The market for mycoprotein, which is sometimes referred to as mushroom meat, is anticipated to experience significant growth over the next ten years.
If you haven't already sampled vegan meat created with mycoprotein, also referred to as mushroom meat, you almost certainly will in the not-too-distant future. According to the market research company Future Industry Insights, the mycoprotein market on a global scale is expected to reach close to one billion dollars by the year 2032. (FMI).
There has been an almost overnight explosion in the number of food businesses centered on fungi.
Alongside plant-based burgers, sausages, and “chicken” nugget alternatives produced from soy, pea, or other proteins, new companies are exploring inventive ways to feed the rising market for alternative proteins. These methods include the development of new supply chains.
Mycoprotein is a food substance that is high in protein but has no discernible taste. It is produced by fermenting the root-like spores of some mushrooms using the same time-honored method that is used to make beer and bread.
Mycoprotein, once processed, can be utilized in the production of a wide variety of meat substitute products. Due to its naturally meat-like structure, mycoprotein has an advantage over plant-based proteins in terms of both cost and texture. Plant-based proteins are required to go through an additional process to replicate the texture of meat.
Since the 1980s, when the British company Quorn first patented their mycoprotein production procedures, fermented fungus protein products have been available in grocery stores. However, now that the patents have run their course, a new generation of food entrepreneurs have ambitious aspirations for the lowly mushroom.
The target market is projected to reach an estimated $298 million by the end of this year, driven in large part by the increased desire for better-quality, more sustainable, and ethical alternatives to traditional sources of protein as well as the widespread embrace of veganism.
Mycoprotein, a component derived from fermented mushrooms that are high in protein and used in a broad variety of meals and beverages, is frequently used in place of meat in vegetarian and vegan dishes. Quorn, a vegetarian brand located in the United Kingdom, is likely the most well-known company to utilize mycoprotein in its goods. Quorn may have been one of the first firms to integrate fungal protein in food items, making it likely the most well-known company to do so.
Judd Zusel, the North American President of Quorn Foods, said that “Quorn has been around since the 1980s, so we've seen firsthand the journey that plant-based has been on and how consumers have become more and more comfortable with alternative proteins.” Since Quorn has been around since then, “we've seen firsthand the journey that plant-based has been on.” Since Quorn was the company that discovered mycoprotein and has always been aware of its potential, we are ecstatic that it is finally receiving the respect it deserves.
Even though a good number of Quorn's vegetarian alternatives to meat use egg whites, the company also provides a wide selection of vegan alternatives, including vegan chicken nuggets in the shape of dinosaurs, kabobs in the manner of Turkey, fishless filets, and pepperoni slices.
Mycoprotein: what exactly is it?
To be more specific, mycoprotein is a type of protein that is derived from the naturally occurring fungus Fusarium or other strains of fungi. To produce mycoprotein, manufacturers ferment fungal spores together with other nutrients through a process known as microbial fermentation. This process, which is analogous to the fermentation process used to produce beer, is necessary. The end product is a doughy combination that has a texture similar to that of meat and is rich in both protein and fiber.
Fermentation of foods by microorganisms is not a novel idea and has been practiced in the food industry for many years. In the year 1983, mycoprotein was given the go-ahead for use as an ingredient in commercial food products in the United Kingdom. In the year 2002, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States gave its blessing to the use of mycoprotein in food products.
Many people believe that mycoprotein could provide a more sustainable source of protein than animal-based protein. It is common knowledge that animal husbandry is a process that requires a significant amount of resources and leaves a large carbon footprint.
According to a study that was released earlier this year in the peer-reviewed scientific magazine Nature, converting the production of animal flesh around the world to mycoprotein could have significant implications for the environment. Researchers at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research discovered that if 20 percent of traditionally produced beef was replaced with meat derived from fungi and produced through the process of microbial fermentation, there would be a reduction of 50 percent in the amount of land cleared for agriculture by the year 2050, in addition to other improvements to the environment.
According to Florian Humpenoder, the primary author of the study, who was quoted in a release about the findings, “The food system is at the root of a third of global greenhouse gas emissions,” with the production of meat from ruminant animals being the single largest source. “In the future, the replacement of meat from ruminant animals with protein derived from microbes might significantly cut the food system's contribution to the emission of greenhouse gases.”
What are the primary forces propelling the mycoprotein market?
According to FMI, another factor that is likely propelling the market for mycoprotein products is the growing consumer knowledge about the importance of health. In addition, developments in the food service industry, which are seeing restaurant chains adopting more plant-based menu alternatives, have increased the future prospects of goods containing mycoproteins.
In addition to this, the growth of the target market during the forecast period is being driven by increased consumer knowledge of alternate protein sources.
For instance, in the United Kingdom (UK), in the year 2020, Quorn started working with the fast food restaurant company KFC to produce mycoprotein-based chicken products that may be used on the KFC menu. These could include a vegan chicken burger and possibly even vegan chicken buckets. According to Zusel, “Perfectly delivering the flavor and texture of the real chicken is a major attribute that consumers are looking for,” and “Mycoprotein does exactly that.” We believe that Quorn is in an excellent position to continue to capitalize on this anticipated future development.
According to FMI, consumers and restaurants are getting on board with the mycoprotein trend since mycoprotein products are good sources of protein and have a superior texture and flavor. The goods that contain mycoprotein also contain a significant amount of a variety of minerals and vitamins. The expansion of the mycoprotein market is anticipated to occur throughout the forecast period as a result of all of these factors and factors related to the increased production of mycoprotein products.
An analyst from FMI said in a statement that “increased use of mycoprotein in food applications along with the growing adoption of plant-based meat would fuel the global growth of the mycoprotein market over the forecast period.”
Leading players in the market for vegan meat include companies such as MycoTechnology Inc., Tyson Ventures, General Mills, beyond meat, and Impossible Foods. The incorporation of alternatives to meat products like mycoprotein, which is anticipated to assist in the expansion of these enterprises, is a priority for some companies, while others are concentrating their efforts on boosting the nutritional content of goods containing mycoprotein.
According to geography, it is anticipated that both Europe and North America would demonstrate significant growth. The market in Europe in particular is being driven forward by the robust presence of important producers as well as the expanding manufacturing footprints of mycoprotein items.
The growth of the target market in Europe is being fast overtaken by the expansion in North America. During the time of the forecast, it is anticipated that both East Asia and South Asia will provide the mycoprotein market with many potentially lucrative prospects.