VIROUTE is pioneering a shift in the sustainable food industry with its innovative focus on water lentils, also known as duckweed. South Korea’s first company to explore this avenue, VIROUTE is led by a founder with a rich background in herbal medicine and agriculture, and a deep commitment to solving the food crisis challenges amplified by climate change. While previously focused on developing a material sourcing platform, the company is now pivoting its product.

Currently, soybeans are a popular source of plant-based protein, but climate change is increasingly jeopardizing their cultivation. This presents a pressing need for alternatives, and VIROUTE is stepping up with water lentils. Known for being one of the fastest-growing high-protein plants globally, water lentils offer a promising solution.


So, why are Water Lentils Good for Sustainability? 

Firstly, water lentils are a powerhouse of nutrition. They boast not just protein but also essential amino acids and vitamins like B12. Remarkably fast growers, these plants can double their mass in just a few days while consuming minimal resources like water and land. Their protein content is on par with soybeans, containing all nine essential amino acids needed by our bodies. This positions them as an ideal, eco-friendly food source with a significantly reduced environmental impact.

Recognizing their potential, VIROUTE has developed an indoor farming system dedicated to maximizing the efficiency of water lentil cultivation. Their goal is clear: to reduce carbon emissions and offer sustainable alternatives to meat and soybean protein, marking a new chapter in the quest for environmental sustainability.

This is why VIROUTE has focused its attention on water lentils and has created its indoor farming system to grow water lentils as efficiently as possible. 


Automatic Growing System Using AI Technology

VIROUTE has created its automatic growing system, which uses AI technology combined with unique nutrient solutions. They have created the most optimal indoor growing system specifically for water lentils. Using AI technology, they can calculate the optimal harvest time for mass production with minimal human intervention. The result is a 66% increase in weight compared to general nutrient solutions. In addition, they can reduce growing time from 48 hours to just over 17 hours. 

VIROUTE has been supplying locally grown sustainable ingredients such as

  • Dried or powdered Spirodela Polyrhiza which is an oriental medicine ingredient for cosmetic companies. 
  • Green Caviar (Fresh Wolffia) a plant-based fish roe for hotels and restaurants
  • Powdered Wolffia – which is 40% protein and can be used as a food and health supplement ingredient. It can be used in smoothies, salads, and soups. 

Businesses keen on leveraging VIROUTE’s indoor growing technology can easily acquire these systems via their website. This accessibility ensures a steady supply of water lentils, irrespective of external weather conditions. Indoor farming, as practiced by VIROUTE, typically requires less water than traditional agriculture and minimizes the need for pesticides and herbicides. By promoting local production and cutting down on transportation, VIROUTE not only delivers fresher produce to companies but also significantly lowers the carbon footprint associated with the transportation of food. This commitment to sustainability and efficiency encapsulates VIROUTE’s forward-thinking approach to agriculture in the era of climate change.


Water Lentils for Cosmetic Companies 

Water lentils, the cornerstone of VIROUTE’s innovation, extend their utility far beyond the realm of sustainable food. The company has been actively supplying these versatile plants to cosmetic and medicinal herb companies across South Korea. Known for its therapeutic properties, Spirodela Polyrhiza is celebrated for treating skin conditions like eczema and acne and is recognized for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral benefits.


VIROUTE Plans for the Future

Water lentils are in high demand by Food Giants all around the world. Food giants such as Kellogg have made investments in water lentil startups. In addition, World Famous VCs have invested in Water Lentil startups (Google Ventures, AgFunder, and Vectr Ventures) 

VIROUTE’s ambitions don’t end there; they are casting their sights on expanding into Southeast Asia and the West, indicating a global vision for their innovative and sustainable approach. Through their advanced technology and commitment to environmental sustainability, they are not just redefining agricultural practices but are also influencing a multitude of industries, from food to cosmetics.