Who Makes Mycoprotein? Five Companies to Know

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?

Have comments, questions or suggestions? Feel free to reach out to us.

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