Editor’s note: WRAL TechWire and the Council for Entrepreneurial development are partnering to present a series of profiles and Q&As featuring companies startups and emerging companies participating in the CED’s annual Life Science conference coming up Feb. 28-March 1 in Raleigh. The latest profile is Bonumose Biochem, which is based in Virginia.

Bonumose Biochem

Web site: http://www.bonumose.com                                                                                           

  • CEO: Ed Rogers
  • Contact information: erogers@bonumose.com
  • Sub-sector: AgBio or AgTech                                                                
  • Headquarters: Charlottesville, VA                                                                     
  • Year Founded: 2016


Bonumose is a start-up food ingredient manufacturer. We are developing and scaling-up a novel enzymatic process for producing the rare sugar tagatose at low cost. Tagatose is nearly indistinguishable from sucrose in terms of taste and food functionality. But tagatose is low glycemic (does not increase blood sugar levels), low calorie, non-cariogenic (does not cause tooth decay), and is a prebiotic. Tagatose has been available commercially for ~15 years but at a high cost. Our unique process uses a different feedstock and enzymes than the standard process, and can produce tagatose for 80% lower cost.

Our tagatose will be affordable for widespread use in multiple food/beverage categories. Furthermore, tagatose can be used in animal feeds as a prebiotic and sweetener. And tagatose is proven as an effective co-ingredient with fungicides at preventing and reversing plant disease. Lux Research projected that tagatose sales could hit 34 million metric tons per year by 2024.


  • Ed Rogers, CEO
  • Dr. Daniel Wichelecki, Chief Scientific Officer


  • Funding: $325,000 from $200,000 equity investment and $125,000 bank debt
  • Formed company and acquired full IP rights from predecessor company and Virginia Tech
  • Filed PCT patent application
  • Raised pre-seed capital
  • Proved the enzymatic reaction works at larger scale
  • Significant business development contacts made with large, global companies in the food, feed and agriculture industries
  • Presented at two international venture events


Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties


  • What is the primary pain point you are seeking to address?

We seek to help solve non-communicable diseases that are caused or exacerbated by over-consumption of sucrose and other unhealthy sweeteners in foods.

  • What sets your company apart? What’s the “secret sauce”?

We have a breakthrough in rare sugar production. We have a unique, patent-pending, enzymatic process for producing the healthy sugars tagatose and allulose in high yields and low cost.

  • Why should investors be interested in your company? What is the potential market size?

Interested investors would include those knowledgeable of investing in food, agriculture, health & nutrition, pharma, and manufacturing. The market size for human food sweeteners in $100 billion per year. Billion dollar markets also exist in animal feed and the plant microbiome.