The increasing demand for meat analogues asks for alternative production technology of plant-based food sources. Current extrusion-based structuring of plant proteins is energy-intensive and limited in material selection, structuring ability, and food design. As an alternative pathway, we propose to grow fungi directly in food substrates and thus mimic the fiber-like structure and taste of meat. The substrate is designed to provide beneficial mechanical properties, nutrients, and architecture for fungal growth. Using nature as an inspiration, we aim to achieve anisotropy spanning over several length scales, crafting a meat analogue with unprecedented micro- and macroscopic fibers. This approach will demonstrate how microbial growth can be used as a structuring tool and potentially provide further design concepts for plant-based foods.
The project addresses the fundamental aspects of fungal growth providing design principals for novel materials. Focusing on food products, the project will have a strong impact on the food market by providing convincing meat analogues, which not only reduce impact of agricultures on climate and land use but also reflects the societal need for healthy food. By reaching industrial scale production levels a significantly decrease of human greenhouse gas emissions can be foreseen.
The project started in May 2021
Persons involved in the project
Last update to this project presentation 08.07.2021