M&S chooses mycoprotein company 3F Bio for vegan food range
The mycoprotein fermentation process creates whole food biomass with a meat-like texture that is high in protein and fibre
UK supermarket M&S has chosen 3F Bio for a partnership that will see the food retailer launch a range of animal-free food products made with the company’s Abunda mycoprotein, which is produce in a zero-waste production process. The partnership builds on the recently launched food innovation hub at M&S.
3F Bio, a technology spin-out company from the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, produce mycoprotein grown using naturally occurring fungi and a large-scale fermentation process similar to that used to create beer. The mycoprotein fermentation process creates whole food biomass with a meat-like texture that is high in protein and fibre.
As a food ingredient company, 3F Bio will trade as Enough. The business is building a large-scale facility in the Netherlands to produce and sell mycoprotein as a food ingredient in 2022.
Enough is planning to have 50,000 tonnes of installed capacity by 2027 and the company aims to produce 1 million tonnes cumulatively within 10 years of launch.
Andrew Beasley, commercial director of 3F Bio and Enough said: “We’re delighted about this collaboration with Marks & Spencer. The collective purpose of 3F Bio and Enough is to make protein sustainable, and by doing so we want to make a positive impact on the environment, and on global nutrition.”
Beasley defined mycoprotein is an advantaged ingredient with an established market role, more sustainably produced and at a lower cost than all other protein options.
“We are hugely excited by the application possibilities of mycoprotein,” said Beasley. “Abunda mycoprotein is a fermented food ingredient, and it is truly special, not only because we can make delicious foods with it, but because it is also sustainable, healthy and nutritious.
Beasley argued that many plant protein foods today contain way too many ingredients. “With mycoprotein, we can make foods with short ingredient lists, which are common to our kitchens today.”
The role of fermented foods
As the population grows towards nine billion, there is wide recognition that demand for protein will grow by 60% to more than 800 million tonnes by 2050. Therefore, there is a high level of investment in protein sources that can provide an alternative to the animal including insects, cultured meat and fermentation.
Fermentation is increasingly recognised as the best option as a ‘protein powerhouse’ to make foods that taste as good or better and cost the same or less than the animal alternative.
A recent report from Good Food Institute highlighted more than 40 companies active in growing protein with fermentation, with more than $770 million invested in fermentation companies in the last two years, primarily focussed on the US market.
Founded in 2015, 3F Bio is wholly focused on a business-to-business strategy. The company supports customers with an in-house development team committed to the vision of producing food that tastes as good as the animal alternative.