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Mushroom-based protein project to introduce new whole food in Oman

Mushroom-based protein project to introduce new whole food in Oman
Mushroom-based protein project to introduce new whole food in Oman

MUSCAT: US-based foodtech startup MycoTechnology, which is partnering with Oman Investment Authority (OIA) in the establishment of a landmark mushroom-based protein project in the Sultanate of Oman, says the initiative will support the introduction of a novel whole food with beneficial impacts for food security.

According to a senior executive of the Colorado-based company, Oman’s rich date output will serve as a resource base for the production of this new protein-rich whole food utilizing the startup’s proprietary mushroom fermentation technology.

That breakthrough technology harnesses the natural power of mycelia – the invisible root system of mushrooms – to develop a range of alternative protein-based foods that address sugar reduction, sustainable protein, nutrient density, and other nutrition-based factors.

“In partnership with the Oman Investment Authority, we are upcycling dates in the region that would otherwise go to waste and using them as a fuel source for our mushroom mycelial biomass,” said Dr Ranjan Patnaik, Chief Technology Officer at MycoTechnology.

“The result is a premium whole food that is rich in naturally occurring nutrients including protein, fibre and micronutrients. This versatile meat alternative could be a valuable new culinary ingredient that is not only nutritious and sustainable, but a scalable solution for a more stable food supply,” the official stated in an interview featured in the latest edition of ‘Food Engineering & Ingredients’ (FEI) magazine.

Vital Foods Technologies – a joint venture of Oman Investment Authority and MycoTechnology Inc – has been set up to establish the project on a 10-hectare site in Oman. Initial processing capacity is envisioned at 16,000 tonnes per annum of Omani dates, sourced primarily from the plantations of the Million Dates Palms Project.

OIA is also an investor in MycoTechnology, which says its products from mushroom mycelia can help solve major challenges in the global food industry. By scaling the deployment of its mushroom fermentation technology, the company says it can boost the availability of “healthy, sustainable, clean label and high-quality food options”.

Chief Technology Officer Dr Patnaik added: “In addition to MycoTechnology’s existing commercial ingredients, we are leveraging our technological expertise to address challenges in food security, food waste and food quality through the development of a new, mycelia-based whole food.”

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