MycoTechnology, producers of fermented mushroom protein, won the $1M prize for receiving first place in the Radicle Protein Challenge this week. The Syngenta Group, a multinational agriculture company, and Radicle Growth, a venture capital firm specializing in food and agriculture startups, hosted this challenge. An additional $250K was awarded to runner up Blue Nalu, a cellular aquaculture company.
The competition hosted 150 applicants from all over the world and came to a head with a virtual event this week where each of the four finalists pitched. The two other finalists include Cell Farm and Trophic.
In addition to funding, MycoTechnology will have access to the Syngenta Group and Radicle Growth’s global agriculture and food networks. MycoTechnology’s mushroom fermentation technology is used to create products including ClearTaste, which blocks the bitter flavors of certain foods, and PureTaste, a mushroom-based protein.
At the beginning of 2020, the Good Food Institute predicted that one of the alternative protein trends of the year would be innovative ingredients and enhanced flavors, especially coming from fermented yeasts and mushroom varieties. Additionally, a recent report released on the Good Food Institute added fermentation as a third category (alongside cultured meat and plant-based proteins) in the alternative protein sector. Besides MycoTechnology, other companies have also taken advantage of using the umami-flavor and versatility of different mushrooms. Meati transforms mushroom mycelium into a juicy plant-based steak. Mushlabs and Ecovatives both use mushrooms to provide better texture for plant-based meat alternatives.