A partnership between Austria’s Revo Foods and Sweden’s Mycorena has yielded a €1.5 million grant from the Swedish innovation agency, Vinnova, the Austrian Research Promotion Agency, and the EU funding program, Eurostars.
Revo Foods and Mycorena announced their partnership late last year with the goal of creating mycoprotein to replace seafood, using 3D-printing technology. The new funding will support the duo’s research into their scaling mycoprotein tech.
Applications for the grant funding are competitive, and, says Paulo Teixeira, Chief Innovation Officer at Mycorena, the recognition underscores the value of the technology the companies are developing. “[It] is really an important part of creating a sustainable food system,” Teixeira said in a statement.
Bringing seafood alternatives ‘to the next level”
“We are really happy for the opportunity to explore the exciting new ingredient of mycoprotein in our production process,” said Niccolo Galizzi, head of product development at Revo Foods. “Mycorena is a leading company in this space, and together with our new process technology for whole-cut alternatives, we believe that we can bring seafood alternatives and additive food manufacturing as a whole to the next level.”
The companies turned to mycoprotein due in large part to its texture; the material is soft and fibrous, lending itself well to mimic the taste and texture of conventional seafood. But 3D fiber printing is notoriously difficult, the companies say. Mycorena’s proprietary process simplifies the risk.
The announcement builds on the alternative seafood boom. Last year, Revo launched three seafood successors.
“With the release of these three unique products, we reached a new milestone in the dynamic market of plant-based seafood alternatives. Not only are we the first company in the world to release a plant-based alternative to graved salmon and salmon spread, but with our more than 2,500 selling points all across Europe, we are having a real impact on sustainable seafood products,” Robin Simsa, CEO of Revo Foods, said in a statement at the time.
Revving up vegan seafood
Last December, Singapore’s seafood giant Ha Li Fa launched its first vegan seafood brand, Eat, Plant, Love. Thai Union, Thailand’s leading shrimp producer, launched vegan shrimp last October.
Earlier this month, New Zealand’s NewFish and the Cawthron Institute announced they had entered into a strategic partnership aimed at commercializing microalgae for use in specialized protein, including seafood alternatives.
Companies are honing in on the demand for alternative seafood products. Alternative seafood producers raised more than $175 million in 2021, up 50 percent from 2020 figures, according to the Good Food Institute APAC.
“Consumers also want products that can match or exceed the nutritional value, freshness, and affordability of the conventional seafood they know and love,” Mirte Gosker, Acting Managing Director of GFI APAC, said in a statement.
“Satisfying these demands will require substantially more investment from public and private stakeholders into open-access research and development aimed at improving the quality and cost of plant-based and cultivated seafood products,” she added.
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