Senior ScientistContact Annika
The production of fungal proteins by fermentation is a highly resource-efficient process that consumes a fraction of the land, water and energy required to produce the equivalent amount of animal or plant-based protein. This project aims to use a sidestream as a substrate for cultivation of mycoprotein as well as optimizing the bioaccessibility.
A sustainable alternative to plant-based proteins, which also have a natural fibrous structure similar to meat, are proteins produced by micro-fungi (mycoprotein) in a natural fermentation process. Thanks to their unique nutritional properties, they are well suited for a comprehensive diet and contribute to improved health by helping consumers reduce their consumption of, for instance, red meat. Furthermore, by developing a method for cultivating the fungi protein on wheat bran, a significant residual sidestream from the refining industry, we can increase the use of Swedish raw materials for a locally produced nutritious protein to be used in various food products.
The produced fungal protein will be evaluated for nutritional accessibility and quality and compared to an equivalent product cultured in a controlled medium to ensure that the wheat bran is functional as a substrate. The produced fungal protein consists mainly of intact cells with relatively rigid cell walls, which can make it difficult to access the protein. We will investigate different methods to break up the cells to varying degrees to see if it increases the accessibility of proteins in the digestion process. The project will also test released proteins' functionality and suitability in various food applications.
The outcome is expected to contribute to the utilization of a sidestream with low commercial value, converted into a high-value protein product that can be used in food production. Furthermore, studying the impact different pre-treatments of fungi have on protein bioaccessibility can be of great importance to offer a food product with the highest nutritional quality, which is at the same time sustainable and locally produced.
Mycoprotein grown on sidestream
3 875 146 kr
Mycorena AB, Berte Qvarn AB
Europeiska jordbruksfonden för landsbygdsutveckling, Jordbruksverket