Sugarlogix: making healthy sugars that are worth the addiction
Kulika is an avid food enthusiast that started her journey with sugar at an early age. As a child growing up in Thailand, like many kids in the US, she loved sugary drinks. Now, as an adult, Kulika has translated her passion for sugar into making sweet desserts as well as pursuing scientific breakthroughs that develop sugars with real health benefits.
Kulika knew from an early age that she wanted to be an entrepreneur and went into college with a mission to surface unique opportunities that could translate into viable business. She studied chemical engineering and business in Thailand before entering her PHD program at UC Berkeley. Her aim was to understand the science and how it could be applicable to a larger market. During her time at UC Berkeley, she was part of the energy bioscience institute, funded by BP. It was here that she got deeper into sugar and figured out how to unlock sugar’s potential by finding more efficient ways to extract carbon and use energy faster. In short, Sugarlogix aims to cure sugar of the stigma that it is bad, by making sugars that are actually good for us.
Our guts house 70 percent of the cells that make up our immune system, which is why gut health is so important. Probiotics have a large impact in keeping our guts healthy. Probiotics are "live microorganisms” that can come in a variety of foods such as yogurt, kimchi and other fermented goods that help feed friendly bacteria to the gut and deliver those positive health benefits. Probiotics need their own type of food to thrive, which comes in the form of prebiotics and Sugarlogix is making the first human specific prebiotic. Prebiotics are found in nature, the most abundant source being human breast milk. Sugarlogix has locked down a method based on yeast fermentation that allows them to “create complex sugars with prebiotic functions. These sugars are not energy sources for humans; instead, they selectively feed the beneficial bacteria living inside the human gut. This, in return, promotes the immune system and the nervous system"
Sugarlogix is currently working bringing a consumer product to market, most likely in the form of a functional beverage, but could eventually expand into the infant formula market. This could help infants that don’t take to breast feeding, in developing world over 800,000 children are at risk because of not being breastfed, adding prebiotic sugars to their diets could help these children survive and thrive.
Take a listen to our conversation with Kulika, an amazing entrepreneur bringing a new product to market that will improve the health of millions.