• Canada: Chinova Bioworks is Researching Vegan Beer Based on Mushroom Technology



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    Chinova Bioworks recently launched a research initiative with the INNOV Centre at College Communautaire du Nouveau Brunswick (CCNB), supported by the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation’s Innovation Voucher Fund, to develop a new processing aid for vegan beers.

    Chinova is leveraging its expertise in “clean label” ingredients at CCNB’s Grand Falls campus, which has been developing brewing and distilling technologies for years. The research project aims to develop a new application for Chinova’s proprietary white fungal fibre, Chiber, as a fast fining agent for brewers. The initiative comes at a time when many breweries are switching to vegan practices to meet consumer demand for healthier and more sustainable products.

    Chinova Bioworks
    © Chinova Bioworks

    Many brewed beers and other alcoholic beverages contain animal-based compounds that are added during the production process. These include, for example, pepsin, a foaming agent extracted from the stomach enzymes of pigs; chitin, extracted from lobster and crab shells; and carmine, found in the ground-up scales of cochineal insects. Another commonly used compound is isinglass, a type of gelatin extracted from fish swim bladders. All of these substances are commonly used in the production and filtration of alcohol to make drinks appear clearer and brighter.

    Chinova’s technology offers brewers a vegan alternative to these products. Initial results show that Chiber can settle yeast eight times faster after fermentation and, as an added bonus, antimicrobial properties remain in the beer, keeping it fresher for longer. Chinova intends to launch Chiber for alcoholic beverages in the first quarter of 2022 and is currently working with early adopters for market testing, while actively seeking other innovative companies to join the initiative.

    Mushroom fibre technology

    “People are looking for vegan and plant-based options for every aspect of their lifestyle, so we are committed to innovating and providing sustainable solutions based on our white tuberous mushroom fibre technology. Alcoholic beverages, especially beer, are fraught with the use of animal and synthetic ingredients, and we believe we can make a big difference here with Chiber,” says David Brown, COO and co-founder of Chinova Bioworks.

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