Meati Foods creates scientific advisory board to bolster nutrition research for mycelium
03 Mar 2023 --- Colorado-based Meati Foods has formed the Meati Science Advisory Board (MSAB), composed of top scientists in the fields of nutrition and food science, to research the full spectrum of health benefits offered by the mushroom root, a term used to describe the mycelium in all of its products.
Speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst, Behroze Mistry, chief product officer, says the company’s vision is “to unlock a more sustainable, equitable, delicious, and nutritious food system for everyone.”
“Our mycelium is already known to offer complete protein (PDCAAS 1.0), but given that research into mycelia has shown benefits to heart health and digestion, we knew creating the MSAB was the next step in understanding the potential of mycelium as a regular addition to diets.”
“We’re excited to see what potential research may hold, and, in combination with our life cycle analysis, we see it as a step toward shifting our collective understanding of a food’s nutritional profile to reflect its impact on the health of our planet. After all, all the nutrients won’t matter if the world becomes unlivable – the planet’s health is our health.”
Mycelium under investigation
Discussing the company’s actionable insights, Mistry says the first step together is an in-depth review of existing research to identify the actual and potential nutrition benefits of Meati mycelium and other mycelia.
“The board is also summarizing research on nutrients that are already commonly found in people’s diets and also found in mycelia. The MSAB aims to research the full spectrum of nutritional benefits offered by Meati mycelium and to provide a deep understanding of its potential.”
“At Meati, we believe consumers and the environment win when we invest in rigorous scientific understanding of our products, and the MSAB was created with that goal in mind,” adds Dr. Justin Whiteley, CTO and co-founder of Meati Foods.
The MSAB will bring together expertise from diverse scientific disciplines, including food science, health and nutrition science, and food safety. In addition to a broad array of contributions to scientific research and education worldwide, MSAB members have led breakthroughs in areas including the role of food in improving cardiovascular health, the health potential of phytochemicals in upcycled food ingredients, and developing solutions for celiac disease.
Boost for health
Dr. Harold Schmitz, chairman of the MSAB, is a general partner at The March Group and senior scholar in the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis). He previously served as the chief science officer at Mars, Incorporated, and is an advisor to the Novo Nordisk Foundation’s BioInnovation Institute based in Copenhagen, Denmark.
“Research has shown Meati’s mycelium to be a safe and remarkably nutritious food, with extraordinary potential for contributing a variety of health benefits profound for a single ingredient,” explains Dr. Schmitz.
“As a multi-disciplinary team of world-class researchers, the MSAB is eager to explore the role mycelium’s unique nutritional attributes can play as a positive addition to anyone’s diet.”
A scalable platform
Able to grow a teaspoon of spores into hundreds of cows’ equivalent of whole-food protein in just a few days, Meati’s proprietary production processes and unique mushroom root create a nearly infinitely scalable platform.
The Eat Meati product line currently includes the Classic Cutlet, Crispy Cutlet, Classic Steak, and Carne Asada Steak. To date, Meati products have repeatedly sold out within minutes of being released online. Consumers have continued to embrace Meati products through the company’s retail and foodservice partners, including Sprouts Farmers Market, Sweetgreen, and Birdcall.
Meati’s textures and flavors have also won the support of some key food players, including David Chang (chef and founder of Momofuku and Majordomo Media); Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman (co-founders of Sweetgreen); and Sam Kass (former White House senior policy advisor for nutrition and partner at Acre Venture Partners).
In January, after raising US$150 million in a series C funding round, Meati Foods revealed it is on track to open an industrial-scale facility in Colorado to expand the production of its mycelium-based protein cultivation. The “Mega Ranch” is expected to produce millions of pounds of the product by late 2023.
By Elizabeth Green
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