Robert has recently shared his views on mycoproteins, and biomass fermentation with the New York Post and CNN.
Biomass fermentation is the process by which microbes are transformed into alternative proteins and has been used in a multitude of products and locations from NASA astronauts in space to New York restaurants. Mycoprotein is one such product produced using this process and, unlike other plant-based meat alternatives, is made from fungi and therefore has a low land and water usage. The full New York Post article can be found here and CNN article here.
Robert praises the healthy and cost-effective ingredients
The first mycelium product — a meat pie — was introduced in Britain in 1985 by Quorn, although the research had begun back in the 1960s. Quorn remains the only brand that has fully commercialised mycoprotein as an ingredient in plant-based food products, though this is set to change.
“They are incredible ingredients that we believe will enter our food chain. It’s healthy and cost-effective and no animals are harmed in the process. What’s not to like?”
Proteins produced using biomass fermentation are “incredibly nutritious, rich in fiber as well as protein, and require little further processing”
There are various uses for mycoproteins, from vegan leathers at luxury fashion houses to fowl-free foie gras. The growing interest in the ingredients has of course led to an increase in the number of companies in the field – “Today, around 30 companies are in the mycoprotein field, and most use different strains of fungi. Their applications aren’t limited to meat alternatives – they could be turned into nutritious protein shakes or into ice creams.”.
Pricing and education challenges exist
However, as addressed by the CNN article, mycoprotein companies face a challenge to achieve price parity with the traditional meat industry, which is heavily subsidised.
“To reach pricing parity with meat will require scaling up of infrastructure – so maybe when biomass fermentation is 10-20 times the scale it is today there will be more scale economies“
Additionally, companies using mycoproteins face “the challenge of explaining to consumers what proteins are and why they might want to eat them”.
Food Strategy Associates are the leading advisors to the UK plant-based food industry. We have a wealth of experience in mycoproteins, biomass fermentation and other plant-based products. More generally, we can provide you with support in M&A processes, business growth strategy, and cost optimisation. Please get in touch with us via our website or at email@example.com to discuss how we can help your business.