During the past two years, a foodtech start-up team in Gothenburg has been working to revolutionize the food industry. People everywhere have started eating protein from plants such as soy and pea as a replacement to meat and other animal sources in their diet. This change is a great step today, but surely not a completely sustainable solution for the future. We are already using most of the available land and water on our planet for crop production, and as time goes by this demand will only increase. Mycorena has developed a technology that, by using fungi biotechnology, can produce healthy and tasty vegan protein using up to 20 times less water and 5000 times less land.
Mycorena’s product is branded under the name “Promyc” and it can be used as a meat-like substitute for most protein sources we use nowadays in our food, such as chicken or soy. Promyc has been tested already in a variety of foods, being successfully used for making burgers, nuggets, protein shakes and bars, smoothies and even snacks!
We have made strong process and product development during the last two years. Now in 2020, our key focus is to scale our production process and reach the market. We envision Promyc to become an ‘ingredient brand’, available for all food companies who want to produce high quality and tasty vegan food products. says Ramkumar Nair, the founder and CEO of Mycorena.
Production process with sustainability at its heart
Mycorena’s fungi are produced through a unique fermentation process carried out in specially designed large tanks, a process that in many ways similar to that of brewing beer. The fermentation is done using food resources that are created but not used within the food industry, for example, excess flour and dough during the baking of bread, or other side-streams in the making of dairy products. In a sense, the technology uses food that never reaches the supermarket, and turns it into an exciting new product.
There is a need for new innovative solutions to produce food in a more sustainable way – and that is exactly the vision we have at Mycorena. To put it simply, Promyc is a sustainable food for the future: Our production process is very efficient, giving us a very low climate footprint, and the product isis extremely nutritious. It has a high protein and fiber content, and it contains all the essential amino acids. Everyone who wants more tasty and sustainable options in their diet should try this. says Silvia Huttner (CTO) who leads the technical team at Mycorena.
Over the last two years, the team has successfully created strong collaborations with several larger Nordic and European food companies with the aim to co-develop a food product containing Promyc. Now as part of this expansion process, Mycorena is opening its first small scale industrial production unit at Ringön in Hisingen, a fast-growing industrial community at the heart of Göteborg, Sweden.
We are constantly seeking new partners from the food industry to expand the application boundaries of Promyc. In that aspect, Ringön is an exciting place for us to start our small-scale production facility. The place has an exciting entrepreneurial as well as industrial spirit around. We hope the new facility will help us expand our partner portfolio and help us achieve our goal of taking Promyc to the market in 2020 – says Ebba Fröling, COO at Mycorena.
Promyc, an Innovation trend-setter in Scandinavia and Europe
During 2019, Mycorena has attained a large interest in the European start-up and innovations scene. The team has received several awards and recognitions, notably the European Plant-based Protein Award, Sweden Foodtech, Arla Foodtech Challenge and Technology of the year award (from Swedish Chamber of Commerce). Behind it, its innovative approach to solving sustainability issues in the food industry.
In January 2020, Mycorena raised 4.5 M SEK funding for establishing their small-scale production facility in Ringön. The round attracted soft funding from the EU and Vinnova, and investments from several Swedish VCs and Angel investors, with Bånt AB (Sverker Forsén), and Kale United AB (Måns Ullerstam) leading the round.
Protein produced from industrial side-streams is super smart! It is a huge opportunity for companies who want both a new product and sustainable food production. Mycorena, brought people together from around the world and owns impressive know-how. It definitely has the potential to become a global disruptive food company. Fungi is the future! – says leading investor Sverker Forsén.
During 2019, Mycorena went from a 2-person team to more than 7 employees, moving through a small development lab at Sahlgrenska Science Park now into a small industrial facility. It was also during this year that the team started breaking through the food product landscape and announcing the Promyc brand.
It’s impressive how fast the company is moving. The food industry needs to make drastic changes and Mycorena has a strong solution to offer. It’s the right time to be on board with such development and we are sure to see much more to come. – says Måns Ullerstam, investor from Kale United AB
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