Plenitude is a project launched by a consortium of ten partners spanning biotech, protein expertise, sustainability, and three key players in food – Mosa Meat, Vivera, and ABP. The group has announced the go-ahead for the building of a first-of-its-kind, large-scale mycoprotein facility, following its securing last year of €17m in funding.
The focus of the five-year project is on “finding, developing, and marketing mycoprotein” into the categories of food markets (meat, meat-free, dairy-free, and many other applications), pet food, bio-plastics, and cultured meat. According to a study on which we reported in October, the worldwide market for mycoprotein products was valued at around US$200 million in 2018 and was projected to see a growth rate of over 12% up to 2027.
In February, a new scientific paper, the most comprehensive paper for introducing mycroprotein as a meat substitute, showed that producing mycoproteins does not create pollutants or emissions, generates 10 times less greenhouse gas emissions compared to beef, four times less compared to chicken, uses up 20 times less water, and 23 times less land than livestock farming.
The ten partners bring together key specialisms and expertise, these include primary processing and industrial operations (Alcogroup SA), biotechnology (3F BIO Limited), product development and applications (International Flavors & Fragrances I.F.F. B.V), primary research and protein expertise (Wageningen University) specialist consultants covering marketing and sustainability (Bridge2Food, Life Cycle Engineering Srl), and three end-users covering food categories (Mosa Meat, Vivera, ABP) as well as one end-user covering bio-plastics (Lactips).
The project addresses the protein challenge by integrating two established processes into a flagship, large-scale, first-of-its-kind, biorefinery producing bioethanol and sustainable food protein. The process takes a proportion of the sustainable cereal crops that feed the biorefinery to create a feedstock for the fermentation process that produces ABUNDA® mycoprotein.
With an initial output capacity of 16k tonnes per annum, this flagship project will increase the availability of sustainable, high-quality food protein. The collaboration between the biorefinery operator, food producers and technology providers will create new cross-sector interconnections, new bio-based value chains, and new bio-based ‘consumer’ products.
Commenting on the announcement, Dean Holroyd, Group Technical and Sustainability Director, ABP, said: “We operate the highest standards in sustainability across our business and we are keen to be actively involved in addressing the challenges of feeding a rapidly growing population and sustainably as possible.”