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Agri food tech

Quorn teams up with US start-up Prime Roots to boost plant-based, mycelium deli meats category

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2 min read
AUTHOR: Fiona Holland
Meat slicer with alternative deli meat slices on plate on wooden tabletop and white tile background

Image credit: Prime Roots

Quorn is partnering with California-based mycelium deli meat producer Prime Roots, to help both companies expand into new markets and collaborate on new products. The mycoprotein giant has also made a minority investment in the start-up.

The news comes following Quorn’s announcement earlier in April that it would make its mycoprotein ingredient available to food and drink manufacturers around the world, to boost microbial production in the food industry.

Founded in 2017, Prime Roots has developed a range of plant-based deli meats including turkey and ham-style slices, all made using koji mycelium, a mixture of yeasts, mushrooms, and other fungi. The company’s offerings also include charcuterie products such as koji-based pepperoni, salami, bacon, foie gras and other pâté products.

Koji is a mold which grows on legumes and grains such as soybeans and rice. Known for its rich umami flavour, it has been used in Japan for thousands of years and is a common ingredient in popular foods like soya sauce, sake, and miso.

Prime Roots has seen huge success this year, securing $30m in a Series B funding round last month, which it says will help it distribute its products to more deli counters and restaurants across the US. The start-up’s products are currently available in a selection of delis, upmarket grocers and foodservice outlets in California, North Carolina, New York, and Hawaii.

“We are thrilled to partner with Quorn, the leader in mycelium-based proteins to create breakthrough innovations together and to bring great tasting foods that are better for you and for the planet to mass markets,” Kimberlie Le, co-founder and CEO of Prime Roots, said in a statement.

“Prime Roots is doing great things in developing the US meat-free deli category, and we’re excited by the opportunity we now have to share knowledge and collaborate with Kimberlie and her team,” added Marco Bertacca, CEO of Quorn.


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