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

© Macalat

Sweets & Snacks

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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Koralo launches a new mycelium and microalgae fish fillet in South Korea

Image courtesy of Koralo

Fermentation

Koralo to Launch New F!sh in More Restaurants in Seoul Following 5,000L Production Milestone

Koralo, a German B2B alternative seafood startup operating a subsidiary in South Korea, announces a milestone in the production of its flagship product called ‘New F!sh’, a mycelium-based fish fillet that debuted in Seoul last December.  According to Koralo, it has successfully scaled its patented co-fermentation biomass process to 5,000 L on existing equipment manufacturers (OEM) with local partners in South Korea. The company’s fermentation process harnesses the nutritional properties of microalgae to feed mycelium, replicating the natural diet of fish. This innovative process enables the creation of fish-like tasting and nutrient-rich alternatives in a sustainable process, emitting less CO2 and using less water than plant proteins. Clean-label and nutritious fish  New F!sh is said to be rich in nutrients, including omega-3, complete protein, probiotics, and …

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Kynda debuts a new mycelium ingredient in vegan burgers crafted by The Ranging Pig Co.

© Image courtesy of Kynda

Fermentation

Kynda Debuts Zero-Waste Mycelium Ingredient in Burgers Crafted by The Raging Pig Co.

German B2B biotech Kynda announces that it is introducing in the European market a new zero-waste mycelium ingredient — exempt from EU novel food regulations — for alt meat and hybrid products. Branded Kynda Meat, the ingredient is said to be highly nutritious and a “truly sustainable” alternative to animal proteins. It is made only with upcycled ingredients fermented in a highly efficient 48-hour biomass fermentation process.  In a first collaboration, Kynda Meat will debut at the Internorga trade fair in Hamburg (starting today), in vegan burgers created by the food tech The Ranging Pig Co. A new range of vegan sausages by The Ranging Pig will also be available for tasting. “Our mycelium-based ingredients offer a unique blend of taste, nutrition and environmental benefits to meet the growing demand …

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Pacifico Biolabs, a Belin-based biotech startup, announced that it raised $3.3 million to make mycelium-based whole-cut alternatives.

© Viktor Strasse

Fermentation

Pacifico Biolabs Secures $3.3M to “Transform Seafood” with Whole Cut Alternatives

Berlin-based biotech startup Pacifico Biolabs emerges from two years in stealth mode with the announcement of a $3.3 million oversubscribed pre-seed round.  With the capital, the startup plans to improve and further scale its “unique” biomass fermentation process to make mycelium-based whole-cut alternatives, starting with seafood. In addition, it will expand its team with key positions, such as a CTO and chief of staff. Simon Capital and FoodLabs led the funding round, joined by Exceptional Ventures and Sprout & About Ventures. Patrick Noller, General Partner at FoodLabs, comments, “We are confident that Pacifico’s technology strongly positions them to transform seafood and beyond, addressing the urgent demands of a changing climate.”  Friedrich Droste, Managing Partner of Simon Capital, shared, “Their innovative technical approach to alternative seafood …

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Quorn

© Quorn Foods

Studies & Numbers

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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Bolder Food has unveiled MycoVeg, a semi-finished product crafted using mycelium and biomass fermentation.

© Bolder Foods

Fermentation

Belgium’s Bolder Foods Unveils Mycelium Ingredient to Create “Punchy Cheesy” Umami Flavors in Alt Cheese

Bolder Foods, a food tech company from Belgium, has unveiled its latest innovation for the alternative cheese space: MycoVeg. Mycoveg is described as a mycelium-based ingredient crafted with biomass fermentation that is said to deliver creamy, buttery, and elastic textures and “punchy cheesy” umami flavors in cheese alternatives. Bolder Foods says it will revolutionize alt cheese “one spore at a time” using nature’s secret weapon since its benefits to develop cheese alternatives are numerous. Firstly, its fermentation process is highly sustainable, requiring minimal growth resources. Secondly, mycelium is a nutritional powerhouse, providing fiber, proteins, and vitamins, enhancing the product’s nutritional profile; and lastly, it stands out for its excellent versatility in product development. Revolutionizing cheese with microbes Bolder Foods is headquartered in Brussels and has research …

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Mogu has secured €11 million to develop high-quality mycelium solutions for the fashion, interior design, and automotive industries.

© Mogu

Investments & Finance

Italy’s Mogu Raises €11M to Expand Mycelium Materials for Interior Design, Fashion, and Cars

Mogu Srl, an Italian material innovation firm, announces that it has secured €11 million in Series A funding to develop high-quality mycelium solutions for the interior design, fashion, and automotive industries. The company also shares that it will rebrand in a few weeks as SQIM, its widely recognized name. CDP Venture Capital and ECBF VC co-led round with the additional participation of Kering Ventures and previous investor Progress Tech Transfer. The new capital will allow the company to capitalize on its proprietary technological platform by scaling to industrial volumes. In addition, Mogu will further R&D projects in material innovation, open a new demo production plant, and expand its team, “attracting and retaining premier industry talents.” Maurizio Montalti, Chief Mycelium Officer and co-founder of Mogu/SQIM, comments: “This …

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A bowl of mycoprotien meatballs

© Nosh Biofoods

Health

New Study Highlights the Potential of Mycelium as a Nutritious Solution to World Hunger

A new study authored by leading food scientists, including Harold H. Schmitz, Chair of the Scientific Board of Meati Foods, explores the potential of mycelium, the roots of filamentous fungi, to improve human health, support a sustainable food system, and to reduce food insecurity, malnutrition, and world hunger. According to the authors, mycelium is a cost-effective alternative to animal meat: it delivers meaty texture and neutral flavor while offering high-quality proteins, fibers, and essential micronutrients (iron, zinc, and vitamin B12), holding the potential to improve public health.  Additionally, its production is scalable, affordable, and fast. They also highlight the potential of mycelium in addressing environmental concerns in food production since it is environmentally sustainable, with the additional surplus of helping reduce food waste through fermentation. According to the …

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Coral's fish fillet on a plate

Microalgae / mycelium fish fillet © Koralo

Fermentation

Koralo Debuts With ‘New F!sh’, South Korea’s First Microalgae & Mycelium-Based Fish Fillet

Koralo, a German fermentation startup developing alt seafood in South Korea, has introduced its first product, New F!sh, in collaboration with partner restaurants Stylevegan and Monks Butcher in Seoul. The startup claims that New F!sh is the first of its kind fish fillet in the South Korean alternative seafood category. Koralo creates innovative clean-label seafood alternatives using microalgae and mycelium in a co-fermentation process. The company’s approach captures the oceanʼs nutrition by feeding microalgae to mycelium, mimicking the algae-based eating habits of fish. Working with local partners, the New F!sh product has been tailored to the region’s palate. According to Koralo, after many tests, the fillets have a juicy and flakey texture that doesn’t fall apart. Moreover, the product offers an authentic fish flavor while being low in …

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Coral's fish fillet on a plate

© Koralo

Fermentation

Koralo Debuts With ‘New F!sh’, South Korea’s First Microalgae & Mycelium-Based Fish Fillet

Koralo, a German fermentation startup developing alt seafood in South Korea, has introduced its first product, New F!sh, in collaboration with partner restaurants Stylevegan and Monks Butcher in Seoul. The startup claims that New F!sh is the first of its kind fish fillet in the South Korean alternative seafood category. Koralo creates innovative clean-label seafood alternatives using microalgae and mycelium in a co-fermentation process. The company’s approach captures the oceanʼs nutrition by feeding microalgae to mycelium, mimicking the algae-based eating habits of fish. Working with local partners, the New F!sh product has been tailored to the region’s palate. According to Koralo, after many tests, the fillets have a juicy and flakey texture that doesn’t fall apart. Moreover, the product offers an authentic fish flavor while being low in …

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Libre Group shot

© Libre Foods

Fermentation

Libre Foods Wins €335K Grant to Pioneer Low-Cost Mycelium for Meat Alternatives

Libre Foods, a Spanish biotech based in Barcelona, has been awarded a €335,000 public R&D grant by Neotec (a program that supports technology-based companies) to develop a low-cost mycelium ingredient for meat alternatives.  Mycelium holds the potential to enhance the texture and nutrition in meat alternatives; however, scaling its production to lower the final product’s costs remains an industry challenge, argues Libre Foods. With the funds, the Spanish biotech plans to launch an advanced screening platform, integrating rapid imaging robotics and machine learning to discover and optimize fungi-based applications and accelerate product development. The platform could increase efficiency in R&D by more than 800 times, explains the company. Low-cost mycelium The technology’s first task will be developing a low-cost mycelium ingredient with a superior nutritional and …

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Mush Foods Grow NYC

Image credit Shalom Daniel on LinkedIn

Company News

Mycelium Producer Mush Foods Receives $250,000 in Grow-NY Food and Agriculture Business Competition

Israeli-based food tech company Mush Foods has been awarded $250,000 in the Grow-NY Food and Agriculture Business Competition. The prize money will support the company’s mission to cut global meat consumption in half by providing alternative meat ingredients made from mycelium.  The Grow-NY competition, funded by Empire State Development and administered by Cornell University’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement, serves as a platform for innovation and technology in the food, beverage, and agriculture sectors. The event featured twenty global finalists presenting their business plans at the summit, and a total of $3 million in prize money was distributed among seven startups, including Mush Foods, based on judging criteria included the viability of the startup’s business model, customer value, diversity, and agri-food innovation. Mycelium grown through …

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Mycelium bacon on a plate - CellX unveils its mycelium fermentation programme

Image courtesy of CellX

Protein

CellX Ventures into Mycelium Fermentation to Create Proteins for Plant-Based and Hybrid Products

CellX, a biotech that operates China’s largest cultivated and seafood facility, announces a new fermentation program, a parallel venture producing mycelium-derived proteins for alt meat and dairy, functional, and hybrid products.  With this expansion, the company aims to complement its cultivated meat platform and launch sustainable proteins more quickly. “Fermentation and cultivated meat both serve CellX’s vision of providing sustainable protein for everyone,” Operations Manager Liu Yu informs vegconomist.  CellX’s fermentation program has already commenced operations with a pilot-scale production of 10 m3. The company says it is preparing to submit for regulatory approval in China and abroad and is set to introduce its mycelium products into global markets by 2025.  A diverse portfolio of novel proteins The edible fungi strains suitable for fermentation were …

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A vegan mycelium white fish filet with sauce.

Image courtesy of Esencia Foods

Fermentation

Esencia Foods Hosts “Europe’s First” Mycelium Seafood Tasting at Anuga Gastronomy Fair

Esencia Foods, a mycelium biotech from Germany, has been presenting its vegan white fish alternatives to seabass and cod at Anuga 2023. The company claims this marks the first time a mycelium seafood product has been available for tasting at a European gastronomic fair. This year, Anuga has focused on plant-based foods, with an emphasis on alternative seafood. Esencia Foods stated that it is leveraging the opportunity to establish partnerships with restaurants and food service distributors to launch its sustainable seafood products into the market. “Tastings at selected industry-focused events will help us to win important partners, but also to fine-tune our products and learn which dishes can be most successful at the market”, said Hendrik Kaye, founder and CEO of Esencia Foods. A new generation of …

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MycoWorks will open a production facility for luxury animal-free leather

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Leather Alternatives

MycoWorks Unveils World’s First Commercial Mycelium Facility for Luxury Animal-Free Leather

Biomaterials innovator MycoWorks announces it will open the world’s-first commercial-scale mycelium production plant to produce luxury animal-free leather on the 20th of September, 2023. Located in South Carolina, the 136,000-square-foot facility, employing over 350 people, will use MycoWorks patented Fine Mycelium technology to produce “millions of square feet” of Reishi  — a luxury leather alternative with the strength, durability, and hand feel of the finest animal leather but with a lower environmental impact. “Fine Mycelium platform is an unprecedented advancement in materials. Opening the doors on the first commercial-scale factory has MycoWorks poised to answer the luxury industry’s desire to craft objects with natural alternatives to leather,” says Kiersten Stead, MP at DCVC Bio and board member at MycoWorks.  Scalable manufacturing Since Reishi’s introduction, the company has partnered with major …

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Better Meat Mycelium Vegan Fish

©Better Meat Co.

Company News

The Better Meat Co. Forms First Scientific Advisory Board to Advance Use of Mycelium in Alt Protein

Fermented protein innovator The Better Meat Co. announces the formation of its first-ever Scientific Advisory Board (SAB.) The board, which compromises leading experts in filamentous fungi, cell biology, metabolism, genetics, and food safety, is helping to bolster Better Meat’s efforts to advance the use of mycelium in both hybridized and animal-free meat applications.  Better Meat’s first SAB meeting took place on March 13, and its members include:  Louise Glass, PhD – Professor, University of California-Berkeley Jay Dunlap, PhD – Professor,  Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth Heather Hallen-Adams, PhD – Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Matt Sachs, PhD – Professor, Texas A&M University  “The fruiting structures of fungi have been used for food and medicine for thousands of years,” shared board member Louise Glass, PhD. “It’s …

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Mycelium Foie Gras

Mycelium foie gras ©The Better Meat Co.

Fungi, Mushrooms & Mycelium

The Better Meat Co. Hosts ‘Night Under the Fermenters’ Dinner to Showcase Mycelium Bacon, Chicken and Foie Gras

Mycelium innovator The Better Meat Co. reveals it recently hosted “Night Under the Fermenters” – a special dinner to showcase the versatility of its Rhiza mycoprotein ingredient. Featuring 10 different courses, the fine dining experience offered guests a “taste of the future” with mycoprotein-based bacon, chicken, turkey, foie gras, caviar and even baked desserts.  Taking place March 14 at Better Meat’s fermentation headquarters in West Sacramento, CA, the exclusive dinner featured notable guests, including Elysabeth Alfano from Plant-Based Business Hour and Didier Toubia, CEO of Aleph Farms. Guests, who reportedly paid $300 each, dined while immersed in the presence of Better Meat’s mycelia fermenters, an active 3D printer and microscopic mycelium artwork.  The menu was curated by BMC research chef Jared Goldstein and prepared alongside …

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Prime roots deli sandwich quorn

©Prime Roots

Company News

Prime Roots Achieves ‘First’ B Corp Certification for a Mycelium-Based Food Company

Prime Roots, maker of innovative Koji-Meats, announces it has become the ‘first’ mycelium-based food company to receive B Corp certification. Through this recognition, Prime Roots states its company will equitable benefits consumers, employees, communities, and the environment. Co-founded by Kimberlie Le, Prime Roots has transformed from a company primarily focused on ready-made meals to an animal-free deli meat brand. Aiming to disrupt the $300Bn bulk deli industry, Prime Roots creates realistic deli meat slices using koji mycelium – a versatile type of fungi.  Ancient ingredient According to the company, koji is a traditional ingredient used for centuries to make foods like miso and soy sauce, and is a popular ingredient in Michelin-starred restaurants. Prime Roots says koji’s long, microscopic fibers can closely replicate the structures …

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MyBacon package

©MyForest Foods

Company News

MyForest Foods Triples MyBacon Availability, Grows Production and Prepares to Launch First Jerky

Mycelium innovator MyForest Foods Co. announces a series of major growth milestones, including the expanded availability of its flagship MyBacon and the launch of its second product, MyJerky, later this year. The company also reveals new progress in mycelium production and growing its R&D team. MyBacon, MyForest’s best-selling mycelium bacon product, is now available at 32 retailer and foodservice locations across New York and Massachusetts. The news follows MyBacon’s initial debut in New York City with two retail partners in November 2022. The current list of partners includes: A Matter of Health (Upper East Side), Amish Market (East Village), Brooklyn Fare (West Village), Elm Wellness (Greenwich Village), Food For Health (Upper East Side) and Garden Gourmet (The Bronx).  In addition, MyForest announces it is entering …

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Classic Cutlets and Steaks Grilling

Classic Cutlets and Steaks © Meati

Fungi, Mushrooms & Mycelium

Meati Foods Announces Huge ‘Mega Ranch’ Capable of Producing Millions of Pounds of Mycelium

Meati, the Colorado producer famous for its whole cuts made from mycelium, announces the opening of its biggest production facility yet, known as the Mega Ranch. The fully integrated operation is expected to cultivate Meati products at an annual rate of tens of millions of pounds by late 2023. At this rate, Meati says its production will match or exceed that of the largest individual animal-based ranches in the US.  According to Meati, its massive $150M Series C raise in 2022 helped to finance the Mega Ranch, which is designed to scale the company to an omnichannel, national footprint by the end of 2023. Along with a recent contribution by Rockefeller Capital, Meati says it is well-positioned to become a market leader with $1 billion …

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