Tetra Pak collaborates with Mycorena to build a greenfield production facility for fungi fermentation towards alternative protein-based food applications. This is part of the Company’s long-term view to address the challenges around food safety and security, through the exploration and advancement of innovative food sources.
The new plant, located in Falkenberg, Sweden, will produce a meat replacement product from fungi. The factory’s first phase will include mince-based products that will serve as ingredients for making alternative meat products. Furthermore, Mycorena has ambitious plans to expand its production capacity and extend its geographical reach by opening new factories across Europe and Asia in the near future.
More than one-fifth of the world’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions stem from agriculture - over half from animal farming. Against this backdrop, alternative proteins open up significant opportunities for designing new forms of sustainable food. Along with the potential for a lower carbon footprint, there is also scope for significantly reduced land and water use, compared with traditional protein sources. A combination of all these factors paves the way for delivering food to a growing population in a more sustainable way, supporting Tetra Pak’s ambition to reach net zero across the value chain by 2050.
Charles Brand, executive vice president for Processing Solutions & Equipment, Tetra Pak, comments, “We are very excited to be working with Mycorena on this project for the innovation and advancement of the food supply chain that aligns with all three areas of our purpose – protecting food, people and the planet. The process of fungi fermentation utilises microorganisms that are bioprocessing powerhouses which can create high quality, nutritious proteins. They may be small, but they have the potential to make a big impact on building a more robust and diverse food system, cementing a better future for all.”
Dr. Ramkumar Nair, Founder and chief executive officer, Mycorena adds, “Fungi fermentation is the future of the food industry and we are proud to be revolutionising this space. This new fermentation facility is a state-of-the-art production plant, which provides us with a technology blueprint that will be further expanded in Sweden and replicated globally. For such an ambitious journey, Tetra Pak is the ideal partner for us, not only because of their cutting-edge expertise in processing, but we also have a shared ambition to develop a more sustainable food supply chain.”
Fungi fermentation is one aspect of innovative food fermentation, which takes natural, age-old processes and uses microbiology to turn microorganisms into tiny production centres that make protein-rich products including alternatives to meat, seafood and dairy. The process also serves to improve texture and taste of traditional plant-based food products.
Tetra Pak’s relationship with Mycorena dates back to 2019 and forms part of the company’s drive to build an innovation ecosystem that helps open new opportunities in the areas of food safety, availability and sustainability. Tetra Pak’s innovation network includes a number of start-ups in various countries such as Sweden, France and the US, amongst others.