Packaging and processing giant Tetra Pak is collaborating with Swedish foodtech company Mycorena to build a new production site to develop fungi fermentation techniques for use in alternative protein-based food applications.
The facility will form part of Tetra Pak’s goal to tackle challenges in food safety and security through developing more sustainable and novel food sources.
The factory, which will be built in Falkenberg, Sweden, will be used to create a meat alternative product using fungi fermentation.
In its first phase, the plant will develop mince-based ingredients which can be used to make meat alternatives.
Fungi fermentation “takes natural, age-old processes and uses microbiology to turn microorganisms into tiny production centres that make protein-rich products including alternatives to meat, seafood and dairy”, says Tetra Pak.
It can also be used to create a better taste and texture in plant-based foods, according to the company.
Charles Brand, Executive Vice President for Processing Solutions & Equipment, Tetra Pak, said: “We are very excited to be working with Mycorena on this project for the innovation and advancement of the food supply chain that aligns with all three areas of our purpose – protecting food, people and the planet.
“The process of fungi fermentation utilises microorganisms that are bioprocessing powerhouses which can create high quality, nutritious proteins. They may be small, but they have the potential to make a big impact on building a more robust and diverse food system, cementing a better future for all.”
Tetra Pak hopes developing innovative techniques for alternative protein food applications will help it move closer towards its target of reaching net zero emissions across the value chain by 2050.
Tetra Pak and Mycorena first established their partnership in 2019 in an attempt to develop innovation in the regions of food safety, sustainability and availability.
With time, Mycorena hopes to increase its production capacity and open more plants in Asia and Europe.
Dr. Ramkumar Nair, Founder and CEO, Mycorena said: “Fungi fermentation is the future of the food industry and we are proud to be revolutionising this space. This new fermentation facility is a state-of-the-art production plant, which provides us with a technology blueprint that will be further expanded in Sweden and replicated globally.
“For such an ambitious journey, Tetra Pak is the ideal partner for us, not only because of their cutting-edge expertise in processing, but we also have a shared ambition to develop a more sustainable food supply chain.”