US startup Atlast Food Co, a spinoff of Ecovative, has partnered with several businesses that plan to use its mycelium-based meat alternatives as ingredients in their products. Despite only recently launching its first product, Atlast has already sold all its planned capacity through 2023.
Atlast’s first retail launch was at the Honest Weight Food Co-op in Albany. The bacon is being sold under the brand name MyEats, and initial consumer feedback has been very positive. But CEO Eben Bayer stressed that Atlast is a B2B company, and that is where its focus will remain.
The bacon is produced by growing large slabs of mycelium in beds 100 feet long and 10-20 feet wide. The mycelium can be grown at room temperature on white button mushroom farms. Because it is grown on such a large scale, the company hopes prices will soon be competitive with conventional pork belly.
The mycelium is produced using a fermentation process, and there are no animal inputs such as manure. Factors such as the texture, strength, and porosity of the mycelium can be adjusted through a biofabrication process. A slab can be grown in just 10 days, with a fibre size similar to animal meat.
Atlast has already opened a small production facility, but it plans to open a much larger one next year. It is working with a Dutch mushroom farm builder to construct it. To increase capacity even further, Atlast may also begin working with American mushroom growers.
“We’re trying to be the highest-performance structured protein on the market, but it’s a really healthy product and sufficiently high in protein to serve as a meat substitute,” CEO Eben Bayer told FoodNavigator-USA.