Skip to main content

Milis, a novel sweet protein for use as flavouring in the food and beverage industry


Excess sugar consumption is a major contributor to the alarming rates of obesity, diabetes, and dental disease that exist in
many developed countries. According to the Credit Suisse Research Institute, close to 400M people worldwide are affected
by Type II Diabetes. 4.8M people die of chronic disease every year, a number that is quickly rising. Costs to the global
healthcare system are estimated at a staggering $470B per year, representing 10% of all the healthcare costs. Artificial
sweeteners offer a non-caloric alternative to sugar but have health concerns of their own, and are not always effective in
maintenance of a healthy diet. However their use is not totally safe. Saccharine, for example, previously used on a large
scale, was abandoned as soon as it was linked with development of bladder cancer. Artificial sweetener consumption
modulates the gut microbiota and raises the risk of glucose intolerance. Sweet proteins that occur naturally in some tropical
plants can have a sweetness a thousand times that of sucrose. This indicates that proteins potentially represent novel lowcalorie,
nutritious sweeteners – superior to either sugar or artificial sweeteners. However, producing naturally occurring
sweet proteins on a large scale is challenging and limitations of their physicochemical properties will constrain their
application in the food industry.
Milis Bio developed “Milis”, a novel protein which will be 200 - 500 times sweeter than sugar per gram. Milis presents low
caloric content, no aftertaste, and no unhealthy chemical components. Milis allows the consumer to think only about how
great their food tastes, rather than worrying about what’s in it. Using a protein as a flavouring guarantees that the ingredient
will be low-calorie, easily digestible, and suitable for diabetics.

Field of science

  • /medical and health sciences/clinical medicine/cancer/bladder cancer
  • /medical and health sciences/clinical medicine/endocrinology/diabetes
  • /engineering and technology/other engineering and technologies/food and beverages
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/biochemistry/biomolecules/proteins

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

SME-1 - SME instrument phase 1


Church View, 57
P31VW90 Cork
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
EU contribution
€ 50 000