Chicago-based Nature’s Fynd has received authorization from Health Canada, the federal department responsible for national health standards and policy, to commercialize its alt meat and dairy products made with a novel fungi protein called Fy.
Nature’s Fynd grows a nutritional fungi protein using proprietary fermentation and a fungus called Fusarium strain flavolapis, discovered in Yellowstone Park’s geothermal springs. The novel protein is used as a whole ingredient to make animal-free foods.
According to Health Canada, the product approval came after a comprehensive assessment of Fy Protein’s safety for human consumption. In the USA, Nature’s Fynd received FDA greenlight for its fungi ingredient in March 2021.
Similarly, the Canadian food company Smallfood also discovered a wild microalgae strain capable of producing premium proteins through biomass fermentation. The company is developing ingredients for alt seafood products.
Meatless patties and dairy-free cheese
Fy is described as more digestible than other plant-based proteins, such as peas and peanuts, offering twice as much protein as raw peas and 50% more than tofu. It provides a neutral taste and natural texture, making it ideal for creating flavorful, meatless, or dairy-free foods. Fy is non-GMO and grows without antibiotics, hormones, or pesticides.
The company’s portfolio includes Meatless Breakfast Patties, Original and Maple; and Dairy-Free Cream Cheese, Original and Chive & Onion. The products are available at Whole Foods, hundreds of Sprouts Farmers Markets, and all Fresh Thyme Market locations (only the cream cheese).
In collaboration with famous chef Eric Ripert, the Chicago-based food company recently created Vegan Fy Dressings — the world’s first dressings made with the company’s nutritional fungi protein.
Highly efficient protein
The company operates in a pilot-scale manufacturing facility in Chicago and has announced plans to build a larger facility. Nature’s Fynd claims that producing Fy requires a fraction of the resources required by traditional agriculture. A life cycle analysis suggests that Fy protein emits roughly 99% fewer greenhouse gases and uses 99% less land and 87% less water, no methane emissions, and minimal waste.
Nature’s Fynd has raised $500 million in total in rounds backed by Al Gore, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, and Michael Bloomberg, as well as a $4.76 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
“This is the moonshot of our time. Providing a system to feed the world in a way that’s good for human health and the health of the planet is an audacious goal, but it’s one Nature’s Fynd is prepared to meet. The stakes are higher than ever, but solutions like ours offer greater potential. By introducing an entirely new, highly efficient protein source in the global food supply chain, we are optimistic about the impact that we can have on the global food system.” said Karuna Rawal, Chief Marketing Officer of Nature’s Fynd, in 2020.alt meat dairy products meat seafood cheese cream microalgae protein plant-based dairy-free fermentation alt