Plant-Based Mycoprotein as a Meat Alternative
Why explore meat alternatives? Beyond meeting the demands of a growing global population, prioritizing plant over meat consumption is a critical element of sustainability efforts and addressing and reducing numerous health concerns. For example, research shows that switching to plant-based diets may reduce food-related land use by up to 76% and greenhouse gas emissions by 49%1. At the same time, meat appreciation and taste and texture concerns represent a significant barrier to entry for many.
In response, manufacturers have developed meat substitutes to look, feel, and taste like the real thing to encourage plant-based diets and meat alternative adoption. Unfortunately, many of these products are highly, even ultra-processed, against the increasing demand for more natural ingredients and offerings. Less processed solutions are available, such as textured soy protein. However, while this ingredient ticks the “natural” box for consumers, it falls short on taste.
Mycoprotein: A Sustainable and Nourishing Solution
Mycoprotein was developed using the mycelium of a particular fungus – the harmless, soil-growing Fusarium venenatum – to convert cereal waste starch into protein for famine-hit populations. Since then, mycoprotein from plant sources has proven a viable and widely acceptable plant-based meat substitute. The FDA confirmed the meat analog safe for consumption in 2001.
It is made by selectively fermenting a starter culture, providing up to 58% protein content. Beyond its excellent protein content, the substance is sustainable. In addition, its meat-like fiber structure and texture – long thin strands – also support appealing taste and mouthfeel, low-processed meat alternatives, and snacks across retail, at-home consumer, and hospitality. The ingredient is also versatile, yielding mince, fillets, and chunks. Products that rely on the ingredient include plant-based “chicken” and “beef” nuggets, patties, meatballs, sausages, and fish sticks and fillets.
Microprotein balances all essential amino acids, is high in dietary fiber, cholesterol-free, and low in saturated fatty acids, sugar, and sodium. In addition, the product is dairy and allergen-free. As a result, the biomass can help maintain a feeling of fullness, helping with weight management. It may also help to control blood sugar and cholesterol, heart disease, and other serious health conditions while supporting muscle synthesis.
How is Mycoprotein Produced?
Manufacturers produce mycoprotein in fermentation vats. Once the fungus-based starter culture has developed inside these large containers, sugar, water, and other chemicals are added to encourage further growth. The fungus reacts with the chemicals, creating fundamental protein building blocks – essential amino acids. Over around five weeks, these amino acids combine to form mycoprotein.
Critically, mycoprotein is gentler on the environment. Raising cattle and other animals contributes significantly to climate change and water pollution. This type of farming also relies on substantial amounts of land, water, and energy. Mycoprotein uses far less of these precious resources. For example, long-time mycoprotein user, UK-based Quorn, produces their “mince” using 94% less land area with 95% fewer carbon emissions than beef2. In addition, a gram-sized amount of culture yields around 1,500 tonnes of the substance per fermentation cycle.
Creating your finished plant-based mycoprotein product should focus on limited processing and fewer additives. Then, add natural, authentic, and meat-similar and satisfying flavor and aroma profiles using high-quality ingredients from Advanced Biotech. Explore bacon, beefy, pork, chicken, grilled, roasted, fishy, savory, smoky, BBQ, spicy – even goaty. In addition, our enticing taste and odor enhancers are available as samples before you commit to your order.
Innovative Plant-Based Meat Substitutes With Mycoprotein and Advanced Biotech
Our comprehensive range of natural, plant-based ingredients is pure, EU-certified, and extensively documented. In addition, we produce our flavor and aroma molecules using leading-edge and greener techniques and technology, yielding superior and more stable outcomes. Please contact us for more information.