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Quorn and Mycorena launch the Fungi Protein Association to further develop microbial protein

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2 min read
AUTHOR: Fiona Holland
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Several companies working in the fungi protein sector have teamed up to establish a new trade group, the Fungi Protein Association (FPA), to accelerate the production of more sustainable, fungi-based protein alternatives.

Founding members of the FPA include food companies ENOUGH, Quorn, Nature’s Fynd, Mycorena, MyForest Foods, Bosque Foods, Aqua Cultured Foods, The Better Meat Co., The Protein Brewery, Prime Roots, Mush Foods, and knowledge partners, ProVeg, the Good Food Institute and the Alternative Proteins Association.

The trade body will represent the interests of its member companies, advocating for fungi protein in public policy and conducting consumer research on their behalf.

Fungi fermentation has become one of the most active areas within the meat alternatives sector in 2022, alongside cultivated and plant-based meat. Earlier this year, the Swedish foodtech company Mycorena announced a collaboration with Tetra Pak to build a new production site for the development of fungi fermentation techniques for use in alternative protein-based food applications.

In May 2022, Dutch mycoprotein company ENOUGH also announced its partnership with Peace of Meat, the Belgian subsidiary of Israeli cultured meat start-up MeaTech, to combine cultivated fat biomass and fermented fungi mycoprotein to add a meaty mouthfeel to ENOUGH’s mushroom-based products.

Aqua Cultured Foods made developments in the space this year too, creating its first commercial product – seafood-free calamari fries – using microbial fermentation technology. The product is expected to be available to consumers by the end of 2022.

Research on the environmental benefits of microbial protein is also emerging. A recent study shows that using fungi protein in hybrid meats (a mixture of animal-based and plant-based meat) could reduce the environmental impact of real-meat products, as replacing just 20% of beef with microbial protein could cut global deforestation by 50%.

The FPA hopes to boost the growth of the “newly emerging multi-player industry,” as the popularity of meat substitutes continues to grow. In the UK, alternative protein sales rose from £390 million in 2018 to £650 million in 2021, while mycoprotein product sales are expected to reach a 12.6% CAGR between 2022 and 2032.

“The world needs more protein, and fungi fermentation offers a delicious, sustainable way to do just that,” said Marco Bertacca, Chief Executive Officer at Quorn Foods. “We’re excited to partner with our fellow fungi enthusiasts to raise awareness and appreciation of the wonderful ways fungi can improve human health and the health of our planet.”

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