New Nature’s Fynd dairy-free, meatless breakfast range harnesses volcanic microbes from Yellowstone
18 Feb 2021 --- Nature’s Fynd has unlocked a new class of protein production aided by volcanic microbes in the rollout of its new dairy-free and meatless breakfast range. In this launch, the Chicago-based food-tech specialist harnesses the yeast-like properties of microscopic extremophiles sourced from the geothermal springs of Yellowstone National Park.
The company highlights the “unparalleled versatility” of its core nutritional fungi protein ingredient – Fy – in its newly uncovered Fy Breakfast Bundle, which includes Original Dairy-Free Cream Cheese and Original Meatless Breakfast Patties.
Fy protein is the small player poised to take on the two dominant contenders in the global food domain – plant-based and animal proteins. “The protein that would take plants and animals years to generate happens in just hours with our fermentation process, which isn’t dependent upon environmental factors like weather,” Thomas Jonas, CEO of Nature’s Fynd tells FoodIngredientsFirst.
“Fy was originally discovered in 2009 by our CSO and co-founder, Mark Kozubal, while researching extremophiles at Yellowstone National Park. Fy has origins in the hot springs of the park. It’s natural and efficient and part of the fungi kingdom, just like yeast,” he details.
“A small sample was extracted from Yellowstone without causing harm to the park or its hot springs. This small sample is used to grow more protein outside of Yellowstone using a fermentation process similar to brewing beer or making soy sauce.”
It took several years for Nature’s Fynd to scale its production to where it is rolling out breakfasts sourced directly from Earth’s steaming craters. “We will have sufficient capacity to support our national launch across multiple categories,” says Jonas.
Nature’s Fynd’s new breakfast products, which are vegan and non-GMO, give consumers a first limited-release sampling of the entire breakfast product line set to release more broadly later this year.
A naturally resilient food-producing microbe
The emergent food source cultivated through NASA-backed research raised US$80 million in Series B funding in March 2020.
For its production, Nature’s Fynd uses a novel, non-traditional fermentation method for biomass production named liquid-air interface fermentation. This allows Fy to grow 24/7, 365 days a year, with no dependence on sun, rain or soil, Jonas details.
Fy’s production uses only a fraction of the water, land and energy compared to traditional protein sources.
“Similar to a sourdough starter, we feed Fy a minimal amount of inputs which aid in the fermentation process,” adds Jonas. “From there, Fy grows and we need very little resources. This process can even be recreated in space given an appropriately controlled environment.”
For its early market rollouts, Nature’s Fynd is focusing on the US for the near term. “Our research shows foods made from Fy will be appealing to consumers across the globe,” notes Jonas.
“As our population continues to grow, we will need new and innovative ways to feed all of us and we believe that we will be part of the solution to solve this challenge.”
Fy’s versatility is the meat of the offering
Fy is able to be used in liquid, powder and solid forms making it more versatile than many alternative proteins as it can take on many different textures and consistencies.
Aside from being vegan, rich in protein and fiber and non-GMO certified it also contains no cholesterol or trans fats.
“Fy’s versatility allows Nature’s Fynd to make a variety of foods,” details Jonas. “It can be made into alternative meats, alternative dairy foods and drinks that are perfect for various mealtime occasions.”
“As an ingredient, we have only a tenth of the fat and 30 times less sodium than ground beef,” he continues. “Fy also has 50 percent more protein than tofu and twice as much protein than raw pea.”
“Fy protein is certified non-GMO and is vegan, as well. Fy products are also minimally processed compared to many other meat alternatives.”
In an exclusive interview with FoodIngredientsFirst, Jonas previously spoke in detail about how the company – then branded as Sustainable Bioproducts – seeks to leverage several long-term macro trends for product success.
By Benjamin Ferrer
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