Mycorena partners with Tetra Pak to construct an alternative proteins plant in Sweden

SWEDEN – Mycorena, a producer of Fungi-based alternative protein for the food industry, has partnered with the Swedish multinational food packaging and processing company, Tetra Pak, to construct an alternative proteins plant in Falkenberg, Sweden.

The new plant will produce Mycorena’s mycoprotein-based ingredient, Promyc, for the meat alternative market, the partners said.

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The mycoprotein products are usually produced using a predominant fungi strain known as Fusarium venenatum, the same strain Quorn, owned by Marlow Foods, uses to produce its meat substitute product.

However, Mycorena stated it makes its mycoprotein from a ‘unique’ undisclosed strain which the company plans to reveal, once the patients have been published.

The company revealed that its fungus has biomass that is of better quality especially nutrition-wise, with higher protein content as well as a better texture in applications.

The partners disclosed that the facility’s operational capacity will be set at 5,000 tonnes per year when operations kick off with a focus entirely on alt mince-based products.

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Mycorena also said it has secured additional land for potential site expansion of up to 25-50,000 tonnes in the medium-term, and eventually up to 100,000 tonnes in three to four years’ time.

Ram Nair, Mycorena founder, and CEO explained that with the 100,000-tonne capacity, the plant will be able to cater to the Scandinavian market, as well as part of the European market.

The commissioning side of the plant is expected to open in Q2 2023, with full operations planned for the following quarter.

According to Tetra Pak, its partnership with Mycorena is aimed at facilitating a ‘one-stop-shop’ set-up for Mycorena’s upstream and fermentation equipment.

Tetra Pak’s spokesperson commented that alternative proteins have opened up opportunities for new forms of sustainable food while also proving to potentially reduce some carbon footprint by significantly reducing land and water use compared to traditional protein sources.

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The spokesperson added that Tetra Pak is using its deep understanding of food production to support food and beverage manufacturers on their journeys using one of the oldest processes in food production fermentation combined with some of the ‘newest’ and ‘most advanced technologies.

The partnership comes on the heels of the largest-ever Nordic Series A funding round in the alternative protein space, which the protein producer closed in march, securing US$25million for the commercialization of Promyc.

Nair highlighted that Promyc can offer a mushy’ – texture for vegan food production as opposed to ‘harder’ products that manufacturers are increasingly seeking.

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