Quorn’s Marlow Ingredients partners with Tempty Foods for sustainable and nutritious fungi protein
25 May 2023 --- Owner of Quorn, UK-based Marlow Ingredient, has partnered with Danish food start-up Tempty Foods to launch meat alternatives based on mycoprotein – a fungus-derived “super protein” widely used in plant-based products.
FoodIngredientsFirst sits down with Tom Lindley, head of strategy and marketing at Marlow Ingredients, and talks about the fungus’ environmental footprint and nutritional composition while stressing the need for rapid action to feed the world’s growing population.
“There is an urgent need for humanity to change how we eat to make the world more sustainable. By making our mycoprotein available to others, starting with Tempty Foods, Marlow Ingredients will play a pivotal role in tackling climate change by making great tasting foods with lower carbon footprints and less land and water than foods that use animal protein.”
“Research suggests that as well as its excellent nutrition profile, the structural complexity of mycoprotein’s cell wall, which is retained through the production process, may explain why it is so good for metabolic health. It is also a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids our bodies need,” underscores Lindley.
Benefits for the planet
Compared to beef, Marlow mycoprotein has a 40 times lower carbon footprint and a six times lower carbon footprint than chicken, notes the company. As for water footprint, Marlow mycoprotein has a 30 times lower impact than beef, six times lower than chicken, and Marlow Mince is 12 times lower than minced beef.
“Carbon Trust has certified the carbon footprint of Marlow mycoprotein since 2012, making it the first meat-free protein source to have third-party carbon footprint accreditation,” says Lindley.
Lindley argues that producing protein through fermentation is more efficient and sustainable than protein derived from rearing animals.
“Producing Marlow mycoprotein takes 95% less CO2 than typical beef mince, making it a great example of a more sustainable and nutritious protein source for a growing global population.”
He details that with an annual capacity to produce more than 67,000 tons of mycoprotein, “we operate the biggest facility of its kind globally.”
Benefits for the body
Lindley continues to explain that Marlow’s mycoprotein is a nutritious complete protein source made from fusarium venenatum – a naturally occurring fungus.
“Introducing Marlow mycoprotein into our products will give us a sustainable and competitive edge. It will also empower us to continue creating next-generation alternatives that focus on the key values of taste and nutrition rather than imitating meat,” adds Martina Lokajova, CEO and co-founder of Tempty Foods.
Sourced from the soil, the fungus is fermented with nutrients made from maize, wheat and essential minerals to create a food high in protein and fiber while low in saturated fat and free from trans-fat and cholesterol, Lindley explains.
“Products made with Marlow mycoprotein can contain much less saturated fat than animal protein products. For example, a Quorn burger made with Marlow mycoprotein has 0.5 g of saturated fat versus 10.7 g of saturated fat in an average beef burger.”
He further details that as it is retained through the production process, the natural properties of fusarium venenatum make mycoprotein a source of nutrients, including riboflavin, folate, phosphorus, zinc, choline and manganese.
Lindley highlights recent scientific findings for its mycoprotein. “One study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that people who ate our mycoprotein increased their muscle growth rates twice as much as people who had milk protein instead.”
“Additionally, researchers from Northumbria University, in the UK, have found that swapping red and processed meat for Marlow’s mycoprotein leads to a significant reduction in intestinal genotoxins—which can cause bowel cancer—and increases healthy gut bacteria.”
He further exemplifies a recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition which found that fungi-derived mycoprotein is just as effective at supporting muscle building during resistance training as animal protein.
Recently, Finnish biotech start-up eniferBio raised €11 million (US$12.05 million) to fund the scaling up of its Pekilo mycoprotein powder – fungus that can produce a protein-rich powder when processed, using a unique fermentation technique.
By Beatrice Wihlander
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