Monday, November 28, 2022

Fungi protein companies unite

Following the boom in alternative proteins, the leaders of several companies pioneering fungi fermentation for food sustainability purposes have united to form a new trade association: The Fungi Protein Association (FPA).

The FPA will represent the interests of its member companies, including advocating for fungi protein in public policy, conducting consumer research, and more.

While mushrooms have been used for centuries as meat replacements, various methods of fungi fermentation are creating a new crop of high-protein, high-fibre, meat alternatives.  As such, fermented fungi is taking the alternative protein market by storm. Alongside plant and cell-based protein, it now represents one of the three mainstays of the burgeoning meat alternative sector.

In the UK alone, the sale of meat substitutes has grown from £390m in 2018 to £650m in 2021, with sales of mycoprotein products expected to grow at 12.6% CAGR between 2022 and 2032.

The increased popularity of mycoprotein chimes perfectly with growing awareness, particularly among Generation Z, about the effect of processed foods on our health, a concern that has continued to grow during the pandemic. Given the lower carbon, land and water footprints compared to chicken and beef, mycoprotein offers a sustainable way to cater for growing alternative protein demand and a growing world population.

A 2022 study in Nature found that replacing just 20% of beef with microbial protein – the products FPA members are pioneering – could cut global deforestation by a whopping 50%.

In addition to Quorn’s leadership of the fungi fermentation space for decades, dozens of start-ups founded in the past several years have mushroomed into a newly emerging multi-player industry. This has led to a need to create a trade body specifically focused on championing fungi protein. Founding members of the association include Quorn, Nature’s Fynd, Enough, The Better Meat Co., The Protein Brewery, Prime Roots, Mycotechnology, Mycorena, ProVeg and the Good Food Institute.

“The world needs more protein, and fungi fermentation offers a delicious, sustainable way to do just that,” said Marco Bertacca, CEO of 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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