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MycoTechnology discovers natural sweetener derived from rare honey truffle

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2 min read
AUTHOR: Fiona Holland
close up of selection of white truffles with one cut in half, on white background

American mushroom mycelia ingredient company MycoTechnology has identified and isolated a natural sweet protein from honey truffle, which could be used as a new type of sweetener.

The company says its discovery lays the foundations for the launch of a ‘potentially game-changing’ clean label sweetener that could compete with traditional sugar and artificial sweeteners on the market.

Also known by its scientific name Mattirolomyces terfezioides, the white honey truffle is found in Hungary, where it grows in sandy riverbanks under black locust trees and in acacia forests. It is typically harvested between August and November.

The ingredient is said to carry a strong sweet flavour without the bitter aftertaste that is common in other sweeteners like stevia, saccharin, and acesulfame potassium.

“Our honey truffle sweetener is derived from a protein, which brings an unprecedented level of excitement as proteins are widely recognized as the future of sweeteners,” Alan Hahn, CEO of MycoTechnology, said in a statement. “This breakthrough ushers in a new era of clean label sweeteners, revolutionizing the way we create foods and beverages without relying on traditional sugar or artificial sweeteners.”

“The journey to discover this sweetener was fuelled by a blend of tenacity, curiosity, and dedication to a healthier future,” added Hahn. “Today, we stand on the brink of a sweet revolution that could transform the food industry and consumer health in unprecedented ways.”

Several commercial partners have expressed interest in developing new collaborations in light of the finding, the company says. Its next steps will be to develop a proprietary platform to help scale production, limit manufacturing costs, and improve yield.

Others are also working to find innovative ways of bringing rarer natural sweeteners onto the market. Earlier this month, the Israeli biotech start-up Ambrosia Bio spoke to Food Matters Live about its proprietary enzyme-based technology, which plans to help sugar refineries produce the natural sweetener allulose in a cheaper, more efficient, and sustainable way.

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