© Quorn

VTT Study Finds Mycoprotein a Sustainable Superfood & Next-Level Nutrient Powerhouse

Research by a team of scientists at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland shows that mycoprotein is a valuable ingredient: it offers digestible proteins and, unlike meat, dietary fiber.  These findings are relevant because various studies suggest that dietary fiber intake significantly reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, stroke, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension. The VTT study evaluated the nutritional quality of different microbial biomass samples by assessing their protein digestibility and carbohydrate (fiber) fermentability in the colon using in vitro methods. According to the researchers, previous studies centered on protein content, overlooking fiber, glucose, and other macronutrients. Four microbial biomasses were selected to determine whether they could be both a protein and dietary fiber source for the human diet: one hydrogen-oxidizing …

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Tacos filled with mycoprotein meat

© Maia Farms x The Better Butchers

Maia Farms Secures $2.3M to Advance Climate Positive Food with Highly Nutritious Mycoprotein

Vancouver-based Maia Farms, a B2B producer of the mycoprotein and winner of the Deep Space Food Challenge Grand Prize with its ingredient CanPro, announces it has secured $2.3 million in a pre-seed funding round.  CanPro, a textured protein ingredient made with mycelium, is said to “dramatically” improve the taste and texture of food products while providing nutritional and sustainability benefits. It is rich in proteins, contains fiber, calcium, and 5.5 times more iron than beef, and requires only a tenth of the land needed to produce an equivalent amount of beef. With the newly raised capital, the Canadian innovator will accelerate its R&D activities, scale up operations, and grow its market reach.  A climate-positive food system The Californian VC Joyful Ventures, PIC Investing Group from Saskatchewan, and …

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The Mushroom Angel Company

© The Mushroom Angel Company

Startup to Watch: The Mushroom Angel Company – Collecting Awards & Retail Listings Across Midwest USA

The Mushroom Angel Company is a Detroit-based startup specializing in whole food products made from mushrooms. The company’s flagship offering, the Cruz Burger, is described by the company as an “old school veggie burger with new school flavor.” This mushroom-based burger is designed to replicate the texture and mouthfeel of meat while maintaining a distinctive vegetable flavor. The company was founded by Wendy (W.E.) and Dominique DaCruz, who moved to Detroit in 2016 and subsequently built successful business careers. Their inspiration to create meat-free burgers came after a trip to Malawi, where W.E. sampled a delicious chickpea meatball dish. This experience, coupled with the onset of the pandemic, motivated the DaCruzes to develop a wholefood mushroom burger patty, leading to the creation of the Cruz …

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Mycorena receives European Space Agency funding

© Mycorena

Mycorena Receives Funding From European Space Agency to Develop Food for Space Missions

Swedish mycoprotein producer Mycorena has received funding from the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Discovery Programme, in recognition of its products’ potential for use on long-distance space missions. Mycoprotein is sustainable, rich in essential nutrients, and said to support muscle health and overall wellbeing. Furthermore, it can be produced in a closed-circuit system using byproducts and sidestreams generated during space travel. According to Moritz Fontaine, Discovery & Preparation Officer at ESA, this idea to optimize resource efficiency is “highly interesting for space applications”. The system could also have psychological benefits, providing astronauts with a familiar meat-like texture rather than the “tasteless paste” currently offered on space missions. An initial prototype of the system was one of the winners of Phase 2 of NASA’s 2023 Deep Space …

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Macalat and MycoTechnology have partnered to create a sweet dark chocolate bar

© Macalat

Sugar-Free Mycelium Chocolate Described as Most Significant Innovation in Chocolate in a Century

US confectionery brand Macalat has introduced a vegan, organic, zero-sugar, sweet dark chocolate bar —  Organic Sweet Dark Chocolate — claiming it to be the most significant innovation in chocolate in the past 100 years. To achieve this breakthrough, Macalat has partnered with the mushroom innovator MycoTechnology to create a dark chocolate experience using a mycelium-derived flavor modulator called ClearIQ.   Produced using fermentation, ClearIQ is said to be an “incredible” and natural solution to eliminate the need for sugar, milk, or artificial sweeteners and mask the bitterness and astringency of dark chocolate. In addition, as a flavor amplifier, it enhances the full spectrum of cacao flavors while delivering a smooth texture. According to MycoTechnology, ClearIQ’s capabilities extend beyond chocolate to other F&B products, positioning it as …

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Three Mushketeers stand

© Three Mushketeers

Finnish Startup Three Mushketeers is Redefining Plant-Based Taste with Mushroom Waste

Three Mushketeers is a food tech startup from Helsinki Finland, working to revolutionize the taste of plant-based foods by using sustainable, clean-label ingredients derived from mushroom waste.  Emmi Korjus, Emma Kynkäänniemi, and Ida Nikkilä, experts in food technology, food chemistry, and nutrition science, co-founded the startup with a mission to address the main challenges faced by the vegan food industry: tastelessness and off-flavors. According to the team, despite the growing popularity of sustainable eating and veganism, 60% of consumers still dislike the taste of these products. However, Three Mushketeers says its innovative product offers a straightforward solution. Masking off-flavors Using a proprietary technology called “remush,” the startup processes by-products of mushroom cultivation into a savory powder that is said to effectively mask off-flavors in plant …

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But Open Fung, a new initiative dedicated to advancing fungi, has officially launched with a mission to build collective resources to facilitate innovative ways of working with fungi.

© Open Fung

Open Fung Initiative Launches to Fuel Fungi Innovation with Collaborative Knowledge

Fungi and fungal technologies show great potential for creating sustainable solutions in various fields, including food, materials such as leather, and medicine. However, the foundational scientific knowledge and tools required for these applications are not as advanced, leading to a lack of awareness about the benefits of fungi. But Open Fung, a new initiative dedicated to advancing fungi, has officially launched with a mission to build collective resources to facilitate innovative ways of working with these creatures that are not plants or animals. “We envision a future where humans engage with fungi so life and the planet may flourish,” says the future non-profit on its newly launched website.  Co-founded by Philip Ross, the co-founder of the mycelium leather innovator MycoWorks, the new organization aims to create …

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mylo Bolt Threads

©Bolt Threads

Report: Could Mycelium Leather Transform the Leather Market?

IDTechEx analyses the potential of mycelium as an innovative leather alternative in a new report. According to the report, recent developments in the industry mark the beginning of major production growth, though companies in the industry also face some technological challenges that need to be overcome in order to achieve sustainable market growth. Key players in the production of mycelium leather include MycoWorks, California, producer of materials including Reishi Bolt Threads, California, producer of materials including Mylo Ecovative, New York, operates several platforms including a specialized soft goods division called Forager which creates materials from its AirMycelium™ technology SQIM, Italy, operates MOGU, a dedicated interior design and architecture brand offering a range of wall, floor, and acoustic treatment products, and EPHEA, which targets the luxury fashion …

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Researchers use mycelium to make loudspeakers

© iStock/OleksandrKr

Researchers Use Mycelium & 3D Printing to Make Loudspeakers More Sustainable

Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Learning Technology (Fraunhofer IWU) is investigating the potential of mycelium as an effective, affordable, and sustainable material in loudspeaker construction. The researchers aim to process live mycelium using 3D printing, before influencing its growth to achieve both sound-reflecting and sound-absorbing properties. By altering environmental conditions, the properties could be specifically adjusted, creating foam-like structures to absorb sound and dampen vibrations along with solid and smooth structures for sound reflection. Mycelium could therefore be used both for loudspeaker housings and as an insulating material. This technique could reduce the cost of producing transmission line loudspeakers, which are expensive and complex as they contain a pipe up to three metres long to provide bass and reduce resonance. This pipe must …

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Schouten mycoprotein

© Schouten Europe

Schouten Europe Expands Plant-Based Portfolio With Mycoprotein Meat Alternatives

Schouten Europe, a Dutch plant-based protein company, announces the expansion of its product range with mycoprotein-based meat substitutes derived specifically from the Fusarium genus strain of fungi, known for its high protein content. Mycoprotein is cultivated in controlled environments, utilizing a sustainable carbon source like glucose. This produces a fibrous, doughy mixture with a similar texture to meat, making it an effective ingredient for alternative meat products. Up until 2010, Quorn Foods had the exclusive rights to the application of this type of mycoprotein, with patent protections that allowed the company to be the sole producer of Fusarium-based mycoprotein for several years. The rise of mycoprotein for alt meat Since the expiration of these patents, other companies have been able to research, develop, and market …

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mushrooms

Image courtesy of ProVeg International

Infinite Roots and Infinite Potential: In Conversation with a Mycelium Meat Startup

Within the world of alternative proteins, one category is rising up as a solution to many of the industry’s problems. A protein source that contains all essential amino acids, that’s high in fibre and low in saturated fat, that grows extremely efficiently and requires minimal processing. A protein source that doesn’t come from the kingdom of animals, or plants. The promise of mycelium (the root-like structures of mushrooms) was enough for Mazen Rizk to found German-based Infinite Roots (formerly Mushlabs). The mycoprotein start-up recently went through a branding change to make the promise of mycelium explicit. In its latest New Food Hub article, ProVeg International chats with Philip Tigges, Managing Director and CFO of Infinite Roots. Mycelium, Tigges tells ProVeg International, has an excellent and …

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Infinite Roots team

Cathy Hutz (co-founder), Philipp Tigges (CFO), Dr. Mazen Rizk (founder and CEO) and Dr. Thibault Godard (co-founder) © Infinite Roots

Mycelium Tech Infinite Roots Announces Strategic Partnership with Pulmuone

Mycelium tech company Infinite Roots, formerly Mushlabs, announces a strategic partnership with Pulmuone, a leading food manufacturer from South Korea. Together, the companies intend to develop innovative protein products specifically tailored to the needs and taste preferences of the South Korean market. Infinite Roots has developed a patented method to use mycelium in innovative ways for food production. Just last month, the German startup secured $58 million in an oversubscribed Series B round, said to be Europe’s largest-ever investment in mycelium. On the other hand, Pulmuone, known for its tofu products, owns the Nasoya brand, famous for its plant-based steak line Plantspired which is hugely popular domestically as well as in the US, and is catering to the increasing interest in plant-based products in the …

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Mushroom Meat Co.

© Mushroom Meat Co.

The Mushroom Meat Co.’s Flexible Ingredient Platform to Support Scalable Production of Mushroom-Based Meat

The Mushroom Meat Co. is on a mission to carve a niche for itself in the creation of plant-based meats utilizing gourmet mushrooms and upcycled plant proteins. The products, designed to mimic the textures and flavors of meat, are whole-food based, low in fat and sodium, high in fiber, and free from the top 10 allergens. The company was created by vegan couple Kesha Stickland and Dan Gardner, who have a self-proclaimed passion for mushrooms, plant-based nutrition, and good food. Both were software executives and consultants with 20+ years of experience in product development, and Gardner convinced Stickland it was time to turn their love for fermentation and culinary arts into a business, inspiring the invention of Mushroom Meat Co.’s platform. The Mushroom Meat Co. …

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Quorn katsu style chicken

© Quorn Foods

Changing the Game for Vegan Analogs: Study Explores Effects of Iron Fortification in Mycoprotein Products Without Egg Whites

In the ever-evolving landscape of food industry innovations, the spotlight is now on the development of meat alternatives that provide consumers with a sustainable option and meet the nutritional needs of comparable animal proteins. A recent study by Professor Brent Murray from the University of Leeds, funded by Quorn Foods, investigated the effects of iron fortification in mycoprotein products developed with potato protein instead of egg whites. Egg whites are incorporated into mycoprotein products as functional ingredients and binders to create appealing textures. However, the growing demand for plant-based meat alternatives and egg allergenicity are driving the replacement of egg white proteins with plant proteins.  In a related research about the interactions between fungal hyphae and egg white protein the scientists found that that potato proteins offer high …

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the Chinese startup will launch the 70/30 Mycelium Research Lab, located within a renowned biotech startup incubator,

© 70/30 Food Tech

70/30 Food Tech to Launch Mycelium Research Lab to Create Affordable Proteins for Asia

Shanghai-based 70/30 Food Tech, a 100% plant-based ready meal company and a producer of plant, fungi, and mycelium-based ingredients, announces that it has completed a seed-extension fundraising round (the raised amount has not been disclosed). With the funds, the Chinese startup will launch the 70/30 Mycelium Research Lab, seemingly located in Bangalore, India, within a renowned biotech startup incubator to develop cost-effective fungi-based biomass ingredients for alternative meats. With this expansion, the startup will have a presence in two important Asian markets. According to the press release, the funding round received strong backing from investors, with participation from Better Bite Ventures and support from previous seed investors. “We believe that mycelium-based sustainable protein products can be a gateway to broader consumer adoption in Asia, especially given …

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Spacegoods products

© Spacegoods

Functional Mushroom Brand Spacegoods Raises £2.5M to Solidify Leadership Position in UK & Europe

Spacegoods, a London-based wellness brand specialising in functional mushrooms and nootropics, announces it has secured £2.5M in a seed round led by FoodTech specialist venture capital firm Five Seasons Ventures, with participation from Redrice Ventures, Slingshot Ventures, and G-FUND. Combining adaptogen mushrooms with nootropics such as ashwagandha and lion’s mane, the products are available in a chocolate flavour and are all vegan, cruelty-free, and can be enjoyed with water or milk or added to teas or protein shakes. The company states It has gained significant momentum since its foundation in 2021, gaining impressive growth primarily through DTC sales, and says it has achieved a strong position in the UK as well as in the Netherlands and Germany. The capital will enable Spacegoods to solidify its …

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UK's MYCO prepares for launch of oyster mushroom burgers after securing £1.5 million in funding.

© Image courtesy of MYCO

MYCO to Launch “Britain’s Greenest Burgers” Created with Hooba Oyster Mushroom Mince

UK vertical farmer and producer MYCO has unveiled its plans to launch a new line of burgers made with Hooba, a protein mince made from oyster mushrooms.  The anticipated launch comes after an undisclosed £1.5 million investment, that has enabled the company to move into full-scale production.  The UK firm states that the funding will allow it to meet the increasing demand for plant-based products with “Britain’s greenest burgers”. The burger range is expected to be ready by the end of March 2024. “The investment is a real game-changer as it has allowed us to move full steam ahead with our full range. We are currently meeting with buyers and the initial noises are incredibly positive. The goal is a trade launch in March, followed …

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MyForest Foods MyBacon

© MyForest Foods

MyForest Foods’ MyBacon Now Available in Whole Foods Markets Across the Eastern US

MyForest Foods Co., a producer of mycelium-based protein alternatives, has announced a retail expansion of its flagship product, MyBacon, into Whole Foods Markets across the northeastern United States. This new partnership increases the product’s availability to 57 Whole Foods locations across New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Additionally, the company has announced the introduction of MyBacon in MOM’s Organic Market, enhancing its distribution across Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. This significant milestone for MyForest Foods extends its commercial retail footprint to over 350 locations across eight states throughout the United States. MyBacon is a mycelium-based bacon alternative made with only five ingredients: organic mycelium, organic coconut oil, organic sugar, salt, and natural flavor. Last year, the company cited plans to launch its second product, …

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Michael Fox CEO Fable Food Co

Michael Fox ©Fable Food Co

Fable Foods: “Reimagining Mushrooms by Improving Their Texture and Elevating Their Natural Umami Flavours”

Fable Food Co, based in Australia, creates sustainable meat alternatives with a focus on the shiitake mushroom to mimic the texture and umami flavours of meat. Fable’s product portfolio includes items like plant-based braised beef, designed to integrate seamlessly into a variety of dishes, from stews to tacos, and the company’s approach to the plant-based market is not just about offering alternatives to meat but also about contributing to a shift in food culture towards more sustainable and ethical consumption practices. Since we last spoke with CEO Michael Fox, back in 2020, Fable has raised US$8.5 million in Series A, with the funds invested to accelerate R&D, launch new mushroom-based products, and continue to expand internationally. We were long overdue a catchup with Fox, who …

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Quorn

© Quorn Foods

Swedish Researchers Find Consumers Choose Fungi-Based Food for Sustainability and Well-Being Benefits

Swedish researchers conducted a study to examine whether consumers select fungi-based food due to its sustainability advantages. The findings show that engaging with fungi-based food is perceived to contribute to sustainability and is thought to promote glocal (a portmanteau of global and local) well-being. The study argues that as the consumption of fungi-based food continues to grow in popularity, it is essential to understand whether consumers align their choices with personal values related to sustainability. Awareness and knowledge of the benefits of fungi and plant-based food are vital to encourage consumers and influence their food choices, which can contribute to global social, economic, and environmental sustainability, explain the authors.  The research has been funded by the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth and the …

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