28 FEBRUARY 2023

FoodTech company Mycorena takes new steps in significant expansion, strengthening product development with Head of Product Innovation Sandra Zachrisson to run the new scale-up kitchen and food science development facility at MIND. The expansion will enable a complete production line of fungi-based products at scale. 

Mycorena has created unique facilities with custom-designed equipment and fermenters, innovation and R&D labs, including a development kitchen and pilot production for consumer products at headquarters MIND. Now, the facilities of MIND are expanding with a brand-new scale-up kitchen and food science development facility. The new production kitchen is an addition to the already extensive product development and will capacitate a more comprehensive customer experience and the development of complete product packages. In addition, the expansion fills the market gap for quality infrastructure and fermentation equipment to scale products successfully and allows Mycorena to offer scale-up testing in a purpose-built production facility replicating various manufacturing processes.

This approach of fermenter-to-fork is largely unparalleled and enables possibilities to initiate new thoughts, go through process reviews and understand how to develop and test recipes in larger batches. While small-scale and large-scale production facilities exist, the market needs facilities to take recipes from small to full commercial scale and ensure recipe quality while scaling. Moving directly from small pilot production to commercial production can cause variations in quality.

Testing recipes is crucial to understanding how to successfully translate recipes into a manufacturing environment in terms of equipment requirements and manufacturing processes to scale production to industrial volumes. Mycorena recognised this gap in the industry and decided to pursue a scaling facility. The new facility at MIND will bridge the gap and enable test launches of larger batches to validate quality before moving on to commercial manufacturing.

As a result, customers can test anything from small batches of a few kilos up to larger batches of a few hundred kilos and fully understand how to scale the recipe of their products before moving to a large-scale manufacturing site. This approach will allow for the final definition of recipes and a complex understanding of how products interact in various batch sizes. The site also will enable customers to produce limited product launches or conduct consumer testing.

To take the endeavour forward, the new Head of Product Innovation, Sandra Zachrisson, was recruited to increase the culinary repertoire and knowledge of production and manufacturing. With 25 years of experience in the food industry, classic culinary art training as a chef, and experience in industrial manufacturing and product development, she brings her extensive expertise to advance product development and innovation at Mycorena.

Working with high-value products, ingredients, and forward-thinking companies worldwide have equipped Zachrisson with an excellent comprehension of customer needs and expectations. In addition, her background in the hospitality industry at Emirates Airlines has given her a clear understanding of the value of product development and long-term strategies in bringing new innovative ideas to fruition. At Mycorena, she will aid in scaling product development and providing customers and partners with a complete product package, from recipe design, ingredient sourcing, and production process testing to full-scale production.

The new expansion will be a venue where once we have developed a recipe, we can produce limited launch quantities with our partners and implement sensory analysis and shelf-life studies. It will also enable analyses of production processes and increase the understanding of ingredient handling and equipment requirements per product,’ says Sandra Zachrisson, Head of Product Innovation at Mycorena.  

The new end-to-end production line provides the means for Mycorena to develop, launch and validate products alongside partners at scale to explore the market. In addition, the expansion could enable innovative concepts to go to market in a greater capacity and be a hub for educating the industry on mycoprotein, which is currently lacking in the market.

There is an increasing need for scaling sustainable food products to feed the growing population, and scalable food production is vital to solving food insecurity issues. However, facilities and knowledge for scaling are limited. Mycorena now supplies a solution for both. 

The innovative company recently announced its endeavour to create meat hybrids, accelerate the green transition, and reduce meat consumption without compromise. The new extension of MIND will enable Mycorena to explore this concept and develop products alongside partners at scale, in line with the company’s ambition to pioneer the mycoprotein segment and fungi-based food products but in a larger scalable setting.

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