss out!


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