Upcoming Event: Molecular Farming in the Alt-Protein Industry
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Imagine a near future where you savor a delicious carton of ice cream made with dairy sourced "directly from a farm." However, this farm doesn't boast bucolic settings, rolling hills, and happy cows. Nor is it sourced from the darker side of farming — the concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) crammed with cows and mechanical milking machines.

Instead, this farm offers something entirely different. It teems with meticulously engineered plants designed to produce customized ingredients, including the whey and casein proteins in your ice cream.

Welcome to molecular plant farming.

A farm void of animals, yet filled with plants capable of 'churning' out dairy proteins, among other animal-based proteins.

Molecular Plant Farming: Harnessing The Power of Plants

This year, molecular plant farming was recognized by the Good Food Institute as a potential "fourth pillar" of alternative protein production, alongside the three pillars of cultivated, fermented, and plant-based proteins.

Molecular plant farming is a novel technique that uses genetically engineered plants to produce custom-made proteins. This process can include the insertion of modified DNA into a plant genome, or simply introducing the gene into the plant for a short time period without altering the chromosome of the plant. Either strategy results in instructing the plant to produce the desired protein. The engineered plants are then grown conventionally, using sunlight and soil — either in a field or, more likely, in a vertical farming structure — establishing a unique fusion of traditional and innovative farming techniques.

Molecular farming steps | Source: Protein Directory.

The ultimate goal? To harvest these plants and extract their target molecules which can be used as innovative food ingredients. These ingredients have the potential to transform our diets and the food industry by offering new sources of protein and other nutrients.

Advantages and Challenges: Molecular Plant Farming as the “Fourth Pillar.”

Molecular farming may be a hot topic now, but it isn't new. The first successful proof of concept emerged nearly three decades ago when in 1986, transgenic tobacco and sunflowers were utilised to produce human growth hormone (HGH). Since then, hundreds of different proteins have been successfully produced in plants.

Molecular farming has evolved over time, quietly yet consistently heading towards a future where it may serve as a formidable alternative to traditional protein sources.

Imagining a Molecular Farm | Source: Canva

Molecular plant farming offers potential benefits such as:

Some challenges include:

In Conclusion

The journey is long, and many challenges lie ahead, but molecular farming, the "fourth pillar" of alternative proteins, is a field teeming with possibilities. And it may forever change our perception of what it means to “farm.”

Stay tuned to this space as we delve deeper into this captivating topic, exploring the opportunities and challenges molecular farming presents. On June 8th, we’ll have a conversation with three innovators in the space: Amos Palfreyman, CO-Founder and CEO at Miruku, Catalina Jones, Chief of Staff & Sustainability at Moolec Science, and Kathleen Hefferon, Ph.D., Forte Protein. Sign up today!

Check out other companies focused on molecular farming at Protein Directory — including Mozza, Nobell Foods, Tiamet Sciences, Bright Biotech, PoLoPo, Greenovation Protein, Veloz Bio, and Asterix Foods!

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Miruku is a New Zealand-based company that is applying its molecular farming process to program plant cells to be mini-factories for producing dairy proteins and other molecules, like fats and sugars. The company is modifying plant cells to have them produce dairy proteins such as casein and whey. The company claims that its technology is cost-effective and environmentally friendly by consuming fewer resources through biology. Miruku's proteins can be used to create real cheese and yogurt without cows.
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Moolec Science
Moolec Science is a global company that focuses on developing real animal proteins in plants using molecular farming. The company uses a proprietary platform that allows it to produce and harvest a complete spectrum of complex animal proteins in plants sustainably. The company claims that its technology is scalable and affordable by using plants as small factories producing animal proteins with sun and water. Moolec Science's proteins can be used for various applications, such as dairy alternatives, egg alternatives, meat alternatives, and hybrid products.
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Forte Protein
Forte Protein is a US-based company that can produce a complete spectrum of plant-based proteins that are identical to animal proteins. The company uses a proprietary expression system to produce bio-identical animal proteins such as ovalbumin and lactoferrin within plants like kale or lettuce. The company claims that its technology is faster, more affordable, and more authentic than other production systems. Forte Protein's proteins can be used as ingredients in various products, such as meat replacements, energy drinks, supplements, gels, cheese, and milk alternatives.

Learning from the experts just got easier!

In case you missed out on our alt-fat webinar or blogpost, we've got you covered with a summary of the valuable insights shared by Michelle Lee, the CTO and Co-Founder of Lypid, Tomas Turner, the CEO and Co-Founder of Cultivated Biosciences, and George Zheleznyi, the CEO and Co-Founder of Cultimate.

Alt-protein industry goals have expanded beyond satisfying our hunger with animal-free foods, and are now exploring alternative fats as a way to tantalize our taste buds. Alongside numerous other companies, these three pioneers are dedicated to ensuring that the next generation of alternative proteins is, above all, incredibly delicious.

Read on for key insights from each innovator including:

Why focus on this technology?

Each of you is tackling the same problem (bringing better alt-fats to the market) but approaching them from different directions. What is the value proposition of each approach to alternative fats?

"Authentic taste for an authentic experience"
George Zheleznyi
CEO and Co-Founder Cultimate

Cultimate uses cell cultivation to make food that has the same flavor and texture as conventional meat, achieved by cultivating intramuscular fat. The company wants to do more than swap out unsustainable oils in plant-based meats; it wants to provide authentic alternatives.

For Tomas Turner, CEO and Co-Founder of Cultivated Biosciences (fermentation) it’s, “Customization and scalability.”

Cultivated Bioscience’s decision to pursue biomass fermentation was based on several factors. Biomass fermentation offers the ability to customize products while still retaining a high potential for scalability. It also carries a lower level of engineering risk, as there is no need to develop many new technologies.

Michelle Lee, CTO, and Co-Founder Lypid (plant-based) states “Scale and Affordability” as a value proposition.

Lypid has opted for a plant-based approach to address the fat challenge because they recognize the importance of scale and affordability in convincing more individuals to make the switch. Additionally, because the ingredients used in their Phytofat product are already used in food products, they do not have to apply for any regulatory approval.

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Lypid- Fast Facts:
Lipid has developed a novel microencapsulation technology that can transform any liquid oil into a solid or semi-solid form that mimics animal fat tissue.
This plant-based fat, called Phytofat, can withstand high cooking temperatures and retains flavor, binding well with alternative proteins.
Phytofat has 97% less saturated fat than coconut oil and is available in creamy, chunk, and crumble form factors.
The versatility of phytofat extends beyond the alternative protein industry and can be used to replace butter, lard, and tallow in the baking industry, and even in confectionery sectors.

Balancing Collaboration and IP

How do you balance the need for collaboration with protecting your company's unique contributions to the industry and protecting your IP?

"Carefully plan collaborations to ensure a win-win scenario"
Tomas Turner
CEO and Co-Founder Cultivated Biosciences

Tomas shared that balancing collaboration and competition poses a challenge, but careful planning of collaborations can lead to win-win opportunities. By sharing valuable information without revealing proprietary technology, companies can work together for the greater good without compromising their competitive advantage.

According to George Zheleznyi, it's important to "Collaborate while keeping core IP secure."

George shared that collaboration is a fundamental aspect of Cultimate’s strategy and that they work closely with other companies to achieve mutual success. However, they remain mindful of investor interests and keep core technology secure. Cultimate can collaborate with other companies using their unique value proposition (cultivated and customisable lipids as an ingredient source) while avoiding the need to raise large amounts of capital and build extensive factories (and therefore risk investor money).

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Cultimate - Fast Facts:
The team at Cultimate is producing porcine and bovine animal fat cells as an ingredient for alt-protein companies.
The goal is to create hybrid meat, which is a combination of plant-based proteins and cultivated fat.
This hybrid meat will be targeted toward meat eaters who may be hesitant to adopt plant-based meat products.
The impact of this product is significant. One ton of fat (used in hybrid meat) can substitute up to ten tons of meat in the food chain.
Cultimate's industrial-scale production can save more than 8 million greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to 1% of the whole GHG saving potential generated by the alt-proteins industry by 2030.
Cultimate is also addressing a consumer demand for better-tasting meat alternatives. 64% of people who try plant-based meat prefer animal meat, so there is a need for products that replicate the taste and texture of meat.

“Diversifying our expertise and providing critical value-add to other companies,” Michelle said.

Michelle shared that Lypid’s expertise allows collaborations for growth and addressing diverse needs. Lypid focuses heavily on becoming an expert in the field, allowing them to collaborate with other businesses to achieve company growth and serve the diverse needs of other companies. They can serve as an ingredient supplier for a variety of markets while also developing new sectors, such as whole-cut plant-based meat.

What measures are taken to ensure sustainability?

What measures are you taking to minimize your carbon footprint in your production process (aside from the already inherent reduction of carbon footprint your produce offers compared to its conventional counterpart)?

George notes, “Recycling lab equipment and cultured media” is one of the key ways to minimize carbon footprint in their production process.

George acknowledged the importance of the question raised regarding their environmental impact. While developing their greenhouse gas-reducing product, Cultimate recognizes the need to address their lab practices involving plastics and cultured media. They are actively exploring solutions like reusable products and media recycling to become more climate-friendly.

Thomas explained, "Limiting air travel and implementing sustainable practices across the production process" are just some of the steps they take to achieve this goal.

Tomas highlighted their company's commitment to sustainability, opting for train travel when feasible and working on reducing water usage, and implementing efficient cleaning methods. However, he emphasized that the ultimate goal is bringing the product to market, as it significantly reduces CO2 emissions regardless of production methods.

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Cultivated Biosciences - Fast Facts:
The team at Cultivated Biosciences is using a patented process to create patented ingredients powered by fermentation.
The result is an ingredient that is color and flavor-neutral, suitable for various categories in dairy and beyond.
They grow GMO-free yeast through binary fermentation, generating fats, and then apply a unique extraction process to get their patented creamy texture.
Lifecycle assessment shows 90% less CO2 emissions than traditional dairy products. They are also working to reach price parity so that people will buy their product, offering a clean label ingredient that can shorten ingredient lists for plant-based producers.
“Bringing the product to market and ensuring sustainable production”
Michelle Lee
CTO and Co-Founder, Lypid

Michelle highlighted the significance of bringing products to market quickly, which has been the primary focus of Lypid since its inception. The company follows a policy of continuously reducing processing methods to minimize scale-up requirements and contribute to sustainability through more efficient and streamlined manufacturing processes.

Hungry for more? To check out more companies producing alternative fats, check out Protein Directory.

Whether you're a fan of mouth-watering cheeses and meats or conscious about the health and ethical implications of your food choices, fat plays a central role in many of our favorite foods.

In this post, you'll discover why fat is a critical component in the future of alternative proteins and who is making it a reality.

What’s so Important About Fat?

Ubiquitous in many of our favorite foods, divisive in recent health trends, and crave-inducing — fat is familiar to us all.

Maybe you’ve drooled over Samin Nosrats descriptions of parmesan wheels and sizzling meats in Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. Or perhaps you’ve felt outraged after reading Michael Moss' Salt, Sugar, Fat, learning how food giants have saliciously courted your taste buds for decades. Or maybe you care about the environmental and moral implications, but sometimes you just really, really crave cheese.

Wherever you are in your droolings, outrages, and cravings — an underlying theme persists: fat is universally coveted, and is lurking in many of our favourite foods. So it's no surprise that fat has become a hot topic in alternative protein research.

Image Source: ShutterStock Contributor: Prostock-studio

A Brief History of Fat and Taste

Any topic can be controversial if you research long enough, and fat is no exception. It is widely recognized that there are five primary tasting profiles: sweet, salty, sour, savory, and bitter.

However, fat has been a silent competitor for millennia. Aristotle lauded fat as a taste as early as 330 BC. In the 16th century, a scholar advocated including a fat-like taste, pinguis (Latin for fatty), in the taste family. Discussions of this type have continued into modern times. A recent article suggests a taste-receptor actually exists, which may officially classify "fat" as the 6th basic taste (a conclusion thousands of years in the making).

Whether fat is officially admitted into the taste club or not, the alternative protein industry is well aware that innovating new and better animal-free fats is essential to the industry's future.

While many factors contribute to food choices (cultural preferences, nutrition, cost), taste is a primary factor. The alt-protein industry is no exception. Fat contributes to the texture and palatability of conventional meat, making it a fundamental ingredient in meat substitutes. Simply put, consumers often buy products based on taste, and fat plays a significant role in taste preferences (just ask Aristotle).

Producing Fats for Alt-Protein

Plant-based fats, such as oil, have historically created convincingly fatty textures in meat replacements. But oils present some limitations. For example, coconut oil (ubiquitous in the alt-protein industry) has a low melting point. Coconut oil in a plant-based burger may melt away, reducing its ability to replicate the juiciness of a conventional hamburger.

Coconut oil presents some additional challenges. Projections estimate that the alt-protein industry may consume at up to 16% of the global supply of coconut oil by 2030. As the coconut industry is subject to market volatility, the supply chain may face instability. Coconut oil production has also been traced to unsustainable environmental practices.

Despite innovations in alternative fats, plant-oil ingredients won't disappear from the alternative protein scene. Plant fats, like coconut oil, have been and will continue to be important in producing alternative proteins. Both the widely popular Beyond Meat and Impossible brands contain plant-based fats.

However, securing the future success of alternative proteins requires diversifying fat ingredients to accommodate more consumer tastebuds and reducing reliance on a single supply chain.

Image Source: Shutterstock Contributor Sundry Photography. Dec 8, 2019

Future of Fat in the Alternative Protein Industry

Recent innovations present an opportunity to diversify the future of fat inputs in alternative proteins, including cell cultivation, Omega-3 fatty acids, and fermentation.

Some companies use cell cultivation (growing animal cells in bioreactors) to produce real animal fat. The final product can improve the taste and texture of plant-based meat products. Fish, which get a lot of the credit for being high in Omega-3s (an essential fatty acid), actually accumulate their Omega-3s from nature's protein superpowers — algae.

Some alternative protein companies, such as Revo Foods, use algae fats and oils to elevate the nutritional value of plant-based seafood and other products. Check out our blog on 3D printing for more information on Revo Foods and their work in the plant-based seafood industry. Finally, by employing the ancient art of fermentation (which has faithfully provided us with alcohol for thousands of centuries), some companies tailor the DNA of yeasts to produce fats that mimic conventional animal fats.

Below are some companies applying technology to the production of fat in the alternative protein landscape.

For more companies that are working on fat production, check out the Protein Directory. Do you know of any companies producing alternative fats? We'd love to hear from you.

Companies Producing Alternative Fats


Producing a tasty and healthy vegan fat alternative. Lypid's PhytoFat™ accurately mimics animal fats' texture, mouthfeel, transfer of flavor...
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Lypid's vegan fat ingredient, PhytoFat™ mimics animal fats in texture and flavour. The recipe is proprietary, but the product is over 90% vegan oils and water.

The product circumvents challenges associated with conventional fat by containing zero trans fats and no hydrogenation. Lypid positions itself as a healthier alternative to palm oil and coconut oil plant-based fats.

Image Source: Lypid ingredient range (courtesy of Lypid).

We had an opportunity to connect with Karen Chiu, Senior Business Developer at Lypid, who shared with us that Lypid's PhytoFat™:

"Performs like animal adipose tissue using micro-encapsulation technology. Its high melting point above 400F (204 Celsius) and tunable solid texture enable possibilities to create fatty tissue."
Karen Chiu
Senior Business Developer at Lypid

Other meat alternatives lack high melting point vegan fats that maintain the texture and flavor of conventional meat.

Recently, Lypid developed the world's first plant-based pork belly, which has two unique ingredients — PhytoFat™, its patent-pending fat ingredient, and a fibrous plant protein; together, these mimic the microstructure of animal muscles.

In 2022, Lypid announced a partnership with Tiawan's Louisa Coffee. A range of PhytoFat™ meat-alternative products are currently available from the coffee shop chain, including the plant-based burger pictured below:

Image Source: Lypid Burger- Louisa Coffee (courtesy of Lypid).

Cultimate Foods

Cultimate Foods
Producing the first commercially viable cultivated fat Cultimate Foods is a Berlin-based, cellular agriculture company. We create...
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Cultimate produces real animal fat using cultivated animal cells. Their goal is to elevate the flavour profiles of plant-based proteins by introducing cultivated fats — making a hybrid plant-based protein product enhanced with cell-cultivated fat.

Co-Founder and CEO of Cultimate Foods, George Zheleznyi, explained why Cultimate focuses on fat production: "fat is the most value-added part of the meat that brings juiciness, mouthfeel, taste, and texture. To produce our fat, we use modern cellular agriculture (a.k.a. cultured/cultivated meat) technologies, which do not need animals to suffer."

Cultimate wants to deliver authentic meat flavor (not simply oil substitutes in plant-based meats), so they're engineering intramuscular fat (which is responsible for meat's marbling and flavor properties).

The company aims to enter the market in 2025.

Nourish Ingredients

Nourish Ingredients
Producing animal-free fats. Nourish Ingredients create fats for the next generation of delicious alternative proteins, so they cook, smell, and...
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Nourish Ingredients has developed proprietary fermentation strains to manufacture fat molecules that mimic the animal fats in craveworthy foods — while leaving animals out of the process. The fat alternative products produced by Nourish Ingredients do not utilise coconut or palm oils.

During the production process, flavor and texture can be customized, ensuring that the fat product matches any animal protein analog required, such as seafood, pork, beef, and chicken.


Revolutionizing cell-based animal fat. Cellva was founded to revolutionize the B2B market through cell culture, focusing on ingredients that are better...
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Cellva is the first Brazilian-based B2B company focused on producing animal products utilising cell-cultivation techniques — and no harm to animals.

Cellva makes pork fat, an ingredient easily added to cultivated meat and plant-based protein products. The goal is to produce the highest quality fat from animals unexposed to antibiotics.

Connectomix Bio

Connectomix Bio
Helping companies harness the power of the bioeconomy. We provide models of bioproduction that decouple key commodities from agricultural...
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Connectomix Bio has recently made headlines for its research into turning food byproducts into fats. As part of the company's plan, byproducts of agriculture, such as corn husks, or household, restaurant, or industry wastes will be transformed into fats for plant-based and cultivated protein production in microbial fermentation.

Cultivated Biosciences

Cultivated Biosciences
Creamy. Dairy-free. Indulgence. Today's reality is that dairy causes 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Plant-based alternatives, although gaining...
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Cultivated Biosciences focuses on producing the creamiest vegan dairy products by leveraging the potential of fermentation. Cultivated Biosciences uses GMO-free oleaginous (oily) yeast in their fermentation process. The final product? An animal-free fat identical to one found in traditional dairy. This fat readily applies to a range of dairy products, including cheese, ice cream, and milk.

In a market rife with innovations in ingredient optimization, the future of alternative protein sounds more and more delicious every day.

Do you know of any companies producing alternative fats? We'd love to hear from you.

We’re excited to announce our upcoming webinar and networking session, Fats: The Next Frontier in Alternative Proteins, featuring George Zheleznyi, Co-Founder and CEO of Cultimate Foods, Tomas Turner, Co-Founder of Cultivated Biosciences, and Michelle Lee, CEO and Co-Founder of Lypid. 

The event will feature insights on Cultimate's innovative use of cultivated animal cells to produce intramuscular fat, Cultivated Bioscience's efforts towards creating dairy-free cream with GMO-free yeast and fermentation technology, and Lypid's line of vegan oils that offer precise textures and melting points, enhancing the flavor and juiciness of plant-based foods. 

We'll have time for Q&A, and remember to stay online after the event for networking with other alt-protein enthusiasts!
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Protein Directory recently published an article highlighting the exciting potential of 3D printing for alternative proteins. In response to this, we organized a webinar and networking event featuring Robin Simsa, the CEO of Revo Foods, an Austrian-based company at the forefront of using 3D printing to revolutionize the plant-based seafood industry.

Revo Foods is leveraging this cutting-edge technology to create plant-based seafood that rivals the taste and texture of conventional options. Revo’s salmon fillets will be available in stores later this year.

Read on for the highlights of our conversation with Robin Simsa:

Revo 3D Printed Salmon: Courtesy of Revo Foods

*Revo Salmon has not been released yet, so the entire ingredient list is not publicly available.

Revo salmon branding collab with street artists. Courtesy of Revo Foods.

We're thrilled about the exciting plans that Revo Foods has to support the industry by licensing their groundbreaking technology to other companies. And we're even more thrilled about the potential for collaboration that this creates.

If you want to learn more about Revo and companies using 3D printing technology, you can explore this list on the Protein Directory. With over 1800 companies already in our global database, there's no better place to connect with like-minded innovators and make a real impact.

Together, let's create a better future for food!

If you missed the event, there’s future opportunities to get involved in the conversation. Throughout the year, we will be hosting a series of bite-sized networking events and discussions on various topics related to alternative proteins.

The next event on May 4th will feature Cultivated B, Cultimate, and Lypid - companies dedicated to making it easier to enjoy nature's most crave-worthy flavour - fat - without eating animals. Sign up below!

We’re excited to announce our upcoming webinar and networking session, Fats: The Next Frontier in Alternative Proteins, featuring George Zheleznyi, Co-Founder and CEO of Cultimate Foods, Tomas Turner, Co-Founder of Cultivated Biosciences, and Michelle Lee, CEO and Co-Founder of Lypid.

The event will feature insights on Cultimate's innovative use of cultivated animal cells to produce intramuscular fat, Cultivated Bioscience's efforts towards creating dairy-free cream with GMO-free yeast and fermentation technology, and Lypid's line of vegan oils that offer precise textures and melting points, enhancing the flavor and juiciness of plant-based foods.

We'll have time for Q&A, and remember to stay online after the event for networking with other alt-protein enthusiasts!
Reserve your seat

And if you're looking for more information on the topic of fats and flavour, be sure to check out our recent article, which explores fat and taste and features insights from experts in the field - including Aristotle, of course!

Thanks to 3D printing, alternative meat products can now look and feel similar to conventional meat.

Here, we explore the history of 3D printing food, as well as the companies using this technology to disrupt the industry.

Why 3D Printed Foods?

3D printing food might sound like something out of a science fiction movie (which is exciting in its own right), but what exactly makes it so special? Leaders in the alternative protein industry believe 3D printed food has the potential to improve sustainability and reduce waste.

3D Printed Meat. Image Credit: Shutterstock.com/Dmytro Zinkevych

When it comes to waste, the food industry faces an ethical dilemma. As an example, consider the meat yield of a cow, which is approximately 63% per animal, meaning that around 37% is not consumed by humans.

Moreover, globally, 20% of meat produced goes to waste. In the case of fish and seafood, 35% of global catch is wasted. By focusing on just a consumable product (without unwanted bycatch or animal parts), 3D printing food decreases unnecessary waste.

In addition to its waste potential, conventional meat is a notoriously inefficient source of calories.

To use the beef example again, it may take 30 to 42 months to produce meat in the US, while Steakholder Foods (which produces cell-based meats) claims that their 3D printers can produce steaks in just minutes – though the final product needs to be incubated for several more weeks.

History of 3D Printed Foods

If 3D printed food still sounds like something from Star Trek, you’re not that far off. Star Trek introduced the concept of a ‘replicator’ able to reproduce organic and inorganic materials — including food. Today's 3D printers don't transfer energy into matter (as they did in Star Trek), but the concept of printing visually and gustatorily recognisable foods using 3D printing is similarly fantastical.

In any case, reality suggests that 3D-printed food is here to stay. With a market predicted to reach a billion dollars in 2026, this technology may soon play a major role in our food supply.

Many industries have taken advantage of the futuristic qualities of 3D printing since its invention in the 1980s. Yet 3D printing has only been used in food production for a few decades.

We have come a long way from the first 3D printed foods in 2006 when a hobbyist team developed the first 3D food printer Fab@Home at Cornell University. Rapid R&D in the space is indicated in the 2013 announcement by NASA to asses 3D printed food as a solution to astronaut nutrient needs in long space flights (while reducing waste). A few short years later, in 2019, Aleph Farms made headlines when they produced the first-ever meat in space.

How to Produce 3D-Printed Foods

Various 3D printing technologies exist, but extrusion is most commonly used in the alt-protein industry. Foods are printed using extrusion 3D printing by dispersing ingredients with syringes and employing predesigned shapes.

In the alt-protein industry, cell or plant-based compatible "inks" are "fed" into the 3D printer. Alternatively known as additive manufacturing or food layering manufacturing (FLM), 3D extrusion technology produces a final product formed by printed layers without the assistance of a human.

Across the alternative protein industry, innovation in 3D printing is inspiring next-generation alternative proteins. The following are four companies utilizing 3D technologies to produce plant and animal-based alternative proteins.

Still curious? Learn more about the science behind 3D printed steaks.

Revo Foods

Revo Foods
Revo Foods utilizes 3D technology to produce plant-based seafood. Based in Austria, Revo Foods sells products...
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This Austrian company produces plant-based salmon utilizing 3D extrusion printing technology. Each helping of Revo salmon includes microalgae oil, which contains DHA and EPA— the fatty acids found in fish oil supplements. Revo salmon also contains pea protein and plant oils.

Revo Salmon. Image Credit: Courtesy of Revo Foods

We asked Robin Simsa, CEO at Revo Foods, about the rapid growth of the company and their next steps. Robin shared:

"In general, we are happy that within only one year we could release four exciting new products which are already available in more than 20 countries and more than 2000 locations. Also, we recently announced a partnership with Swedish mycoprotein producer "Mycorena." Also, we are planning to release the first version of our next-generation salmon fillet this year!"
Robin Simsa
CEO of Revo Foods

Texture challenges have historically inhibited the usage of mycoprotein in 3D printing — making the partnership between Revo and Mycorena (a fungi-focused company) particularly exciting. It is the first partnership of its kind in the alt-protein space. Revo Foods is working on capacity and intends to upscale production technology to produce several tons per day.

Steakholder Foods

Steakholder Foods
We combine cutting-edge cellular agriculture with 3D bioprinting technology. Beginning activities in...
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Stakeholder Foods utilizes proprietary extrusion 3D printing technology to produce cultivated meat from animal cells. The company (previously MeaTech) began with beef cells but has expanded its range to include chicken, fish, and pork. Stakeholder's end product is whole cuts of real meat with the taste and texture of their corresponding conventional counterparts.

In 2022, Stakeholder foods revealed their 3D printed Omakase Beef. The layers of beef are printed separatly utilising two different bio-inks: fat and muscle produced from Bovine stem cells.

Omakase Beef Morsels (Image credit: Courtesy of Steakholder Foods)

When asked to share more about Steakholder's mission, Arik Kaufma, Co-Founder and CEO, noted:

"The future of food is tied to solutions supporting mass production. That is precisely the reason why we built the Steakholder Foods Industrial-Scale 3D Bio-Printer that will print tons of cultivated meat per day.”
Arik Kaufma
Co-Founder and CEO

Mass-producing meat alternatives is critical to reaching price parity with conventional proteins. The efficiency of 3D printing presents a pathway to the widespread adoption of alt-protein products.

Stakeholder Foods is a public company traded on Nasdaq under the ticker STKH.

Nova Meat

Nova Meat
NOVAMEAT is developing the next generation of plant-based proteins. NOVAMEAT develops cutting-edge...
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With CEO and founder Giuseppe Scionti’s background in tissue engineering, Nova Meat is on a mission to produce plant-based meat alternatives indistinguishable from their animal counterparts.

Nova Meat produced the first plant-based 3D printed steak in 2018 and, since then, has continued to expand its plant-based 3D printing capabilities. Nova meat uses extrusion printing technology.


Cocuus produces innovative technology for plant/cell-based protein production. Our mission is to revolutionize...
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Cocuus emphasizes reducing production costs and streamlining cultivated and plant-based proteins through its 3D bioprinting technology. The company works on advancing alternative proteins through various innovations, including 2D/3D laser printing, bioprinting, and robotics.

Their focus areas include cultivated and plant-based meats and 3D-printed scaffolding for cell-cultivated products.

If you are involved in 3D printing, or know any companies developing this technology — Please reach out. We’d love to hear from you!

Join us on March 28th for a conversation with Robin Simsa, from Revo Foods. Following the discussion, attendees will have the opportunity to network. Hope to see you there!
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In the near future, there will be many new ways to incorporate mycelium, the most abundant organism on earth, into your diet.

In this post, we’ll deep dive into the history of mycelium-based protein, and explore how a decades-old technology is disrupting the alternative protein industry.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com/Dmytro Ostapenko

Why Mycoprotein?

The alternative protein industry is a rich landscape of animal cell cultivation, alternative plant proteins, algae inputs, 3D printing, and fermentation.

What makes mycoprotein, a fungi-based alternative, distinct among these novel foods?

One reason is taste— paramount in consumer food choices. Mycoprotein has a slight umami flavor and a texture similar to cooked chicken.

As a result of the mild to nonexistent flavor profile, it can be used as a blank canvas for taste, and it mimics the consistency of meat with lower fat and saturated fat profiles than conventional proteins. It is also free from trans fat and cholesterol.

The History of Mycoprotein:

Post World War II, concerns about the future of global food supply led to the (often contentious) innovations of the Green Revolution. As a result, fungi-based proteins were developed during this time.

While developed in the 1960s, Quorn was the first to coin "mycoprotein" to describe their fungal-derived protein ingredient after the UK Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food approved the product for food use in 1983. In 2002, the US FDA designated mycoprotein as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe).

Currently, concerns over animal welfare, population growth, human health, and environmental impact have led to renewed interest in mycoprotein as a meat replacement.

This invention of the past is inspiring innovation in the future of an animal-free protein supply.

Fungi. Image credit: Protein Directory

Mycoprotein Production:

The production of mycoproteins involves fermenting mycelium with sugars and nutrients (in the same way that beer is made).

Mycelium, after fermentation, has a consistency similar to meat. Through binding agents, mycelium can be flavoured and shaped to achieve the desired taste and texture.

Mycoprotein production has historically relied on the fungus, Fusarium venenatum, but a variety of alternatives have been explored in recent years.

Beer Fermentation. Image credit: Canva

Mycoprotein Investment landscape:

Fermentation technology, the pathway to mycoprotein production, experienced skyrocketing investment in 2021. Fermentation companies producing alternative proteins raised 1.69 Billion in 2021 (3x the amount raised in 2020), and industry projections suggest that mycoprotein market value may reach US$ 948.86 Million By 2029.

5 Companies in Mycoprotein Space

The following companies are working within the mycoprotein space. Noted below, many mycelium-based protein companies have trademarked their specific mycoprotein ingredient. For a longer list of companies utilising mycelium, check out the Protein Directory.

Aqua Cultured Foods

Aqua Cultured Foods
Introducing the first whole-muscle seafood alternative created through fermentation. Aqua Cultured Foods has...
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Aqua Cultured Foods is producing the first whole-muscle-cut seafood alternatives using fermentation. Aqua Cultured focuses on creating mycoprotein-based sushi (tuna and scallops) and minced shrimp, tuna, and calamari for cooked dishes.

Image Credit: Chibe, Brittany. “Aqua Poke Bowl w Chop Sticks.” Aqua Culture Foods. July 21, 2022.

When we asked Brittany Chibe, Co-Founder and CGO at Aqua Culture Foods, for her insight into the future of mycoprotein, Brittany shared:

“Mycoproteins are already on the market, and more are coming. For us specifically, our production methods, equipment, and the comparatively low cost of inputs allow us to scale up affordably and enter the market having burned far less capital.”
Brittany Chibe
Co-Founder and CGO at Aqua Culture Foods

Based in Chicago, USA, Aqua-Culture Foods is always looking for new restaurant and chef partners. If you or someone you know is interested in serving up mycoprotein-based seafood — reach out!

MyForest Foods

MyForest Foods
MyForest is creating mycelium-based meatless foods! When it comes to solving our world’s biggest problems...
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MyForest Foods launched its sellout product: mycelium-based MyBacon, in 2020. Currently, the company is scaling production at its 78,000 sq ft. vertical AirMycelium™ farm. MyForest Foods keeps ingredients simple, listing coconut oil, beet juice, and minimal salt and sugar as the primary ingredients aside from mycelium.

Sarah-Marie Cole, Chief Marketing Officer at MyForest Foods, shared that MyForest Foods is the only mycelium company using solid-state fermentation. Sarah explained, "we grow our mycelium whole, in big giant pieces in indoor vertical farms! This allows us to cut, slice, and shape our "mycelium meat" into whole-cut pieces of food, and it reduces the number of ingredients needed to make final products."

Whole-Cut Mycoprotein: Courtesy of Myforest Foods.

In Sarah's view, the potential of mycoprotein is only in the beginning stages of exploration. The wide range of available edible mushrooms means endless possibilities for flavor and texture.

Sarah also shared that MyForest Foods is rapidly expanding, with a significant focus on New York City, and "operating at full capacity, MyForest Foods is projected to serve MyBacon to more than one million consumers by the year 2024."

A second product MyJerky will launch this year!

Mycelium Bacon: Courtesy of MyForest Foods

Mycorena: Sweden

Mycorena develops fungi technology to provide next-generation alt-protein ingredients. Mycorena AB is...
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Mycorena produces Promyc®, a trademarked mycoprotein, an ingredient that can be utilised to make various alt-protein products.

While many mycoproteins can be challenging for 3D printers due to their fibrous nature, Mycorena's Promyc® is unique in that it avoids this challenge. In 2022, Mycorena announced a partnership with Revo Foods to utilise Revo Foods 3D technology to produce Promyc®-based 3D printed animal-free meats.

Mycorena estimates that in comparison to beef, pork, and poultry, Promyc® emits 96%, 88%, and 78% less CO2, respectively. The comparison to plant-based protein is equally compelling. 240L of water is utilised to produce 1 kg of Promyc®. The corresponding figures for soybeans, poultry, lentils, and beef are 2500L, 3200L, 6000L, and 15000L.


100% animal-free fungal base food, with amazing health and nutritional properties. Eternal is solving...
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Eternal utilises AI to improve fungi fermentation techniques. Eternal’s proprietary fungi, Mycofood™, is made utilising Fusarium venenatum. Eternal estimates that Mycofood™ has 97% less impact than beef, 82% less impact than Chicken, and 11% less impact than soy — estimations determined by combining carbon dioxide emission, water consumption, and land use.

Better meat Co.

Better meat Co.
Harnessing the power of fermentation to create delicious mycoprotein meat. Our plant-based proteins...
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The Better Meat Co. makes a proprietary mycoprotein, Rhiza, to produce plant-based meats. The rapid harvest cycle at The Better Meat Co. makes Rhiza (and mycoprotein in general) unique — growing protein much more quickly and with fewer resources than other plant-based proteins.

Although mycproteins have been around for decades, these companies are bringing new life to the field. Whether it's mycelium-based bacon or versatile mycprotein ingredients for plant-based meals, the sector is full of innovators embracing fungi to bring consumers benefits.

We’re convinced. How about you?

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