SWEDEN – Mycorena, a producer of Fungi-based alternative protein for the food industry, claims to have made the first mycoprotein butter prototype marking an expansion move into alt dairy applications.

The company said the butter prototype is a product of six to eight months of R&D and is developed from a unique fungi-structured fat ingredient.

CEO Ram Nair detailed that the company uses fat ingredients, that are produced in ‘exactly’ the same way as its Promyc ingredient (made from a ‘unique’, undisclosed fungi strain), to make the butter.

He added that by using fungal mycelium, the start-up leverages the fungal biomass produced during fermentation, however, the process changes from that step.

Mycorena revealed that its new area of mycoprotein applications in high-fat dairy alternatives is possible through a unique patent-pending processing method developed this year.

Mycorena expects that the new process will make it possible to create a range of sustainable, vegan alternatives to any high-fat dairy product.

The new technology has opened up a lot of prospects for product applications of high-fat dairy alternatives, according to the Swedish mycoprotein maker.

The company added that it is currently exploring all possibilities of the technique and will soon be launching a series of new product prototypes.

Mycorena expects that the new process will make it possible to create a range of sustainable, vegan alternatives to any high-fat dairy product and the first intended consumer product will be butter.

The new method requires few ingredients and can even be made without additives commonly used in animal- or plant-based dairy alternatives, the startup noted.

Mycorena hinted its attraction to the alt butter category is based on nutritional profile considering that the conventional butter has a ‘very high’ fat content, half of which is saturated fats.

Making it worse is the convectional butter is high in cholesterol while its planned offering of butter alternative contains no cholesterol.

The company added that its butter has ‘heavily’ reduced saturated fat content, at the same time enriched with a small amount of protein.

Mycorena has observed increased innovation in the alt cheese category, as stated by Nasir that there is a lot of focus on cheese these days.

From a growth perspective, the CEO said there is a lot of plant-based cheese, but very few butter alternatives justifying that butter is greater than cheese.

Fortune Business Insights, projects the global cheese market to grow from US$123.87billion in 2021 to US$161.23billion by 2028, with a CAGR of 3.84%.

However, the butter market is set to exceed cheese in growth due to increasing demand for processed food products among consumers across all sectors of the food industry.

The same market research firm projects cow’s milk butter to grow from US$37billion in 2021 to US$49bn by 2028 at a CAGR of 4.11%.

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